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Elijah Hood To Become An Eagle Scout


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Elijah Hood has accomplished a lot on the football field at Charlotte Catholic.

The High School All-American running back has rushed for a Mecklenburg County record 8,981 yards (fourth-best in state history) and 147 touchdowns (third best in state history).

He tallied 3,690 yards (second-best in state history) and 53 touchdowns this year.

But the University of North Carolina commit says he’s just as proud of what he has done off the field – especially his work with Boy Scout Troop 172 at his church, Our Lady of Consolation on Statesville Avenue.

“Becoming an Eagle Scout has got to be one of the greatest accomplishments of my life,” said Hood, who hopes to make that official before the first of the year. “I’ve been a Scout of some type for most of my life, but to see it through and become an Eagle Scout is rare.”

Hood, 17, started as a Cub Scout in first grade and has completed his service work to become an Eagle Scout. He is waiting on the paperwork to be processed for it become official.

In fact, just six hours after he got home from his final high school football game, a 20-15 loss at Greensboro Dudley in the 4A West Regional final, Hood was busy working on his Eagle Scout project.

Hood’s project was to renovate his church’s parking lot, doing everything: converting the grass lot into a gravel lot, cutting down trees and other work.

“I didn’t get to sleep until after 2a.m. (Dec. 7), so I was a little sore for sure; had to take some Advil, I guess,” Hood said. “I got up around 8a.m. and we painted some parking stops and worked on the walkway.”

His body of work to become an Eagle Scout includes earning 21 merit badges ranging from the “first-aid badge,” to the “personal fitness badge,” to the “camping badge” and “emergency preparedness and lifesaving badge.”

Hood said he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of his goals without troop leader Harry Scott, who has worked with him since the sixth grade.

“Mr. Scott has been there all along, from the time I couldn’t even pitch a tent or really do much of anything, to now,” Hood said, noting his troop still meets once a week on Tuesday nights. “He’s helped me through the good and the bad.”

“To come all the way through the scouting program, from a Cub Scout all the way to earning his Eagle Scout, is something rare that you only see in a small percentage of Scouts,” said Scott, who has worked with seven Eagle Scouts in his 12 years leading the troop.

“For Elijah to stay involved in the Scouts and with the church says a lot about him as a young man. We have all enjoyed watching him grow into a great leader. There wasn’t any obstacle he wasn’t willing to overcome. He knew he would become an Eagle Scout. There was no doubt in his mind.

“You just don’t see kids like him that often.”

Hood said his journey to Eagle Scout has taken a bit longer than most, as he has been working toward the rank since sixth grade.

Of course, Hood also has been pretty busy on the football field. But for those who know him best, no one is surprised to see him add another accomplishment.

“He’s worked hard to get (Eagle Scout) and I know it took a lot of work,” Charlotte Catholic football coach Jim Oddo said. “It’s amazing how many different things he does well. We are all so proud of the way he carries himself on and off the field. Elijah is a special young man, and yet he is still very humble and takes everything in stride.”

Former Troop 172 leader Henry “Penny” Wallace says he also is very impressed with Elijah Hood. Wallace led the same troop for 21 years and knows Hood’s grandfather, Edward Hood; Elijah’s father, Vee Hood; and uncle Everett “Boo” Hood (the latter two also starred on Catholic’s football team).

“You would think a big football star would have a big head,” Wallace said. “But he is so humble and so hard working. In addition to all he does at school and on the football field, he is also a Scout, an altar boy and a junior usher.

“I think what he’s done as a Scout and for the church is so important, because it measures your character. He’s a great young man.”

Elijah Hood said that what he’s learned as a Boy Scout is something that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“Being a Boy Scout has definitely helped me grow as a person in many ways,” he said. “I’ve not only learned about the outdoors and handy skills, but also about how to be a leader. These skills are something I can use for the rest of my life, and I take them with me everywhere I go.”

So glad to have him coming to Chapel Hill.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/12/14/4540101/charlotte-catholic-all-american.html#.UrHS1PRDu2F#storylink=cpy

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