Taking over the Athlete of the Week crown this week is Bolton Bears QB and DE, Eric Whelan.

When the time came to step up and take charge, Whelan didn’t hesitate.

Head Coach, Mark Teague, declares that there’s no one else more deserving than Eric for the honor. He also mentioned that when it was time for him to take on the leadership role, that he knew that a lot of work would be placed on his shoulders and that he’s held every task graciously.

Whelan’s love for the game started at the young age of four years old. One could consider him an all-star playing football, basketball and and baseball. He doesn’t play basketball anymore but he says that playing these sports was also because his mom only wants the best for him.

“We don’t live in the best environment, so she wants the best life for me.”

“Football has a special place in my heart.”

Due to unfortunate circumstances, Eric didn’t play half of his sophomore year and all of his junior year.

“I didn’t play half of my sophomore year, I didn’t play last year because of my grades. Not handling it in the classroom. So, now I’m out here playing football. It’s something I love to do and I’m just really excited for the season.”

Eric plays both sides of the ball. With the Bears’ main quarterback out, Eric ad to step up and play in the quarterback position. He also plays defensive end.

He stands tall at 6’5 and weights about 230lbs, so when asked what his favorite thing about the game is, his answer was quite amusing but not surprise.

“To be able to just, do the person in front of you, whatever you can do to them. Take all your anger, just whatever you got you just can just anything to them… and it’s legal! It’s fun.”

Like any other athlete, they strive to make their loved one proud. But Eric also mentions that he works to keep Coach Teague proud as well.

“You know Coach Teague, he asks us to do the same thing for him and I think that’s enough motivation for them to push hard everyday, every game, even though we don’t have any backups. So, whoever play offense, plays defense. You know we just push through everything and do it for him.”

“I hear Eric sometimes repeating some of the things I say. For instance, I’ve heard Eric tell the kids we have to practice in the way we play. Practice hard, we’ll play hard. Things like that. And it makes my heart swell to know you come out here and you don’t think they’re listening but to hear things like that lets me know it’s resonating with them.”