‘Really neat’: Local high school football stars to face off in ACC Championship

CHARLOTTE — Early photos together should’ve been the first signs of a future Tiger and a Tar Heel, now both on the coveted path to an ACC Championship.

“Will’s got the orange shoes and then Drake looks like he’s got his game face on -- they’re all ready,” Drake Maye’s mother, Aimee Maye, said while describing a photo of the pair to Channel 9′s DaShawn Brown.

You might even say they called it -- or at least Drake Maye did.

Before the former Myers Park Mustang took any snaps in Chapel Hill, there was another kind of snap: A snapshot of a tweet showing Maye congratulating his friend and former Weddington Warriors star, Will Shipley, on his college commitment. It was complete with a promise: “See you in the ACC Championship.”

Now two years later, that’s exactly where they are. Drake’s parents, Mark and Aimee Maye, told Brown about what led Drake and Will to decide on their colleges.

“We were trying to get him to come to UNC. Mainly that’s what Drake was doing, I think Will was doing the same -- ‘why don’t you come to Clemson,’” Mark Maye said. “Yeah. That’s really neat the way it worked out.”

“Worked out” may be an understatement. Their son Drake -- the Tar Heel quarterback -- was just named the ACC Player of the Year. As for Clemson running back Will Shipley, he just became the first player in conference history to earn First-Team All-ACC in not one, but three positions.

“It’s fun to hear Drake also not just be a great quarterback, but a prophet,” Shipley’s mother, Tammy Shipley, said.

The Shipleys support their son, Will, by wearing Clemson gear from head to toe.

“I don’t think of him as Will Shipley the running back at Clemson, I think about him as Will Shipley, my baby boy,” said James Shipley, his father.

“You’re in the middle of Death Valley and you’re looking at 85,000 fans screaming their head off, and there’s your little fella down on the field -- it’s humbling, but so cool,” Tammy Shipley said.

Few moments are as cool as seeing the team flourish.

“The team that really can play together and all contribute is a lot of time the team that comes out on top,” Aimee Maye said. “So I would say that, and then enjoy it because obviously it doesn’t happen every year.”

“We don’t talk a lot about it,” James Shipley said. “My same text to both my boys, my other son at UPenn and Will the day before the game, is, ‘Be a leader. Love you. And go off.’”

“Until you play in the ACC Championship and then maybe not so much,” Aimee Maye joked.

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