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Swannanoa Valley native Sidney Gibbs will play college football for Shaw University, he announced on Twitter on Nov. 29. 

The former Christ School and Owen High School standout running back will continue his football career in Raleigh at the NCAA Division II program, which plays in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Conference. 

Gibbs, whose uncle Shawn Gibbs was Owen's all-time leading rusher until 2014, burst onto the prep sports scene as a sophomore in 2015. As a Warhorse he rushed for 1,750 yards on 193 carries and scored 19 touchdowns. 

After a devastating knee injury caused him to miss his junior season, Gibbs and his brother Saevion transferred to Christ School. The move allowed Sidney to reclassify as a junior and potentially play two more seasons. 

He returned to action in 2017 and rushed for 2,270 yards in 9 games. Sidney averaged 14 yards per carry and 225 yards per game for Christ School as a junior. In October of that year he appeared on ESPN's SportsCenter after he broke several tackles, one with a powerful stiff-arm, on his way to a 42-yard touchdown against Rabun Gap-Nacoochee. 

The play was viewed over 1.2 million times on the network's Instagram page by the following Monday.

Sidney rushed for 322 yards that game, a career high for him until he picked up 337 yards a week later. 

He had already scored 4 touchdowns and was averaging over 17 yards per carry as a senior when he broke his leg in the Greenies second game of the season. 

He announced his decision to attend Shawn University the day after his 19th birthday.

"Before anything I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for letting me see 19 years," he said in a statement. "Without him I wouldn't be where I am right now.

"I want to thank all the coaches I have had in my high school career," he continued. "You all showed me many different things, and I want to thank all of you for that."

Sidney also thanked his mother. 

"This road has never been easy and it never will be," the statement continued. "Injuries plagued my high school career but yet I know that the path God has for me is the right path."

The Bears finished the 2018 season 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the conference. They have been led by head coach Adrian Jones since 2016. 

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