Over the years, Benjamin Russell has seen some top-notch athletes come and go through the program. Elijah Spivey is one current athlete in particular who has the potential to be in that category of athletes.
Standing 6’3” and 185 pounds, Spivey is the prototypical size many coaches would consider a dream at wide receiver. He has had multiple two-touchdown games this season, one coming last week against Helena where Spivey was dominant in the first half and finished the night with three receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Spivey is the Outlook Player of the Week.
Spivey’s value to his team exceeds his play on the field, according to coach Kevin Smith. Smith said Spivey is a leader, constantly encouraging his teammates that have made mistakes and celebrating with his teammates when they make a play.
Smith constantly raves about Spivey, with much to say about his character as well as his play.
“He (Spivey) and Carter (Smith) are our heart of the offense right now,” Smith said. “He is a challenge for the opposing teams, always requiring extra attention and taking an extra defender out of the box.”
As Wetumpka prepares to face Benjamin Russell this week, even Wetumpka coach Tim Perry is prepared to be on the lookout for Spivey.
“It’s very difficult to defend an athlete of his caliber,” Perry said. “(Benjamin Russell does) a great job of moving him around to get the matchups they are looking for. We have to find him on every play because the offense goes through him. He’s very dangerous with the ball in his hands.”
According to Smith, the Wildcat offense is able to move the ball and runs through Spivey because of the attention he requires from safeties, which then opens up other Wildcats like Marcus Freeman and allows Freeman and others to have one-on-one coverages.
“When he’s not out there, we are a different team,” Smith said. “He’s a presence and his confidence in his abilities just continues to grow.”
The hard work Spivey has put in the last couple seasons is paying off and has not gone unnoticed; just Monday Spivey was offered his first collegiate athletic scholarship to play at LaGrange College, according to Spivey’s Twitter. However, if Spivey is able to keep up at the pace he has been going this season, LaGrange won’t be the only team knocking on the door asking for him to bring his talent to its school. Spivey has not committed anywhere at this time.
Spivey is a big play just waiting to happen and his ability to take the top off a defense the way he does is rare at the high school level. Over the past couple weeks Smith has been finding different ways to get Spivey the ball, whether it’s moving him to the slot or even stints on defense, Spivey has been crucial to what Benjamin Russell does on a week-to-week basis.
“You can’t put a value on him,” Smith said. “What he brings not only as a player, but as a leader — he’s very important to us.”
Spivey has been consistently catching touchdowns on a weekly basis and stepped up big for the Wildcats when Carter Smith went down with an injury a couple weeks back.
Smith said Spivey’s versatility is another pro for the Wildcats.
“He really loves the game,” Smith said. “The great thing about him is he’s such a team guy that he is willing to play any position. He gives us a certain level of excitement in each game — such a good kid and teammate.”