WHITMIRE — A Whitmire High School football standout will receive statewide recognition for his achievements on the field.
Whitmire’s Alex Ellison — who plays fullback, defensive end and punter — was included in the High School Sports Report Class A Division II All-State Team.
Ellison is a senior and a team captain who Whitmire Coach Charlie Jenkins called “a true leader who helped Whitmire claw out of a 44-game losing streak.” Jenkins said Ellison started and played in 20 of those losses as a freshman and sophomore, but has led the team — by deed and example — to two playoff berths during his junior and senior seasons.
“True fullbacks are uncommon these days with the advent of the spread offense and their one-back sets,” Jenkins said. “For a lot of teams Alex would have been the one back, and he would have gotten a lot more carries. Alex is a throwback to smash-mouth football.”
Jenkins said Ellison was unselfish in his role as the lead blocker on many of the team’s plays.
“Our offense doesn’t go without a tough fullback,” Jenkins said. “If I was a running back, I know I would love to run behind him.”
Ellison is a four-year varsity starter on both offense and defense. In addition to his blocking, Ellison had 91 carries for 485 yards, 5.3 yards per carry and two touchdowns in ten regular-season games. He also had 11 catches for 129 yards and three touchdowns.
His defensive stats during those games include 72 total tackles (46 solo, nine tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks). He also caused three fumbles, recovered three fumbles and had one interception.
To top those off, Ellison served as a punter this year, with 19 punts for 37.2 yards and an average long punt of 54 yards.
“Alex has kicked off, kicked PATs, returned punts and kickoffs during his career,” Jenkins said. “He has thrown touchdown passes, caught touchdown passes, and ran for touchdowns in his career. I’d like to know how many players can say that.”
The All-State players will be honored with a banquet at Seawell’s in Columbia on Sunday, Feb. 21, with the University of South Carolina’s new head coach Will Muschamp as the guest speaker.
Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-762-4128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.