Veteran Sacred Heart Trojan running back Alex McElwee fought his way back from an injury prone junior season to produce some big numbers his senior year. The two-way player for the Trojans rushed for 518 yards on 52 carries and scored 16 times. (Gazette photo by Tracey Jagneaux)
McElwee leaves with the knowledge that his career has made SHS better
VILLE PLATTE -- Like most red-blooded American boys, Alex McElwee has always had the passion for the game of football.
And for those that know the Evangeline Parish Offensive Most Valuable Player for 2020 the most, they will tell you he got the most out of the years he could don the pads.
McElwee’s football “career” actually came to life when he was just old enough to understand what the game was about. For three years, the senior running back, got to play Flea/Fly football here in Ville Platte and to him it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
“I was just at that age to where I could play Flea/Fly football for three years,” stated McElwee. “I scored my first touchdown in Flea/Fly and from there I knew I wanted to play as much football as I could. To me it was the best thing in the world. I had so much fun getting to play.”
As young kids growing up in Ville Platte know, there is no program designed for playing football after Flea/Fly, so McElwee had to wait to play the sport again until he reached the fifth grade. Once he reached middle school age, McElwee put the pads on once again and continued his career into high school.
When McElwee reached his freshman year, the veteran Trojan found out that football is a little more serious than it had been in junior high.
“As a freshman, having to compete against guys that are older, faster and more athletic than you, made me realize how important it was to get better at the game,” said McElwee. “The game was a lot quicker, there wasn’t a coach on the field giving the plays, everything came in from the sideline. But, it was still fun to play. My dad was the coach, so that was pretty cool.”
McElwee showed enough talent to play and contribute his first year playing varsity football. The following season, the talented two-way player got the opportunity to produce on a higher level.
A main reason for his success his first two years was the leadership of the upperclassmen.
“The seniors that first year I played really showed me how it should be done and really gave me a road map on how to be a better player,” McElwee said.
However, during his junior season, McElwee suffered a hip injury that limited his playing time for most of the season. Still, the wounded warrior tried his hardest to carry as much of the share of the load as he could.
“Last year was very tough for me,” commented McElwee. “I kept trying to play through the injury and it just wasn’t working. I ended up missing three games. I knew if I was healthy enough, I could have made a difference. It was frustrating.”
Through desire not to let that happen again his senior year, McElwee got back in the weight room with a vengeance and made himself stronger and injury proof. This past year, a healthy McElwee showed his skill set off in a big way, garnering first team all-district honors not only by running the ball, but also by becoming a pass catcher out of the backfield.
“I loved the new offense we ran this year,” said McElwee. “It gave me a chance to get in open space and use my abilities. I had to learn how to become a receiver, but it was fun getting that chance.”
Now that his career is over, McElwee looks back with a myriad of feelings, one of which is pride.
“I am very satisfied with the career I have had here at Sacred Heart,” stated McElwee. “I definitely had some great years here and it was a really fun time. I will definitely remember it. I think this senior class left this program better than we when we got here.”