The Liberty County football team is hot, riding a nine game win streak into their first State Semi-Final appearance this Friday in over a decade. The Bulldogs are led by several impact players, including Alex Marlowe, who's got his sights set on making this a season to remember. Last season, a talented Liberty County Bulldog team fell in the Regional Semi-Finals to Holmes County- a loss that's stuck with Alex until today.
"I felt like I disappointed my team last year, I didn't really show up the second half of the game last year," said Alex. "I didn't make any plays. I didn't do anything really."
That fear of not making any plays is long gone- as Alex has made a name for himself as the go to guy for the Dawgs. He scored six touchdowns in a win over Graceville earlier this season, and rushed for 222 yards in Liberty's Regional Semi-Final win over Bozeman. But Alex just doesn't pound the ground. He also lines up at receiver, and sees time as a safety and cornerback on defense- and oh yeah, last year, Alex was primarily a quarterback.
"When I told him we might have a quarterback transferring in, I asked him what he thought about that," said head coach Grant Grantham. "Alex said, ‘Coach I'd like to lead the team, but I'll do whatever I need to do.'"
"I'll do anything," laughs Alex. "Hold, kick, snap. I've even played on the line with punts before."
That go-getter attitude has carried over to the classroom for Alex, as he carries a 3.2 GPA.
"I get to school before almost anybody else," he says. "I sit down and I really go over all my work, all my classes and make sure I have everything done. If I don't have everything done, I go see my teachers about it."
"He has a lot of internal drive and that's the main thing about the kid that's special," says Coach Grantham. "He's a better kid then he is a football player- and that's saying a lot."
It's that work ethic that's gotten Alex some attention at the next level- and while no one's bitten yet, it's only just a matter of time.
"Anybody that's a mid-major or smaller that doesn't pull the trigger on him is missing a great player," says Coach Grantham. "He can play anywhere at that level. I'll go to bat for him. He can do that."
"Everybody in this town they know me, they look up to me," says Alex. "I just want them to remember me as somebody who did something for this town, somebody who put our city on the map."
Getting to the State Semi-Finals for the first time since 1998 is a pretty good start to doing just that. Alex said he's not certain what he wants to study in college, either athletic training or physical therapy, but said he'd also like to try his hand at becoming a chef.
Liberty plays Northview Bratt Friday in Bristol at 6:30/CT, with the winner advancing to the Class 1A State Championship Game.