Selection surprises Stanley

INSTITUTE – Alex Stanley was born in West Virginia and grew up his whole life in Point Pleasant.

So being able to play in tonight’s West Virginia North-South Football Classic “means a lot” to Stanley, a 6-1, 265-pound offensive and defensive lineman for the hometown Point Pleasant High School Big Blacks.

“Growing up, watching all the seniors come up year to year starting with my freshman year all the way through, it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the North-South game and now I’ve finally got my accomplishment,” said Stanley.

However, he admitted being “really surprised” by getting picked to play for the South in the 7 p.m. state game today at Laidley Field in Charleston.

“Out of all the players that they have in this state, to be one of the few that get chosen to play in this, it’s a huge honor – and something that I’ve really, really looked forward to,” said Stanley.

“So once I found out, I was ecstatic. I’m so excited to play in this game.”

In high school, Stanley played on the offensive line, “where every single year, I played a different position. Center, guard, tackle – I played it all,” he said.

“Defense, though, is more reserved for the seniors on our football team.

“If you’re a senior and you’ve earned that spot, then you get to play defense. So I played defensive tackle some too.”

And in North-South camp at West Virginia State University here, as of Tuesday, Stanley was starting at right guard on offense and at second-team defensive tackle for the South.

Stanley is “actually on the punt team too, so I’m busy down here,” he added.

The South has dominated this game for a while now to the tune of 10 straight wins.

And Stanley said this year’s edition of the South squad “has some great receivers; I’ve seen some guys for us who have some crazy hands.”

Plus, “we have a couple good quarterbacks (in George Washington’s Kaleb Mackey and John Keffer from Man),” said Stanley, “They can put the ball where the ball needs to be; it’s spot on and it gets there fast.”

Defensively in practice, “it’s been hard-hitting,” said Stanley. “I’ve been bruised up since the second day here. But it’s all in good fun; we’re having fun down here.”

Instead of going off to college sometime after the North-South game, Stanley rather is headed to the service, as through the Army ROTC program, he was awarded a national scholarship for three years to WVU. “And I plan to be a military doctor after that,” he said.