By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Liberty linebacker Alex Wilson is often covered in mud from his feet to his waist — and that’s before a practice or a game.
Such is life on the farm.
Wilson’s workmanlike ways on the field were born on his family’s 43-acre farm, La Belle Farm in Ferndale. He has worked regularly on the farm for several years.
“Alex does some serious work over there,” Liberty coach Joe Franke said. “He is no joke and it shows on the field. Alex is just a grinder. Every day, he comes to practice covered and mud, and his hands and arms are black from oil.”
The oil can be attributed to the fact that Wilson, a senior, is a mechanic who learned his craft on the farm. He fixes tractors, trucks and “anything else that is broken.”
“I do the stuff that nobody else wants to do,” added Wilson, who also plays on Liberty’s offensive line. “I don’t mind it. If something is broke, I fix it, and I’m excited about it.”
Few teams are enthused about staring Wilson down when he is lined up at linebacker. He started last season as a defensive lineman, but according to Franke, every team ran away from Wilson. He was moved to linebacker and finished the season with 87 tackles and two sacks.
Wilson already has 13 tackles this season.
“I think opposing coaches respect Alex the most when they are game planning,” Franke said. “He is the real deal. Alex could start at any school in Section 9 and I don’t talk people up like that.”
Wilson attributes his hard-nosed style on the field to his hard-working family and how they raised him on the farm. His hands might not be as dirty next year — Smith plans on attending college and majoring in Finance. However, the farm will always be a part of Smith, and you can be sure that he will lend a hand when he is home on breaks.
“The farm is supported by the entire family,” Wilson said. “It’s like a team. Everyone contributes and I’m proud of that. It might be hard work, but I really don’t mind it.”