Wellman leads Wolves on their way to Winfield
HUNTINGTON -- As goes Elijah Wellman, so go the Spring Valley Timberwolves.
A rocky start has turned into an impressive 6-3 football season, with Wellman leading the turnaround.
Spring Valley is at its best when controlling the line of scrimmage and using a power running game, which is evident with the 6-foot-3, 232 pound senior Wellman leading the team in rushing with 1,308 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He also sets the tone for the Timberwolves defensively. As a linebacker, Wellman leads the team in tackles with 106. Their second-leading tackler is Colby Webb, with 64.
After starting off 0-2 against Cabell Midland and Huntington High -- two of the best Class AAA teams in the state, Spring Valley got a must-win (37-36) over South Charleston in the third week of the season.
But it was on Sept. 14, against then-No. 2 Woodrow Wilson, that the Wolves really broke out.
Wellman had nearly 300 yards rushing in the game, including bursts of 70 and 67 yards for touchdowns. He also returned an interception 53 yards for a score as the Timberwolves routed the Flying Eagles, 41-12.
At the time, Wellman called it a "statement" game for the Timberwolves, proving that "rankings don't matter."
The contest came in the middle of a three-game winning streak for Spring Valley, which ended with a 42-7 defeat Oct. 5 at George Washington.
The loss didn't deflate the team, which is now on another three-game roll after torching Princeton (35-13), lighting up a good Hurricane team on the Redskins' field (55-27) and clubbing hapless Nitro (62-7) in a game when Wellman and other veterans didn't play a single down in the second half.
Their final regular season game comes Friday at Winfield (4-5). The Generals are on a bit of a streak of their own, winning their last two contests against Nitro (35-14) and St. Albans (34-25).
Since the start of the season, Spring Valley has gone from looking in on the playoff picture, to being rated No. 7 this week in Class AAA and looking at the possibility of hosting a playoff game.
Wellman, who has committed to WVU as a fullback, stated before the Woodrow Wilson game that his goal was to win a playoff game at Spring Valley.
The Timberwolves have made the playoffs four times, but have never made it past the first round.