Sports

Many happy returns: Coupeville dials Pelroy for long distance

Mitch Pelroy - John Fisken / Whidbey News-Times
Mitch Pelroy
— image credit: John Fisken / Whidbey News-Times

Coupeville senior football player Mitch Pelroy had such a knack for scoring from long distance, coach Jay Silver could have numbered each play designed for the speedy senior 1-800.

The season is over for the Wolves and the highlights the past two years have been sparse, but the 5-8, 160-pound Pelroy lit up the stat sheet with 15 scoring plays of 30-or-more yards. Most teams go years without a kickoff return for a touchdown, but Pelroy returned five in two seasons.

Because of Pelroy’s talent,  Silver was only half kidding when he said, “Kickoff return is our best offensive play.”

Pelroy most likely would have added to his return-touchdown total, but most teams stopped kicking to him.

Speed is Pelroy’s greatest weapon -- he is one of the conference’s top sprinters in track -- but his talent for reaching the end zone goes beyond quickness.

He said, “You have to be confident and not be afraid; you have to believe that the (blocking) wall will be there.”

He added, “It’s less thinking and more just going.”

“It’s also a lot easier,” he said, “when you have blockers like Dalton (Engle) murdering the other team up front.”

Pelroy is more than a kick-return artist.

He had receiving touchdowns of 42, 43, 62, 64 and 77 yards; and TD runs of 41 and 45 yards.

His ability to strike from long distance also carried over to the defensive side of the ball with scoring interception returns of 38 and 40 yards.

He said his personal success is not important, nor are the lack of wins: “It’s not about the record. I love everyone here. We work together, sweat together. The record is what it is. We work hard and care for each other. It’s about team, not about wins.”

Silver said Pelroy is an “amazing kid.”

He added, “He is a very hard worker and confident in his abilities. He played all year with an injured shoulder and ankle and never complained.”

“He’s all about the team,” Silver said. “He wants the ball in his hands, but doesn’t complain when it isn’t.”

Pelroy, who is an honor student, would like to play college football and has drawn interest from several schools, one as far away as Massachusetts.

Going across the country to play shouldn’t be a problem -- he is used to traveling a long distance.

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