New venture: Murray County soccer player joins football team for final season

Matt Hamilton/Daily Citizen-News

Murray County High School's Alex Leon has only played soccer for the Indians until this season when he joined the football team.

Editor's note: This story is featured in the Daily Citizen-News' weekly high school football Touchdown! section. Grab an issue in papers on Fridays during football season, or stop by our office for a copy.

CHATSWORTH -- Murray County High School football coach Chad Brewer always had Alex Leon on his radar.

Leon, a senior Indian, will enter his fourth year playing soccer for the school when the spring rolls around, but Brewer finally got some good news about him joining the football team before this year began.

"I've had him in weight training class and I really enjoyed being around him for four years," Brewer said. "I was trying to get him out here the whole time, so I'm glad we did. When he finally came out I was very happy."

Leon plays linebacker and kicker, but mostly sees action on special teams. He's the backup to starting kicker Elber Romero, who has been strong for the Indians this season, including nailing a 50-yard field goal earlier in the year.

Brewer said if Romero wasn't around, they would be lucky to have Leon.

"On the soccer team, I mean he's one of the best defenders out there. He's physical and he's fast, so that's why I always wanted him to play for us," Brewer said. "Elber is really good, and Alex is right there. If anything were have ever happened to Elber at any point in time, Alex would have been ready."

For Leon himself, football has been worth the jump.

"I don't really know why I never played. It just never really got my attention but it was my senior year so I thought I might as well," he said. "It's been really interesting and fun.

"The hardest part has probably been just the little things like learning the basics. I had an idea, though, of kind of how everything worked."

The Indians enjoyed the best season yet of Leon's career on the soccer field as a junior, finishing last spring with a record of 11-5-3, 6-2 in Region 6-3A. This year, he said his team hopes to win the region.

Before that, however, Murray County (4-5, 2-5 in Region 6-3A) travels to Haralson County tonight for one last football game.

Leon said his favorite part of playing football has been meeting people he might not have gotten to if he didn't, like sophomore cornerback Gavin Hall.

"I actually would pick on him, and that led me to getting to know him," Leon said with a smile. "Since I'm older, I would just push him around a little. I'm not sure he liked it, but he liked doing it back to me when he got the chance. He was like the only younger guy who would come back at me."

While Brewer said Leon has been known to have a little fun, he's been a great addition to the squad.

"He's just one of those kids that's a very likable guy," he said. "He said he's a jokester, but he's got a mature side -- gets along well with everyone."

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