Blogs / Features
Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Ironwood's big man is a big obstacle for opponentsAug 29, 2012
By Don Ketchum
For a split second, the sun blinked, like when an airplane flies overhead.
A big guy like Elijah Cox can have that effect on the solar system.
Imagine lining up across from the 6-foot-5, 285-pound Glendale Ironwood senior on the football field. It could be lights out for you.
The Eagles’ offensive left tackle and defensive nose guard will do whatever he can to help his team win, such as its 41-25 victory over Glendale Independence in last week’s season opener. Week 2 commences on Friday night (Aug. 31) with Ironwood facing Phoenix St. Mary’s at Phoenix College.
Does he enjoy the physical nature of the game?
As he prepared to respond, an “Are you kidding me?’’ look crossed his face.
“Of course,’’ he said in a soft-spoken tone. “It allows me to stress out on somebody without getting in trouble.’’
“We want to be the best team, have the best offensive line, in the state,’’ he said.
Ironwood coach Ian Curtis has coached in the Peoria district for 18 years and has coached many players who have gone on to play in college at the Division I level.
“No disrespect to them, but he (Cox) is better,’’ Curtis said.
Cox is young and strong and getting stronger.
“But he doesn’t even have facial hair yet,’’ Curtis said.
Cox does have hair on his head, at least some. He has a Mohawk look at the moment.
With each passing day, more and more colleges are inquiring about Cox. Included are Arizona, which already has looked at Cox’s first game on tape, as well as Arizona State, Wyoming and BYU.
He likes the attention, but knows he must keep working.
“It has been kind of crazy, but it has been exciting, almost overwhelming,’’ he said.
This opportunity almost didn’t happen.
Early in Cox’s time at Ironwood, he was overweight, at 392 pounds.
He said he got tired of being tired, “not being able to keep up (in drills), be at the point where I couldn’t breathe.’’
He tried wrestling for the first time as a junior, and qualified for the state tournament. He is now down to 285 pounds, and will try to wrestle again this winter.
Cox is a team leader, but not in the vocal sense.
“He is a good guy. He leads by example,’’ Curtis said. “He is easy-going, friendly.’’
Until Friday nights come around.
That is when Cox lines up, waits for the snap and thinks about “how I’m going to knock the other guy on his (backside).’’
“You have to have motivation,’’ he said. “You can’t give up on a play. If you don’t have motivation, you might as well just stop.’’
Cox also is proud of the progress he has made in academics. He said he gets straight A’s.
“It’s not easy,’’ he said.
Reading brings him enjoyment.
“I will read anything,’’ he said. “I would rather read a book than play video games,’’ he said.
So the sun blinks and coach Curtis winks. He knows what a good thing he has found in this big fellow.