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Football review
Story Last modified at 3:34 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wolves foursome forms a tight pack
Senior leaders are a close-knit bunch both on and off the football field

BY MIKE NESPER
Alaska Star

photo:FootBall

Danton Evilsizer breaks into the clear against Service during the 2010 season. Evilsizer, Kelechi Madubuko, O.J. Hall and Malcolm Bell went so far as to get their lockers next to each other last year in an effort to foster team bonding among the four key seniors.
STAR PHOTO by matt tunseth
photo:FootBall

Eagle River lineman O.J. Hall does battle against a Service player during a game last season. Hall is one of four seniors on this year's team whose leadership is being counted on by both coach Kenny Ray and the Wolves' younger players.
STAR PHOTO by matt tunseth

As team leaders for Eagle River football, O.J. Hall, Malcolm Bell, Danton Evilsizer and Kelechi Madubuko serve as role models and motivators for the rest of the squad. The four seniors also stick together off the field. And that closeness benefits the rest of the Wolves.

"We're all friends," Hall said. "We hang out in school and out of school."

Through connections with an administrator, Evilsizer arranged it so the four friends' lockers were side by side during last school year.

"We're real close," Evilsizer said. "It helps with communication. It's better to know what your teammates are thinking, especially when you think alike."

"It's like a brotherhood," Hall added. "You just know how they do things."

The foursome has a combined 11 varsity seasons of experience coming into this year.

"We've all played together from junior varsity up to varsity," Bell said. "We know how each other play. It's good leadership."

Just one of the four can act as a catalyst for the entire team. When one is seen working hard, it propels the other leaders to do the same. Then, the rest of the team follows, Madubuko said.

"It really gets everyone pumped up," he said.

Madubuko's brother, Jachi, a junior, agreed.

"They're really the ones that bring all the energy," he said.

Whether joking around in the locker room or getting focused during serious situations, the four leaders are always the most vocal players on the squad, Jachi Madubuko said.

Each leader has a positive attitude, sophomore Peter Kott said.

"They lead our team fantastically," he said. "They get the team fired up."

Along with being great football players, Hall, Bell, Evilsizer and Madubuko push the team through difficult times, Kott said.



This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.