MVG’s Spurlock enjoying big senior season
Ethan Spurlock entered his senior season as one of Southwest Oklahoma's most productive players over a four-year period. In three years playing on offense, he's on pace to average 2,000 rushing yards per season. A four-year starter on defense, he had 505 tackles and 14 forced fumbles at linebacker through last week.
The Tigers have always leaned on Spurlock. This year, with a roster depleted by injuries and one key move-out, they expected him to do even more.
"In effect, we're starting four or five guys who have freshman-level experience," said Mountain View coach Brad Spurlock, Ethan's dad. "We've needed him to be our leader."
Ethan has been up to the task. He has accounted for 81 percent of Mountain View's rushing yards (1,283 of 1,598 total). He made 80 total tackles the first three games and has 144 through seven.
Physically, he's feeling the effects.
"I like it. It gives me a challenge... But Saturdays after the games, I get tired. It's hard to walk. I usually sit around and drink some milk, try to watch the college football games sit around the house. I try to relax," Ethan said.
The Tigers (3-4, 1-3) are in a must-win situation for their last three games if they want to reach the playoffs, beginning with tonight's game at second-place Tipton. Spurlock's number will be called, as usual, over and over. It hasn't always been easy, but that's OK, his dad says.
"I think it's been a good experience for him," Brad said. "I think he's grown. He's had to take some adversity, take on a leadership role and do it in a right way. He was more vocal last year when we had a lot of seniors, but this year (with inexperienced players) he's been more of a pat-on-the-back type leader."
Ethan acts out the type of leadership he saw first-hand while growing up, when he turned sidelines into playgrounds. The Spurlocks have always been a football family. Brad spent 12 years at Temple, eight as head coach, and led the school to five state semifinals and one state runner-up finish.
"I always thought for sure I'd graduate from Temple," Ethan said.
But before his freshman year the Spurlocks left Cotton County for Seiling, in northwest Oklahoma, where Brad received the head coaching job. Seiling was in Class B, larger than Temple. Its district was regarded as the best in eight-man football, including powers Laverne and Pond Creek-Hunter.
"That move, in particular, it made me the athlete I am. There were so many more athletes. Having to go up there and work harder to get to play, it made me better in every sport," said Ethan, who earned a starting job after Week 2 that year.
Brad got a job at Mountain View the following season. Ethan and his older brother Alex, who shined as an offensive and defensive lineman his junior and senior seasons, contributed immediately. The Tigers, after just twice making the playoffs the past 19 years, made two straight appearances.
Whether the Tigers make it a third or not, Ethan's eyes will stay focused on football. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds he has been contacted by several small colleges and one lower-tier Division I school, North Texas. Oklahoma State has reached out with interest of using him as a walk-on.
"I'm trying to go somewhere," he said. "If I've got the opportunity, I'm gonna take it."