Player of the Year Snapshot: Blake Atkins

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Blake Atkins has burst on to the MVL scene this 2012 season.  The running back for the John Glenn Little Muskies has lit up New Concord with his big plays throughout the season. Atkins has been key cog for the Little Muskie resurgence back into the MVL.  After just three wins last season, John Glenn stands with a 5-4 record and the chance to secure a winning season in Week 10.

When the ball finds Atkins’ hands, good things tend to happen.  On just 68 rushing attempts this season, Atkins has already accumulated 728 yards.  That is an average of 10.7 yards a carry.  His big play capabilities do not just come out of the backfield.  Atkins, even though John Glenn relies mostly on the run, is averaging 18.5 yards a catch. 

Little Muskie Head Coach John Kelley knows when he calls Atkins’ number there’s the potential for something special to happen.  “He is our big-play guy,” Kelley said.  “He can go the distance anywhere on the field.  He just has that innate ability to make people miss.”

To put into perspective how important number 29 is for the Little Muskie attack, Atkins has accumulated over 1,076 total yards.  John Glenn has a total of 2,812 as a team.  That is almost 40 percent of the total offense.  He is also first on the team with 14 touchdowns.

Opposing teams defense’s circle Atkins’ number each week.  But being a running back is only one way he makes contributions.  As a punt returner, he helps out the offense by consistently putting the Little Muskies in good field position.  He is averaging 22.3 yards a return, which included two returned punts for touchdowns this year, and a long of 72 yards.

The flash of the big play Atkins has displayed this season is what gets fans excited.  Coach Kelley enjoys the spectacular play, but loves Atkins’ steady presence on the field.  “He is just a team player.  He is very dependable and you know he is going to do his job on every play.”

Doing his job on every play could be a daunting task for a lot of players.  Especially since Atkins plays on both sides of the ball as well as every special teams play.  Coach Kelley sums it up best about the Gridiron Glory Player of the Year finalist.

“He’s very talented, and just as unselfish.  The number of carries are irrelevant to him, as long as it helps our team.”