Friday, Oct. 26 will be a special night for the Hembree family. Junior Alex Hembree and his cousins senior Eli and freshman Micah Hembree, who attend A.C. Reynolds, have always been close and loved the game of football. Little did Alex and Eli know, they would both be top ten in Western North Carolina for most tackles in a season, according to schools who post stats on MaxPreps, and they would get the chance to face off on Oct. 26 at Johnson Field.
Alex, with a total of 91 tackles so far this season, is ranked tenth in Western North Carolina. However, Eli has a total of 117 tackles and is ranked fourth in the state. Micah has also recorded 24 tackles.
“It feels absolutely great to have two Hembrees ranked up there in the top ten,” Alex said. “People are starting to know the name Hembree and for me and my cousins to represent that name is incredible.”
West Henderson (4-5) will play A.C. Reynolds (8-1) on Friday, Oct.26, which will give the two cousins a chance to compete head-to-head.
“Knowing that my cousins are going to be playing us, at our house, is going to push me to play harder so I can try and catch up to Eli,” Alex said. “My cousins and I have always been competitive and I want to push myself to pass them.”
With two more games left in the season, Alex is still behind Eli by 26 tackles. He said he will do whatever it takes to beat him.
“I know it will be hard to beat him this year, but I’m going to do anything I can to pass him, and if I can’t this year, I’m going to work harder than ever in the offseason so that next year I can beat what he gets this season,” Alex said.
Alex’s coaches have been impressed with his drive to succeed this year.
“Alex is a hard-working kid who likes contact,” Daniel Holbert, linebackers coach, said. “He has improved a lot at a new position in a year’s time.”
Alex is often reminded by his cousin that he is behind him, but Alex does not seem to sweat it. He said his main goal is to focus on the game and just get more and more tackles.
“Eli will tease me from time to time but that’s just what we do,” Alex said. “I don’t feel any pressure to pass him tomorrow because my family knows I’ll focus on the game no matter what. I just want to pass him because I wanna be better than him.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 26.
By: Stone Hogan, Feature Writer