ROXANA - Evan Wells, a senior-to-be running back for Roxana High's Football Team, will be a key contributor this coming season as the Shells look to go farther in the IHSA playoffs.
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Wells is a Midwest Members Credit Union Male Athlete of the Month for the Shells. The Shells went 7-4 this past season and qualified for the Class 3A playoffs, defeating Hillsboro in the first round before falling in the second round to Fairbury Prairie Central. Wells ran for 874 yards and 10 touchdowns, breaking into triple figures four times in the season, and also caught 10 passes for 115 yards and another touchdown in helping the Shells to their successful season.
At a seven-on-seven passing competition recently at Charlie Raich Field in Roxana, Wells felt that things were going well on that night and both he and his teammates were having fun.
"They're going pretty good," Wells said in an interview during the competition. "We're able to expand our offense, keep it outside of tackles, just having a fun time here this summer, having a good time with the team. Good to get out here early in the season to see what we have, what talent we have, and get everybody moving. It's a fun time."
The summer practice season is definitely a fun time of the season and Wells is the kind of player who always has fun playing the game, no matter what time of year it is.
"Yeah," Wells said. "I mean, everyone was fun when we're playing football, but this is fun out here. Nothing serious, just a bunch of competition. Haven't been on the field in a little bit, so good to be out."
Wells felt that everything was going well in the summer season and thought that this will be a big year for the Shells.
"I don't want to be cocky, but I think we've got a pretty good class ahead of us," Wells said. "We've been waiting for this 2024 class coming for a few years. So, got nothing but good things coming."
Wells' expectations for Roxana this coming season are simple, yet very high as well.
"Personally, I've got nothing but state that's on my mind," Wells said. "The only thing I can think of is state. Obviously, we made a playoff run last year. I think we can go a lot farther than that."
Wells is also looking forward to competing in the Mississippi Division of the Cahokia Conference, where the Shells will be entering their third year, along with rivals East Alton-Wood River, and compete against Columbia, Salem, Freeburg and Breese Central in a very good division.
"Oh, yeah. We always have fun in that division," Wells said. "It's a lot more competition in this division, a lot more athletes, different teams, spread the ball out more. It's fun."
The fact that the Shells won a postseason game and hope to go farther provides Wells and his teammates with plenty of motivation going into their 2023 campaign.
"Yep. That's a lot of momentum," Wells said, "but we've got a lot further to go."
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