TribHSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team: Landon Alexander, Central Valley

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Saturday, June 26, 2021 | 7:23 PM


The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 22 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.

A TikTok account that pays tribute to the former kid stars of “Friday Night Tykes” posted a video this month about running back Landon Alexander.

The video asked: Where is he now?

Anyone who witnessed Central Valley’s string of mercy-rule victories last fall already knew the answer. The rising senior is one of the top high school rushers in Western Pennsylvania and played a leading role in the Warriors winning WPIAL and PIAA titles.

That all was covered in the video.

The TikTok account with more than 230,000 followers “basically told everything up until this point,” Alexander said. “It was crazy. I was hyped when I’d seen it.”

Alexander enjoys the recognition he has received since the 2016 reality TV show chronicled Beaver County youth football. But he says his story isn’t over.

The 6-foot, 180-pound back is chasing a WPIAL championship three-peat this fall and another state title. Individually, he is thinking about a 2,000-yard rushing season and maybe a school record for career yards.

A year ago, Alexander rushed for 1,445 yards and 17 touchdowns on 132 carries — averaging 10.9 yards per carry.

This year, he is ready to carry it more, if needed.

“That’s why I work so hard now,” Alexander said, “because I know what’s going to have to happen this year. I’m going to have to really step up and be a leader for my team. I’ve got to work, so I can carry the ball 20 or 30 times.”

Central Valley went 12-0 last season and won its first 11 games with a running clock from the mercy rule, so Alexander had fewer than 10 carries in eight of those games. He saved his best work for the playoffs.

In the WPIAL final, Alexander carried 21 times for 221 yards and three touchdowns. In the PIAA final, he had 122 yards on 22 carries and scored twice.

UMass offered him his first Division I scholarship in February. After attending Pitt and West Virginia camps this summer, he is hopeful more offers will arrive this fall once schools see his senior film.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of D-I coaches,” he said. “I feel like people are just waiting for that senior year.”

Among all WPIAL rushers, Alexander finished fifth overall last season in yards, and he is first among returning players. With a focus on improving his breakaway speed, Alexander joined Central Valley’s track team this spring and qualified for states as a 400-meter relay runner.

“I’m going to be able to run faster for longer because I’m so conditioned,” he said. “If I have to break off an 80-yard run, that’s going to feel like nothing.”

So, for folks wondering whatever happened to the fast kid they saw on their TVs, he is still running past would-be tacklers, just bigger ones.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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