Small But Fierce

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.—At roughly five-ten and maybe 145 pounds, West Salem’s Jack Livengood doesn’t scream starting weak-side outside linebacker at the Varsity level.

But consider this, entering their 23-13 win over Grant this past Friday, Livengood had 17 tackles to his two-start credit and was second in the league with that total.  The person in front of him, McNary’s Oregon State University-commit Junior Walling who had 18 tackles entering Week 3.

Livengood’s total went up to 27 following the win to go along with his interception to boot and unlike his older brother Wyatt, a Western Oregon University Lacrosse player and Titan-alum and is loud and vocal, Jack is quiet with the same grinding work ethic as his older brother.

“It’s pretty good because a lot of people underestimate me, so I play the only way I know how to play and it’s good enough,” smiled Jack Livengood.  “It’s kind of took me by surprise at the beginning of the season, but I’ve definitely gotten use to it.  I’m just playing the only way I know how to play; I’ve always been smaller.”

His shiftiness around the edge on blitzes, the focus and awareness that Livengood brings to the field could be credited to his background in Lacrosse where you need to use body mechanics to work around defenders, find the open shot and shoot while being hit from every direction.

Livengood taking a block during a drill Monday afternoon at West Salem High School (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Livengood, who plays middie, an equivalent of a midfielder in soccer, was also the face-off man after every score and start of quarters for a West Salem Lacrosse team that has won seven-straight league titles entering the 2020 season.

“I feel like every sport benefit each other and Lacrosse definitely benefits football because you have that field vision so it helps me a lot with that,” said Livengood.   “In Lacrosse you have to know where everything is at all the time and it really has helped me with Varsity.”

Its weird to think, as the Junior enters his fourth week as a Varsity player this Friday at Sheldon, that this quiet kid has been so efficient on the gridiron as he has been following in the shoes of some great players that came before him in the Titan program.

And with some bumps and bruises in the defense as the season nears its halfway point the next week or two, Livengood knows it’s just another opportunity to get better as West Salem looks to make it three-in-a-row in the win column Friday night.

“I just think everyone has to do their job and we’ll be good.  That’s all we got to do,” said Livengood.

Practice Pictures By Jeremy McDonald

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