Lincoln quarterback enjoying his senior season

Alex Stewart beat Whitney with last-minute TD pass
By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Alex Stewart is enjoying every minute of his senior football season at Lincoln High. The starting quarterback, 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, and his Lincoln teammates have started the season 5-0 after going 1-9 a year ago. “This year we are like a family, we are a band of brothers,” said Stewart, who got no starts while backing up Tyler Freymond last season. “The camaraderie is so much stronger, (everyone) is willing to go out there and die on the field. I’d do anything for my linemen, the receivers would do anything for the defensive backs and it’s like that.” Lincoln coach Ken Lowe has been impressed by the play of his quarterback. “He has been really accurate and is definitely exceeding expectations,” Lowe said. “He’s worked at SST (Sports Specific Training in Rocklin) the last two years, he had a quarterback coach over the summer and he’s definitely one of those kids - he works so hard that he got himself a starting position.” Stewart’s biggest moment came in a 21-14 victory over rival Whitney of Rocklin on Oct. 2. Stewart threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to senior Moses Stanley to break a 14-14 tie with just 34 seconds left in the game. Lincoln, playing at home, held on to win 21-14. Whitney went undefeated last season (13-0) while winning the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division IV championship. The Wildcats had beaten Lincoln bad in the previous two seasons, 33-0 in 2007 and 49-13 in 2008. “We had added that play earlier in the week and it worked well on the practice field and I didn’t think anything of it,” said Stewart of the game-winning touchdown. “And the call comes in and I said ‘We got this.’ I pump faked it and they bit just like in practice and (Stanley) made an incredible play. The line’s blocking was great and the running back faked perfectly. “And it was what I dreamed of as a little kid – the quarterback leading the team against a big rival – every kids’ dream.” Stewart has completed 29-of-57 passes for 603 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions so far. He has also rushed 11 times for 50 yards and two touchdowns. “When we have needed him to throw he has been very accurate,” Lowe said. “He’s definitely taken on more of (a leadership role) this year and probably more with encouragement and action and how hard he works than by what he says.” Stewart has a game-day routine that he sticks to when the Zebras are at home. “I go through school like normal, come home and lay in bed and watch some TV and drink Gatorade,” Stewart said. “And before I leave I watch (MTV reality football show) ‘Two-A-Days’ and then I go to school and I get my seat in the bleachers (with his teammates). And I listen to pump-up music. And then I watch my highlights video on my I-pod to see what I’ve been through and all the hard work and everything I’ve put in. I’ve come this far.” Stewart’s pump-up music includes the cuts “Indestructible” by Disturbed and “Onward to Victory” by Icepick. Stewart has been playing quarterback for nine years and he hopes to continue to do it at the college level next year. He says he has received interest from Humboldt State, Trinity University in Texas, the University of Colorado and the University of Montana Western. But his top choice is BYU. “I’ve had a little communication (with BYU) and if they offer (a scholarship) I will go,” Stewart said. “But I just want to go where I can continue my career and pretty much get paid to do it (by earning a scholarship).” There are a few star quarterbacks, past and present, that Stewart enjoys watching. And learning from. “Growing up I always really liked John Elway and Joe Montana. My dad’s a 49er fan so I was born into Montana,” Stewart said. “Nowadays, it’s Tom Brady and (University of Texas quarterback) Colt McCoy. “Just the poise and the calmness in the game and how they excel but never get flustered. They are just good at what they do and they are excited but it’s just business and they go out and do it.” Stewart hopes he and his teammates can handle their business on Friday night against visiting El Dorado – and improve to 6-0.