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Valley News Dispatch Q&A: Apollo-Ridge's Lonny Wells Jr.

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Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Apollo Ridge's Lonny Wells Jr. (left) breaks tackles and runs away from Springdale defenders during a game Friday night, Oct. 4, 2013, at Springdale Veterans Memorial Field.
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Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 10:27 p.m.

When his senior season arrived, Apollo-Ridge running back/linebacker/kicker Lonny Wells Jr., a four-year starter, could have expected and maybe even demanded that more attention and action than ever come his way.

But Wells Jr. understands the concepts of sacrifice, modesty and leadership better than most.

Well before the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder became one reason for the success of the Vikings (4-2, 3-2), his father, Marine Sgt. Lonny Wells Sr., served eight years in the military. Wells Sr. was killed Nov. 9, 2004, in combat in Fallujah, Iraq.

The son brings a balance of speed and strength to the field, but his willingness to share the spotlight with Apollo-Ridge's numerous standout underclassmen rather than clash over carries is just as vital.

In last week's 42-0 win over Springdale, Wells had his best showing of the season, as he gained 67 yards and scored twice on three carries. He added four tackles in the shutout.

For the season, Wells has 12 rushes for 100 yards — he is one of eight Apollo-Ridge players with at least 100 yards of offense. He also has 18 tackles.

In his career, he has 95 carries for 434 yards and four touchdowns, and 101 tackles. He also handles kicking duties.

Q: Do you have to swallow your pride a bit to play in this offense?

A: It's fine. I'm a team player. It doesn't matter to me. If we win, that's all that matters at the end of the night.

Q: How would you compare your running style to the team's other ball carriers?

A: When I run the ball, I'm not all finesse and stuff. I like downhill running. Jonah (Casella) and Duane (Brown) are more finesse kind of guys.

Q: What does it mean to be named after your dad, considering what he did?

A: It means a lot. Just to play for him every night, it means a lot to me.

Q: Do you have a tattoo or some other tribute to him?

A: I have a tattoo on my back. It's his last name — our last name.

Q: Does having his name put extra pressure on you?

A: Not really. I know what I can do, and I want to be like him. But I also want to be better. I want to move forward.

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