Tommy Elliot had already distinguished himself from most of his middle-school peers.
He was a four-sport athlete, straight-A student, National Junior Honor Society President and recipient of the President’s Education Award as part of the Odyssey Program at Libby Center.
Elliot, who will likely attend North Central as a freshman this fall, recently earned another national honor.
The 14-year-old quarterback was named to the Pop Warner Youth Football’s First-Team Scholastic All-American Team, recognition given to 35 eighth-grade players across the country.
Elliot was the only first-team selection from the Northwest, earning a $1,000 scholarship.
“I didn’t think I had a chance to be a first-team pick, since I’m from a smaller city and a lot of the players are from bigger cities,” Elliot said. ” But I was proud of my athletic accomplishments.”
Over 325,000 players nationally participated in Pop Warner in 2019, putting Elliot in the top 1% academically.
He wasn’t a bad player, either.
Elliot helped lead the Spokane Pop Warner Tigers to the city championship game last fall, playing the majority of his snaps as a quarterback while also rotating as a defensive back and linebacker.
“Best quarterback you could ever have,” said Carmelo, a former teammate.
“Throws the ball so far it reaches space,” said Dyllin, another former teammate.
He hopes to play a skills position this fall at North Central, likely as a member of the Indians’ junior varsity team.
“The kid works so hard,” said his father, Tom Elliot. “He always keeps himself busy. He’s not the sit-around-and-play-video-games kind .”
Tom Elliot was a standout baseball player at Ferris in the 1990s who played briefly at North Idaho College, and his son also has been a solid player on the diamond.
But the coronavirus pandemic canceled Elliot’s youth baseball season this spring, forcing him to stay busy by other athletic means.
With the shutdown of his favorite gym – the Spokane YMCA – Elliot has been lifting weights at home, getting ready for high school football.
“He’s been really focused on building up his body and speed training,” Tom Elliot said.
Elliot has played basketball, football and baseball and has wrestled in middle school, but he has also been involved in music. He plays the viola.
”I like to work hard. I have a pretty busy schedule,” he said. “School is my No. 1 priority.
”All my strength and accomplishments do not come from me but from Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.”
The Seattle Seahawks fan – quarterback Russell Wilson is Elliot’s favorite player in the NFL – is already thinking about his future career.
It doesn’t involve a ball.
”I really want a good science job,” he said.
Collingwood covers EWU athletics and area sports for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-676-6576 .
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