PHOTO: Fayetteville’s Eli Selvey skies in the air ahead of Valley’s Brandon Harville (7) for one of his two interceptions for the season in this Aug. 31, 2018 game. Selvey was the leading tackler at Oak Hill last season with 88 stops.
By Dave Morrison
OAK HILL – When Eli Selvey showed up for the first day of practice at Fayetteville late in the summer of 2017, he couldn’t have known.
Things sure have changed. In the space of three years he has become one of the few players in the state to have played football in all three classes with transferring. Or, without transferring on his own accord.
After playing some special teams as a freshmen (three tackles, 10 assists) on a team that was following the squad that the previous season had gone 12-1 and advanced to the Class A semifinals, he went on to become a starter the next year and the cornerback had 53 total tackles (18 solo, 35 assists), two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
He also played on the final team in the storied history of Fayetteville’s football.
After the 2018-19 school year, Fayetteville (and Valley) were closed and sent to Oak HIll.
Last season as the Red Devils starting free safety Selvey led the team in tackles with 88 (39/49) with two interceptions, two fumbles and three forced fumbles. He had 4.5 tackles for a loss and his 39 solo tackles also led the squad.
That’s called making a positive mark on your new team.
This year, when the season starts, the Red Devils will be competing in Class AAA, making Selvey a rare person to have played in all three in the space of a career.
“It’s really something you never get to do, play in single-A, double-A and triple-A,” Selvey said. “I know it’s only different in my head, it’s not different on the field. I know I’m still going to be able to do what I have the capability of doing. I never would have expected (to move from A to AA to AAA). I’ve had fun years here and I’m just hoping that we get to play our triple-A (schedule).”
In addition to moving through the classes, Selvey is also celebrating a reuniting of sorts. When coach Jason Blankenship resigned after five years, former Fayetteville coach Dave Moneypenny – Selvey’s coach at Fayetteville – got the job.
“I was very excited,” Selvey said. “I got to play under him for two years and come up in my football career under him. That’s really where I learned all my fundamentals of football. And now my senior year I get to bring it back and I get to play the way I like to play. I feel like he comes back and it’s like we never missed a day.”
Moneypenny acknowledges it is a help to gave guys who are familiar with what he is running.
While he has mainly been a defensive and special teams standout during his career, as a sophomore he was a backup quarterback and wide receiver.
“The schemes that we are running, the plays on offense, defense and special teams, those types of things, I’m bringing with me from where I’ve been in the past,” Moneypenny said. “When you have players that have been in those typs of systems it helps. He can kind of corollate some information to other kids for us.”
Another thing Selvey would like to reprise is going to the playoffs, as he did as a a freshman.
“I don’t expect anything less than 7-3, 8-2,” Selvey said. “I think this team can really get together and become a strong team and work into the playoffs.”
He is also excited about playing new teams like Woodrow WIlson, a former rival.
“That’s another thing that I get to experience,” Selvey said. “Playing many teams during my career.”
Selvey has accounted for 154 tackles, four interceptions, four fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles in his three year high school career.