DUBLIN, Va. (WFXR) — At Pulaski County high school, one football player is hoping to make the most of his senior season. But his goals extend beyond the field to the sport he fell in love with first. But no matter where he’s competing, a tattoo is what guides this athlete.

“I have been playing since I was little. (Football has) always been one of my sports,” senior linebacker Evan Alger said.

Change has been a constant for Alger on the football field. In his time at Pulaski, the linebacker has witnessed two coaching changes while competing through a pandemic.

What he hasn’t seen is a playoff victory. The Cougars completely missing the postseason last fall.

“It’s a little bit disappointing to not make the playoffs. We had the chance to several times,” Alger said. “I think it’s going to light a fire under our butts this year. Get everyone driving and be able to make a run deep into the playoffs.”

But wrestling was Alger’s first love. And the senior has ambitious goals on the mat as well. After placing third in the state as a junior, Alger hopes to make history as the school’s first-ever state wrestling champion.

“Multi sport athletes tend to be good at just about everything they do so,” Alger said. “I think wrestling really helps football with the fact that I’m a lineman. I have much better balance because of wrestling. And I think football really helps wrestling and the fact that football is full of explosive movements. Being explosive on the wrestling mat as well as the strength training that we do with football helps out a lot on the wrestling mat as well.”

No matter where he’s competing, Alger is guided by his faith. And the Lion of Judah tattoo on his arm serves as a reminder.

“Faith is a lot of what my life’s been based on. Growing up in church so, knowing that even if the physical toll that I’m taking on the field is great, I’ve still got back-up,” Alger said.

And having that reminder close by helps Alger navigate the obstacles of being a high school athlete.

“It helps keep you steady. It keeps you from getting too high or too low at any point,” Alger said. “It keeps everything consistent and makes life a little bit easier to know that a higher power has your back.”