June 1, 2020

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"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamond In The Rough: Michael Orphey

Photo by KALB

Alexandria, LA is home to one of the most over looked running backs/wide receivers in the state. Michael Orphey, who plays for Alexandria Senior High School, is truly a diamond in the rough. He returned from a severe ACL injury and had one goal on his mind this season: to prove his doubters wrong. Michael shows an amazing level of speed on the field, while also showing his elusiveness as a running back. Along with his sprinters speed, Michael is able to see the field extremely well, and he uses that to his advantage when diagnosing defenses. Michael is also an extremely hard worker, whether he is in the gym lifting or volunteering with any of the numerous organizations that he supports. I had the opportunity to interview this outstanding young player and learn a little more about the high school standout.

Michael is 5’9 and 180 lbs, and although he may seem undersized to some, his accolades say otherwise. During his senior season he had 1,721 all-purpose yards, 1,547 rushing yards, 174 receiving yards, and he tallied 21 touchdowns. Along with his outstanding stats, Michael was named: First Team All-District 2-5A, First Team 5A All State, First Team Central Louisiana, Central Louisiana MVP, and All State Academic. Here is a link to his Hudl: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/4730324/59fa5d480dc18f2284960714

GPA: 3.67

Image result for michael orphey ash high school
Photo by: Hudl

ACT: 25

Bench: 275

Squat: 345

40 time: 4.57


When did you start playing football?

I started playing football because of my dad. He introduced me to the sport at an early age because he had been involved with the sport all of his life. In regards to organized play, I started playing competitively around the 3rd or 4th grade.


What is your main reason for playing football?

My main reason for playing the sport now is to prove my doubters wrong. Once I tore my ACL a lot a people did not believe I would be able to come back after such a severe injury. I put a lot of hard work and dedication into the sport, so when people doubt me and my ability, I use it as motivation so that I can continue to get better. Another reason that I play is because of the bonds I have made with my teammates throughout the years. I know that the bonds I have made while playing football will last a lifetime.


How do you feel the season went?

I personally think I did well this season. I was coming back from an ACL injury, but still managed to perform well on the field. In regards to the team, I felt like injuries and off the field issues really put a halt on our season.


Can you describe your style of play?

I describe myself as a speed back, but I am not one-dimensional. I have the ability to break tackles extremely well, and I have the ability to out speed defenders. One player that I currently look up to is Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints. Alvin has the ability to line up anywhere on the field and still make plays. In regards to being a WR, I really look up to Trent Taylor from Louisiana Tech. One area that I need to improve on are making cuts when running the ball. Sometimes while running, I make too many cuts while avoiding defenders.


What are some of your biggest milestones/accomplishments?

My biggest milestone came in my first rivalry game against Pineville. During the game, which happened in my senior season, I rushed for 510 yards and 6 touchdowns. The second accomplishment that I have is coming back from my ACL injury my junior season. A lot of people doubted my return to the field and I feel as though I proved them wrong by coming back and having a great season.


What are your college dreams?

My main dream is to play college football at an extremely high level. I would prefer to walk-on to either ULM or UL and earn a spot by proving myself to my future coaches. Football is one of the only things that I know, so it’s something that I want to do as long as possible. While in school, I would like to follow in my dad’s footsteps and become a Pharmacist. Depending on which school I choose to attend, I will either major in pre-pharmacy or chemistry/biology.


Michael’s Twitter: @MichaelOrphey