Malachi Outlaw: Natural-born leader's actions speak louder than words

COVINGTON - Alcovy's Malachi Outlaw is a soft-spoken athlete who lets his actions speak for him.

A leader on the football field as well as on the wrestling mat, Outlaw let his talent show the way for the Tigers.

For those reasons, Outlaw is the Citizen's 2007-08 Alcovy High School Athlete of the Year.

While it is not unusual for one of the top athletes to be a team leader, it is usually a trait found in seniors, not juniors.

Outlaw was a wrestling standout for Alcovy this winter in just his third year on the mat. The junior chalked up a 50-3 record, finishing second in the Class AAAA state meet at 160 pounds. He also claimed the Area 8-AAAA championship in his weight class.

During the regular season tournaments, Outlaw won his weight class in the Last Man Standing, the Baldwin Brawl, the Redskin Rumble and the Red Devil Rumble. He finished second at the Brookwood Invitational.

"Malachi is our quiet leader. He leads by his performances on the wrestling mat," Alcovy wrestling coach Mike Mostek said. "Malachi is at his best during competition, and the wrestlers respect him for his accomplishments."

On the gridiron, Outlaw rushed for 923 yards, averaging 5.9 yards on 154 carries for the Tigers in the fall.

"You have to have the one guy that loosens everybody up. He does it in such a positive way," Alcovy football coach Kirk Hoffmann said. "The things that he's done on the field to me are what's phenomenal."

The only thing bigger than Outlaw's talent is his willingness to be a team player. The prime example of Outlaw's all-for-one attitude was when Alcovy played Winder-Barrow.

"He breaks a run from our (2-yard line) to the Winder 1-yard line just before the half. He comes off the field and says 'I took it this far, let someone else take it that last one,'" Hoffmann said. "It's not about who's getting the credit, it's about the team. He's a very team-oriented player."

His top rushing effort as a junior was 200 yards.

Not only did he lead the Tigers in rushing yards and attempts, he also worked the defensive side of the ball, getting some playing time as an outside linebacker.

"He's very coachable. He's out there and you can tell he loves to play, he loves to compete and he really has athletics in the right perspective," Hoffmann said. "I would be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn't like Malachi. He's very respectable and well mannered. He's just everything you want in a high school student-athlete. I say student-athlete because he's a good student and puts everything in perspective. He makes working and coaching a joy."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.