Shiloh Christian quarterback Eli Wisdom remembers the pain of last year’s 4A state title game defeat to Joe T. Robinson.
“Seeing the upperclassman go off the field crying for the very last time, and not cry in a joyful way, but kind of like a sad way like ‘dang, I’m done and we just got our butts kicked’,” Wisdom said.
The mission this year: make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“That’s something I don’t want to deal with, and I want to leave a legacy at Shiloh with a win,” Wisdom said.
Winning is nothing new to Wisdom and the Saints, and they’re doing it again this season.
Shiloh is looking for a third straight trip to Little Rock this year, but for the first time, looking to do it in the 5A.
That move up in competition hasn’t stopped the Saints from going 7-1 so far, including 5-0 in conference play.
At the heart of it all is Wisdom, a third-year starter quarterback that has made great strides since he was a sophomore.
“We really try to strive to be great with our leadership, our decision making, and our accuracy,” Saints head coach Jeff Conaway said. “I really feel he’s done that as well as anyone that’s come through here.”
While Wisdom does make plays with his arm, it’s his ability to be equally dangerous with his legs that burns opposing defenses.
“God gave me legs to run, so if I have a chance to go run, I’m going to run,” Wisdom said.
Wisdom’s dual threat-ability is at a level rarely ever seen at the high school level in this state.
“There are very few who have done what he has done when you think about in a career throwing for 7,000 yards and rushing for 3,000 yards, there’s only been one other guy in the history of Arkansas that has done that,” Conaway said.
Wisdom reached that mark in Friday's win over Farmington. For his career, Wisdom is at 10,386 total yards (7,206 passing + 3,180 rushing).
On the season, his dual-threat numbers stand out as well, with 30 total touchdowns (20 passing, 10 rushing) and over 2700 total yards.
Despite maybe being considered small for the position at 6-foot tall, that hasn’t stopped Wisdom from putting up those big numbers.
“I get a lot of overlooks from colleges or just from people, so I think that’s a motivation for me,” Wisdom said. “Just guys like Kyler Murray or Johnny Manziel, people like that, kind of play that style as a 5-10, 5-11 quarterback. It’s kind of an inspiration that it can be done.”
And in looking to get back to Little Rock as a senior, Wisdom has helped to inspire those on his team as well.
“I think now, he’s doing a very good job of making that contagious on our team and I think others have upped their game because they’ve watched how he’s gone about upping his,” Conaway said.
A focus and dedication to make sure this season, Wisdom's senior season, ends on a different note for the Saints.