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East Valley High School senior Moses Alexander Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Yakima, Wash. 

Leadership means far more than just directing the defense for East Valley linebacker Moses Alexander.

Sure, the 5-foot-4, 150-pound senior can do that as well as anyone, and he’s always working hard to bring the best out of others. But Alexander’s also looking to gain valuable life experience as he enters his final season with eight of 11 defensive starters returning.

“I think it just relates to building your character and facing adversity and obstacles,” Alexander said. “It’ll just help with the long run and being able to overcome those challenges.”

No one represents East Valley football better than the incoming student body president, who does what he can to be involved in all leadership activities. That includes multiple classes and helping run camps for kids at East Valley during the offseason.

Coach Eric Berg recognized those skills and named Alexander a team captain in his junior season, when he played linebacker and filled in at slot receiver when needed. Berg said Alexander always sets a strong example while showing the way with his words as well to earn the respect of teammates.

“He’s been a leader as long as I’ve known him, all the way back to his Grid Kids days,” Berg said. “He’s been his class president the previous three years, he’s always held those leadership roles and really excelled in those leadership roles.”

He called Alexander the team’s best tackler, despite his small stature. Physicality and intelligence gained from hours of film study give him an edge while playing on the outside, a critical role in East Valley’s defensive schemes.

Alexander often draws the assignment of covering an opponent’s second-best wide receiver, no easy task against some of the CWAC’s explosive spread offenses. He could also catch some passes on offense when giving a breather to first-team all-CWAC North tailback Tyler Stone.

The Red Devils sorely missed Alexander when he couldn’t play in a 50-9 loss to open last season against La Salle, so they’re looking forward to having him for the rematch on Sept. 6. Alexander knows those early games will set the tone for the season before critical league matchups against Ellensburg and Othello to begin October.

“The main key is confidence going into the game,” Alexander said. “We had a lot of team bonding this year, so I feel like that’ll further improve our play this year.”

In the meantime, he’ll be deciding where he wants to go to college — likely Washington, Washington State or San Diego State. Alexander holds a 3.96 GPA and plans to study business law or go into a medical field.

Reach Luke Thompson at luthompson@yakimaherald.com and on Twitter: @luketscribe