Wichita Northwest junior running back LJ Phillips helped the Grizzlies close out  their regular season strong Friday, with a dominating 61-40 win over the Hays Indians. Phillips finished the game with two touchdowns and totaled over 140 yards on just ten carries. 

His 77-yard touchdown run before halftime was a huge momentum shift for the Grizzlies, after giving up 19 straight points to the Indians. 

Phillips is a 5-foot-9, 200 pound running back that utilizes his unique balance of size, speed, and strength to run over defenses in the Greater Wichita Football League. Phillips is the second leading rusher in Kansas with 1644 yards on the ground, and averaging over 200 yards per game. 

LJ Phillips
LJ Phillips

“ I would always go to my cousin Orlando’s game at Heights as a kid, and the first moment I held a football and felt the atmosphere of a football game, I knew I would be a football player,” said Phillips.

Phillips is a four-sport athlete and does it all for the Northwest Grizzlies, playing varsity basketball, baseball, and running track. 

After a monstrous 2021 regular season and last year’s second-team all-league campaign, Phillips has begun to gain interest from KSU,Oklahoma State and other D1 schools. He is still undecided about where he will play college football but wants to attend a school that will aid him in growing as a student and player. 

Phillips also excels in the classroom with a 3.0 GPA, and as a participant in the AVID College-Prep Program. He plans to pursue a degree in counseling with the hope of becoming a high school counselor to help the next generation of students with their mental health. 

“Right now, I try to help my friends with life advice, but I’m only a teenager. As I get older and grow, I know I can help more kids express themselves and get to a point where they feel like they can go to someone to talk instead of holding it in. That causes grief and anger, and just bitterness, and I don’t want that to continue,” said Phillips. 

Phillips and the Northwest Grizzlies first playoff game will be on Fri., Nov 5, at 7 p.m. against Salina Central High School, the location is to be announced. 

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