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story.lead_photo.caption Bud Sullins/Special to the Herald-Leader Siloam Springs senior Spenser Pippin runs with the ball after making a catch last Friday against Russellville.

Spenser Pippin has many jobs for the Siloam Springs football team.

Pippin, a 5-10, 206-pound senior, is a starter on offense and able to play many different positions on that side of the ball.

He used to be a starter on defense and can certainly shift back over to the defensive side if needed.

Pippin also plays a huge role on special teams as the holder on field goals and extra points, the deep snapper on punts and just recently joined the kickoff and kickoff return coverage teams.

"I compare him to a Swiss Army Knife," said Siloam Springs coach Brandon Craig. "He's got a lot of things that he can do for us."

Pippin began the season as a starter at outside linebacker on defense and playing some on offense at an H-Back/tight end position.

An injury forced him to move inside for the Harrison game but it also moved sophomore Camden Collins to the outside linebacker spot in Pippin's place.

Collins wound up flourishing at the linebacker spot so much that the coaches decided to take a look at Pippin seeing more time on offense.

The move has paid off for the Panthers (5-5), who travel to Searcy (8-2) on Friday for the opening round of the Class 6A football playoffs.

Pippin is tied with Gage Weaver for the team lead with 26 receptions. Pippin's 263 receiving yards are third on the team behind Weaver's 364 and Primo Agbehi's 358.

"He'd do anything we asked him to do," Craig said. "As you go through and build a team and try and find a niche for everybody, I think we've found a pretty good spot for him. He's able to stay on the field for 95 to 100 percent of the offense. He rarely comes off and does a lot for us."

Pippin is the last in the line of the Pippin family to play a starring role at Siloam Springs.

Older brother Braden Pippin was a three-year starter for the football team, including the final two seasons at quarterback, earning all-state honors in 2011.

Older sister Mayse Pippin also was a three-year starter for the Lady Panthers basketball team and all-state selection her senior year when she helped lead the Lady Panthers to the 6A state finals.

"They just kind of paved the path for me, especially with Braden in football," Spenser Pippin said. "I always looked up to him."

Dwain Pippin, longtime assistant football coach at Siloam Springs, steers clear of the question of which of his kids was the most athletic.

"Naw, I probably better stay away from that," Dwain Pippin said with a sly grin.

"Yeah you know that won't be good," Spenser Pippin added. "Mayse on the basketball end, if she was a guy she probably could have played football. She was physical on the block."

There was no argument from the coach.

"You know all three of them have been different in their own ways," Dwain Pippin said. "What I admire about all of them, especially Spenser having watched him all these years, is I'm proud they've been so coachable. That means a lot. Most people may not completely understand that, but from a coaching standpoint, having a kid that is open to being coached is a big thing. It really is. That's the message I have heard from our whole staff over the years is that Spenser is very coachable and he'll do whatever and pays attention in practice and tries his best. That's just something that means a lot."

Another thing Dwain Pippin admires about his younger son is that he hasn't tried to be his older siblings.

"The thing that sticks out to me about Spenser is he is his own guy," Dwain Pippin said. "He's his own person. He admires his brother and sister and what they did. He's got his own personality. He always has, and it's unique to him. I never thought he has ever tried to be his brother. He just tried to do what he can do to be a great team player. I admire him, and I've told him this, I admire him for being his own person on the field and off the field."

Dwain Pippin has enjoyed watching his kids come through and play for the Panthers and Spenser Pippin is no different.

"It's exciting when I do get an opportunity to see a few snaps of offense," said Dwain Pippin, who coaches the Panthers' defensive line. "I'm cheering him on, but I'm a coach too. When he misses a block I kinda get on to him like I would anybody else, but I'll back away and let the other coaches do their thing."

Craig said it's not hard to see that Spenser Pippin is a coach's kid.

"He has a passion for the game," Craig said. "Obviously you can see that through his relationship with his father. They enjoy each other and it's special to have your son playing for you and it's just one of those things where he doesn't actually coach him on a day-to-day basis but he's around him. He's gets to see him play every Friday night, so that's special as well."

Sports on 11/07/2018

Print Headline: 'Swiss Army' Spenser

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