By MARK BURKE

LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER

VILONIA — It’s no secret who is the key cog in the Vilonia offense.

Senior James Sax has been playing a mean tune for the past couple of seasons in leading the Eagle rushing attack. But his athletic skill isn’t limited to football.

Sax scored 47 points in last year’s 5A-West Conference track meet, winning the 100, 200 and also 300 hurdles. He was second in the 300 hurdles as the Meet of Champs.

"James is one of the best athletes in 5A, if not the state," Vilonia coach Jim Stanley said. "He’s really a special athlete to have."

While Sax’s track skills may be impressive, Stanley is more concerned with what can be done on the football field.

"When you think of Vilonia football, you have to start with James Sax," Stanley said. "He’s what makes our offense go."

Sax, who earned all-conference and all-state honors last season, will no doubt be a focal point for opposing defenses. That’s not scaring him away, though.

"I know they’re going to be keying on me," Sax said. "All I can do is just go out there and do my best."

Having other teammates in the backfield helping him out is something Sax is counting on. He has also taken the responsibility of helping make that come to past.

"There’s not too many running backs in our class," Sax said. "I try  to help everybody under me who wants to play running back and try to help them get better."

Still, the running game isn’t too shabby, especially with teamwork.

"All three running backs are doing really well," Sax said. "We work as a team. When I get tired, another guy comes in and runs for me, and I run for him when he gets tired. We just all work together."

Sax, however, will no doubt see the most carries. Opposing defenses aren’t the only ones taking notice.

College scouts will most likely have more attention on Sax. He’s already received some, particularly when his individual accolades are taken into consideration.

Even with a team-first attitude, such attention is fine with Sax.

"It means a lot. I need all the recognition I can get," Sax said with a grin.

There’s also a sense of confidence about the running back. That includes his prediction for the 2011 Eagles.

"I think we’re definitely going to be in the playoffs," Sax said.