Kevin Colley, Staff Writer
SOUTH WEBSTER — According to the Bible, the name “Shiloah” is derived from the waters of a soft-flowing stream. Later known as Siloam, it’s known as the only perennial spring of Jerusalem.
Today, there’s another Shiloah that keeps on giving like that soft-flowing stream — South Webster’s Shiloah Blevins.
He’s as soft-spoken as the running stream in Jerusalem, but his game — both on the court and on the pitch — is deafening.
At every bit of 6-foot-5, Blevins is a springy athlete and has continued to grow on a game-by-game basis. The things he does during in-game situations makes your jaw drop to the floor.
His athletic gifts, however, are only topped by his competitiveness, which is fueled by a love for his community that has never gone away.
“It’s a big part of my life,” Blevins said. “My family’s been around here all of my life. Then, when you add in wearing South Webster on your chest, it equals something that I take great pride in.”
Throughout his career, that’s been evident from the jump.
Blevins has proven himself time and time again as a strong producer. The senior forward — in both basketball and soccer — capped off the latter by leading South Webster’s soccer program to a 51-5-6 mark over the past three seasons, including three consecutive trips to the regional tournament.
“Our soccer group works hard,” Blevins said. “We all said that we wanted to do good things for this team, and I really think that we tried to do that.”
He’s also led the Jeeps to three straight district semifinal appearances on the hardwood. Last season’s run to a district final included a double-digit comeback against Racine Southern in a sectional final — a game where the Jeeps trailed 40-28 at the end of the third quarter before pulling out a 46-44 win.
The success, however, certainly hasn’t come with ease … especially on the basketball side of the spectrum.
Coming into his junior year, Blevins was set to be the focal point of the basketball team after his older brother, Alek, graduated. Instead, foot and shoulder injuries kept him out for parts of both seasons.
“With the injury to my foot [during the 2017-18 season], I’d just be dribbling a basketball. And with my shoulder, I’d shoot with my left hand,” Blevins said. “I just tried to stay in the gym and do as much as I could.”
Not phased by the setbacks, Blevins has never wavered from making sure his career is never forgotten. He’s followed up a sophomore campaign that resulted in third-team all-Southeast District honors with a first-team all-Southeast District junior campaign.
And his senior year will likely have him repeating first-team all-district honors if his 19 points 12 rebounds per game indicate anything.
Then, there’s the 1,000-point plateau — which Blevins has basically accomplished in two-and-a-half seasons worth of games.
Add that to his Southeast District Player of the Year soccer honors, along with back-to-back All-Ohio mentions in the sport, and you can see how Blevins is widely regarded as one of the best athletes to ever come out of, not only South Webster, but Scioto County as a whole.
“It’s all about playing for my community, playing alongside the guys, and for the coaches that I share a bond and brotherhood with,” Blevins said. “It’s great to have them around as supportive figures no matter what we are doing in life.”
His teammates and coaches have helped fuel Blevins’ fire.
Braden Bockway and Tanner Voiers stepped up as secondary scoring options for South Webster this past season, both averaging 16 points per game. Then, there’s Jacob and Gabe Ruth, and Trae Zimmerman, who have overcome heartbreaking setbacks from a family standpoint, to produce key hustle plays while serving as a big portion of the team’s heart and soul.
“They’ve had a lot going on in their lives this year. But at the same time, they care so much about our teams, like we all do,” Blevins said of Zimmerman and the Ruth brothers. “I’m really proud of them. The way they’ve handled those situations is very admirable. But that’s who they are. They’re great guys on and off of the court and the soccer field.”
This winter, Blevins led South Webster to a 13-11 overall record. In six of those games, Blevins didn’t play. But in the end, the Jeeps still won a third straight sectional championship and proved many critics wrong.
“We wanted to prove our point to everyone and show them that we’re not the team that they think we are,” Blevins said. “We’re better than a lot of people think.”
Of course, one would not expect an answer consisting of anything less from the soft-spoken young man who, aesthetically and generally, pleases his community with his loud impact on the playing fields — a loud impact that he ultimately wants to be remembered for.
“I want to be remembered as the guy who would always dunk,” Blevins said, smiling. “I dunked in 13 straight games [leading up to the district semifinal], so that’s part of the legacy that I want to leave.”