CAPSHAW — East Limestone football awarded linebacker Crimson Bivens with an award at the end of the season that perfectly sums up his play style.
He won the “headhunter” award for the 2018 season. It went to the player that found the ball and racked up tackles. No one was a better fit for that description than Bivens.
“You release so much anger,” Bivens said. “You wait for the ball to snap. Then, you search for it and when you find it, you go get it. You haul tail and put it on them. I love being called a headhunter.”
His stats showed it, too. The senior had 106 tackles last season as the Indians went 9-3 and made the second round of the playoffs.
Bivens (5-foot-9, 205 pounds) specialized in chasing down opponents, especially on run plays. He was effective covering the pass as well. He had two interceptions for the year. That put him second on the team. Bivens’ job was to shut down the opponent by finding the ball no matter where it was.
He said he modeled the way he plays after former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. That makes sense for a guy like Bivens. Foster was a tackling machine known for blowing up opposing defenses with big hits.
“He’s as good of a player as there is in north Alabama,” East Limestone coach Jeff Pugh said. “He’s going to make the play.”
With a name like Crimson, he had to look up to an Alabama player. His dad, Troy, is a big Alabama fan. The rest of the family is divided. Bivens, like his dad, roots for the Crimson Tide.
His mom, LeighAnn, is an Auburn fan. Still, his parents went with Crimson as his first name. It was between Crimson and Cameron. Troy chose Crimson not because he wanted the world to know about his Alabama fandom, but really because he just liked the color.
“Half of us are Auburn fans, and it’s just me and my dad who like Alabama,” Bivens said. “Since I was named that, everyone asks me if I’m an Alabama fan. They then ask me what would happen if I went to Auburn. I guess I would be named Aubie or something.”
Troy played running back for Clements when he was in high school. He graduated from Clements High in 1991. Bivens actually started at his dad’s position before moving to linebacker later in his career.
He also began his career playing for his dad’s alma mater. He started for Clements for three seasons and played four years of varsity. He even had 100 tackles as a freshman.
After his sophomore season, Bivens decided to transfer to East Limestone to be a part of a program that was more suited for his personality.
Bivens is a no-complaints, blue-collar linebacker. Not a lot of programs embrace that style as much as Pugh’s Indians do.
“This is a smash-mouth football team,” Bivens said. “I absolutely love that. We’re not afraid to hit anybody. If you don’t do something here, there’s going to be consequences.”
Bivens knew his place last season, however. East Limestone had a strong senior class that included Andrew Parris, Ashton Lockett, Josh Atkinson, Colby Gray and CJ Yarbrough. He did his job and spoke up when he needed to.
This year will be different. Bivens is one of 10 seniors. He has to be vocal if East Limestone wants to replicate its success from last season. The Indians open up the season with rival West Limestone on Aug. 30.
“He’s definitely the leader of the defense this year,” Pugh said. “We expect a lot out of him. He’s a guy who is stronger and thinner. He loves to play and loves to win.”