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Cupit has career game for Wesson

The Wesson Cobras are off to a 3-0 start this season, fueled bya hard-hitting defense. One of the hardest hitters is strongsidelinebacker Payton Cupit.

Cupit accounted for 15 tackles, two fumble recoveries and aninterception in last Friday night’s 26-8 win over West Marion. Thatperformance has earned him The DAILY LEADER’s Defensive Player ofthe Week recognition.

Wesson head coach Tommy Clopton praised Cupit’s performance.”Payton had a career game Friday night,” said Clopton. “We reallyneeded that from him.”

Clopton said Cupit is a gritty player who plays hard each snap.”Payton has a real nose for the football. He put himself in theright position. That’s the reason he had so many tackles.”

Cupit said it required a team effort to defeat the Trojans atFoxworth. “West Marion was good. They had a bunch of quick, strongbacks. Our defense played real good.”

Cupit (5-9, 175) fills the role of a reserve fullback on offensebut he said he prefers playing defense. “I like the hitting atlinebacker.”

His favorite defensive play. “I like it when (offenses) run thetoss. I take out the guy who tossed it and the runner.”

He is the 16-year-old son of Malcolm Cupit and Tina Russell. He hasa twin brother, Paxton, who starts at weakside linebacker forWesson. He also has a half-brother, Corey McPherson, who playsdefensive and offensive tackle.

Payton’s dad is a cattle farmer who once starred at linebacker forthe Brookhaven Panthers in the mid 1970s.

Cupit said the Cobras are on track to having a great campaign. “Wehave nine starters back and we have a bunch of secondary who cancome in and take care of business. Ain’t none of us scared to hit.We get along good and we all are friends.

“If our defense plays good, we can win district”

Wesson’s coaching staff received praise from Cupit. “I like playingfor Coach Clopton. Phillip Knight is our defensive coordinator andhe’s my favorite.”

A week earlier, Cupit sustained a pinched nerve in his neck,frequently described as a “stinger.” He was transported byambulance to Kings Daughters Medical Center and spent the night inthe hospital as a safety precaution.

“I got a stinger at Bogue Chitto but I was OK,” Cupit recalled.”(Medical trainers) wanted me to lay there. I’m ready to go. I’mfine.”

There was no stopping Cupit in the win over West Marion.

Wesson hosts Sumrall for homecoming Friday. Cupit plans to make thehomecoming dance after dealing with the Bobcats.