Wesson’s line gives speedy Graham places to run
Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2011
WESSON – Give Austin Graham a hole to runthrough and he’s off to the races. Graham rushed the football 20times for 161 yards and three touchdowns in leading Wesson’s Cobrasto a 24-20 triumph over the Amite County Trojans.
Graham (5-9, 155 sr.) has been selected The DAILY LEADER’sOffensive Player of the Week for his stalwart performance.
Wesson head coach Tommy Clopton said Graham had an impressive nightat Amite County in Liberty. “Austin played the best game, he’splayed all year.
Our offensive line did a good job at thepoint of attack. He hit the hole and reaped the benefits.”
Working in Wesson’s offensive line are Derek Lyles at tight end,Cullen Greer at right tackle, Zach Wilson at right guard, AlexBerry at center, Corey McPherson at left guard, Tyler Hall at lefttackle and Ryan Spear at left guard. Fullbacks Peyton Cupit andSteven Jones did a good job blocking, too.
“My offensive line was blocking real good for us,” said Graham. “Wehad a starter (Tyler Hall) out. Ryan (Spear) came in and did a goodjob.”
Graham is the 17-year-old son of Mike and Sandy Graham. Mike playedfootball at Union Academy in Georgetown and his mother playedbasketball at Wesson. He has a younger brother, Peyton, a fifthgrader at Wesson.
Does he receive parental guidance on the gridiron sport?
“My dad brought me up with a football,” answered Graham. “He givesme a lot of advice.”
Amite County dropped down from Class 3A after reclassification bythe Mississippi High School Activities Association last spring. TheTrojans traditionally boast a surplus of speedy backs.
“We knew Amite County would be good,” said Graham. “Both teamsfought to the end.”
The Cobras are off to a 2-4 start this season and are 1-0 in theRegion 6-2A race. They’ve lost two games by a touchdown or less.They lost 22-16 to West Marion two weeks ago.
“We have a real good teambut we have had a tough schedule,” said Graham.
On defense, Graham plays safety.
“My favorite play is 45 Seal,” said Graham. “I run to the 5-hole onthe left side of the line.”
Graham has made an impressive comeback from ACL surgery. Hesuffered a knee injury in the 2010 season opener, just five playsinto the game.
“Before I tore my ACL last year, my best time in the 40 (yard dash)was 4.39,” said Graham. “I’m about 4.4 right now.”
He bench presses 215 pounds in the weight room.
Graham said he likes playing for Coach Clopton and his staff. “Ienjoy playing for Coach Clopton. It’s a lot of fun. The coacheskeep us working hard.”
Graham believes the Cobras are capable of making another stateplayoff appearance. They finished 10-2 last season. “I think these tough games are goingto help us out.”
Region action heats up Friday night when the Cobras host archrivalLoyd Star. Kickoff is 7 p.m. in Co-Lin’s Stone Stadium.
“We are ready for Loyd Star,” said Graham. The Cobras beat LoydStar last year after losing an epic, overtime struggle to theHornets two years ago when both teams were undefeated.
After the football season is completed, Graham said he plans toplay a forward position on Wesson’s soccer team. His favoritecollege team is Florida and his favorite player is former Gatorquarterback Tim Tebow who now plays for the Denver Broncos.