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Rising Star August 2012

sg-rs-08-2012-thumb Tyson Harris

Lowndes Middle School
Valdosta, Georgia

by Robert Preston Jr.
photography by Micki K Photography

 


Converted QB wants a second championship for Lowndes Middle

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It’s hard to top an undefeated season. In 2011, the Lowndes Middle Vikings went 7-0 and won the middle school championship. Tyson Harris, an eighth-grader at LMS, was a seventh-grade fullback/safety on that team. It was a memorable year, an experience hard to duplicate. While Harris knows he can’t reclaim the mystique of a first undefeated title run, he can recreate the magic at an entirely new position. This year, he has moved from fullback to quarterback, and a second championship—this time from under center—would be unique in its own right.

At 5’1”and 124 pounds, Harris learned during spring practice that he would be playing quarterback as an eighth-grader. The move was fine with him; quarterback was where he wanted to be all along. It’s not a big stretch for Harris to switch positions. At 14 years old, he’s an excellent athlete with superb football instincts. He is equally at home on both sides of the ball and can play any of the skilled positions. Harris is fast, has great anticipation, and sees the play develop almost in slow motion. On those few occasions when it’s time to drop back and throw, Harris has plenty of arm to get the ball downfield. He is perfect for running the Lowndes wing-T. “I wanted to play quarterback. I’m always working hard to get better. I don’t like to sit around much,” he says.

In 2011, Harris showed he has the big-play ability to lead the offense. He had a season’s worth of big moments during LMS’s 7-0 run to the championship. In the title game with the season on the line, Harris had a huge night on both sides of the ball. He intercepted one pass, caught a 30-yard touchdown pass and made a key tackle at the goal line to keep his opponents off the board.

After last year’s undefeated championship season, many players might feel as though they wouldn’t have anything else to prove. Harris views things differently. As good as last year was, and as well as he played in big games, he knows that he still has a lot to learn about football. Now that he is at a new position, the learning curve is even steeper. Harris also respects the tradition that is Lowndes High football, and he would like to be one of those players responsible for continuing that tradition. “I know I need to be a better player. I want to mature as a player and make my teammates better. When we get to high school, I’d like help Lowndes win another state championship,” he says.

 

Favorites:
•    Food: Steak
•    Restaurant: Zaxby’s
•    Sport to watch on TV: NBA
•    Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
•    Player: Kevin Durant
•    Place to travel: Hawaii
•    Subject: Math
•    Person to meet: Cam Newton
•    Pre-game music: Li’l Wayne

 Sidebar:
Tyson Harris’s sports season doesn’t end after the last football game—It’s just beginning. Harris also plays basketball and baseball for Lowndes Middle, two sports he would like to keep playing when he gets to high school. He’s a point guard/shooting guard who averages around 20 points per game during basketball season. When he laces up his spikes, he can be found in the outfield or, on occasion, on the mound. He usually leads off and uses his speed to cause any one of a number of problems for his opponents. Harris plans to play sports beyond high school, but he isn’t sure which of the three will get him into college. He’s not particular about it. “I just want a college scholarship. I’ll play whichever sport gets me one,” he says.