By Robert Wilson
Don’t look for Tri-County Academy’s Walker Wasson, who wears No. 10, on the sidelines Thursday night in the Rebels’ MAIS Class 4A state championship game against Greenville St. Joseph at Jackson Academy.
Wasson stays on the field the majority of the time, and last Friday night he was in the end zone more than anyone else.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior wide receiver-defensive end caught five passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, returned a fumble for a 54-yard TD and had five tackles to lead Tri-County to a come-from-behind, 28-21 victory over previously undefeated Adams County Christian School in the semifinals of the MAIS 4A playoffs at Natchez.
For his outstanding performance in this important game, Wasson has been named the Junction Deli Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
Wasson not only starts on offense and defense, but he also plays on the punt team, kickoff team, kickoff return team and the hands team. In other words, Wasson is on the field practically the whole game.
He made many key plays Friday to help Tri-County avenge its only loss of the season. Wasson caught an 8-yard TD pass to give Tri-County a 6-0 lead. He picked up a fumble and ran for his second TD to cut the ACCS lead to 21-20 before halftime. Wasson caught a 43-yard TD pass for the winning score in the third quarter.
“Walker has made big plays all year long,” said Tri-County coach Philip Wasson, Walker’s father. “All five catches were clutch catches Friday night; two touchdown catches and three third down catches to move the sticks. He has been a player that has made big plays on both sides of the ball when we needed him the most.”
Wasson was a big reason why Tri-County limited ACCS to less than 100 total yards and only two first downs in the second half.
Wasson has caught 40 passes for 828 yards, 20.7 yards per catch, and 10 TDs and has 42 tackles and 10 sacks for 12-1 TrI-County this season. His sacks are fourth best among Mississippians in MAIS, according to Maxpreps.
Wasson started at wide receiver (270 receiving yards, two TDs) and half the season at safety and helped Tri-County to a 14-1 record and the 4A state championship last season.
Wasson isn’t the first son of Coach Wasson’s to play for him. BJ, now 22, played tight end-defensive end for Washington and was a part of the Generals’ 2015 state championship team as a freshman when Wasson was coaching at Washington.
“Walker got to watch firsthand on how hard it is to be a coach’s son,” Coach Wasson said. “I’m tough on all my players, but tougher on my kids. Walker knew this and accepted his role on this team. The number one thing we preach here is to control the things you can control – hard work and effort. Walker has been around football his whole life and has seen how I work every day of the week and year on football, so he knows it is important to me and my family. So he must give 100 percent effort every Friday night.”
Coach Wasson’s third son, Chase, is a seventh-grade offensive-defensive lineman at Tri-County. He was a part of the junior high team that finished 8-0 this season.