Higher purpose

Junior wide receiver sets goals based on values of God, family

A football flies through the air. The receiver makes the catch. The crowd cheers. But winning the game is just a footnote for junior Tyson Turner as he knows that his grandfather is watching him play for the first time since being bedridden for the last few years. 

On the Sunday before the Friday night showdown with the Brenham Cubs, Tyson’s grandfather passed away following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

“After my grandfather passed away, I wanted to dedicate the next game to him,” Tyson said. “Running out of the tunnel onto the field before the game, I just had my grandfather in my mind. It was my favorite moment because I was like ‘this is what I want to do and then I showed out that game and I dedicated it all to him.”

Tyson gives credit to his family and God and says he led him through each step of his life.

“God is first in everything I do,” Tyson said  “I try to be the Salt and Light of the earth and share the gospel with everybody. Those are really important things to me and I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without God or my family.”

Tyson’s mom Kathy Allen said that she has been amazed by his ability to navigate life with integrity and humility in all things that he does. 

“I think that many people struggle to find purpose and it’s because they aren’t grounded in the simple things that matter which are faith and family,” Allen said.  “And very young Tyson realized that if you have those two things in your life, everything else just falls into place.

Tyson’s faith and character on the field are mirrored in his efforts within the community and with local kids. He believes that anyone can do anything they put their minds to, even if others doubt them.

“I would tell kids to stick with their dreams,” Tyson said. “There’s going to be a lot of people who are not going to support their dreams and tell them to be realistic, but being realistic only sets a limit on what you are capable of accomplishing. If you put in the work, listen to yourself, and trust God, everything will work out.”

Giving back to the community is important to Tyson who says that it not only helps those locally, but also inspires him by reminding him that he has a purpose.

“Working in the community is really fun,” Tyson said. “It’s a great way to give back and let the community know that we care about the younger kids. The kids benefit by seeing us as role models and it benefits us too because we are able to see the community support us and how important it is to make the right choices because those kids are watching us.”

The community aspect of football is important to Tyson, who believes that it is a key to everyone’s success, as it is what binds everyone together.

  “Team morale is very important because we all bond,” Tyson said. “We practice together. If one person’s not pulling their weight, it’s going to take everybody down with them, so it’s really important that we all have the same goals in mind. If we work at it, and we stay together as a team, then we can go far.”

Wide receiver coach Shaun Johnson recognizes that Tyson’s leadership shows itself in every situation.

“Tyson is not a guy that likes to bring attention to himself,” Johnson said. “His performance during practices and how he plays in the game is the model in which he leads by.”

Johnson believes that with Tyson’s leadership, and his overall character, he will be a great asset to any team in his future career. 

“Tyson is a guy that will be a major addition to the culture in any locker room,” Johnson said. “He’s someone that can be trusted to always do the right thing, in addition to his supreme talent.”

Johnson is not the only one who sees Tyson’s leadership. On the field, Quarterback Malcolm Gooden recognizes Tyson’s skills and ability to lead by example. 

“Tyson thinks more of the team than of himself,” Malcom said. “He’s a great wide receiver and has hands made of glue; anything I throw he will go up and catch.”

Allen said it is partially because of Tyson’s selfless attitude that she believes he will be successful in whichever path he chooses for himself in the future as he finds his motivation from within and has drive and sets goals.

“Tyson has always been a young man who challenges himself internally beyond any expectation of what other people place on him,” Allen said. “I think that he has been able to go farther in what he does because he’s not ever trying to prove anything to everybody else, he’s just trying to prove it to himself.”

The work ethic Tyson continues to demonstrate has helped him gain the attention of multiple college scouts across America including Texas Tech, who has already made him an offer. As Tyson has gained recognition from college scouts, his family has shown excitement and support, especially his mother.

“Everyone in my family has been extremely supportive,” Tyson said. “My mom’s been the biggest supporter in my life. As a single mother who worked two jobs and helps me become the person I am, I give it all to her.”

Tyson’s mother has always enjoyed watching him play sports, which he started doing at 18 months old, but she said watching him that Friday night will always be a memory she cherishes.

“The Friday after my dad passed away, Tyson said he was playing that game for his PawPaw,” Allen said. “He had the game of a lifetime and pointed up towards heaven after each of his four touchdowns. After he recovered the onside kick and returned it for a touchdown, he walked to the sidelines looking up. I knew he was looking up with pure pride as he had played his heart out for his PawPaw. I am thankful Tyson knows where his PawPaw is, forever watching him from heaven, cheering him on.”