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Senior shines, steps up in homecoming game

Senior+Derek+Ramsey+sets+up+on+the+line+of+scrimmage+before+running+an+out+route+against+Temple.
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Senior Derek Ramsey sets up on the line of scrimmage before running an out route against Temple.

Seniors Derek Ramsey and Tyson Turner have been friends since kindergarten. They have many things in common that have worked together to solidify their friendship over the years including their faith, advanced academic classes, and football. In football and their roles as wide receivers, they have supported each other through the years, with this season being no different. Derek stepped up during the homecoming football game to help the Vikings take the win after Tyson suffered a season-ending injury late in the first half.

“I love Tyson,” Derek said. “He’s an exceptional kid and an exceptional player. Tyson gets it done on and off the field, and watching him go down with an injury during the homecoming was hard because we automatically knew it was something serious. Tyson wouldn’t leave a game unless there was a major problem, so I wanted to embrace the position as the next guy up and play in a way that would make him proud.”

Although Derek was under a tremendous amount of pressure, he still brought his A-game to the field.

“Stepping into that wide receiver position was a big weight on my shoulders, not necessarily a bad weight, but a weight nonetheless,” Derek said. “I knew I had to go out there and perform, and it turned into a great night for me.”

Even though Tyson wished he could be out there on the field, he supported the team during the games, and the team supported him through the recovery journey.

“After Tyson went down, he told me that it was my turn,” Derek said. “I had to go out there and perform, and I wanted to do my best.”

Wide receiver coach RJ Sneed said that Derek is a coachable kid who puts in the work and is a great athlete and student.

“Derek has been on varsity the last two years, so I told him it’s time to make plays and step up now,” Sneed said. “I was pretty impressed with Derek’s two touchdowns because he got some distance from some fast people, and it was especially nice since it was homecoming and we had such a big crowd.”

Derek celebrated in the end zone with his teammates after scoring his first touchdown and said that it was an important moment of the game for him.

“After that first touchdown, it felt amazing,” Derek said. “That was my first touchdown all season, and so being able to not only score in a homecoming game but also in the name of somebody that I care about who was having to watch from the sideline meant a lot too.”

Tyson said he is proud of his friend for excelling in everything he does.

“Watching Derek score that first touchdown was crazy,” Tyson said. “I forgot I was hurt for a minute and started jumping. I was so happy, and it was his time. He never drops the ball at practice, so seeing him transfer that to the field was awesome.”

Tyson watched from the sidelines as the offense ran the same play again and the defense failed to adjust, resulting in Derek’s second touchdown of the night.

“After the second touchdown, I was ecstatic,” Tyson said. “It brought my mentality up after my injury and really helped pick the team up. Derek is the type of person that everyone wants to see succeed because he’s always pushing everyone else to succeed.”

After Copperas Cove scored a field goal in overtime to go up by three, senior running back Isaiah Nutall powered his way into the end zone to win the game 46-43.

“When he scored that winning touchdown, it was awesome because there’s always that fear in the back of your mind that you’re afraid it’s all going to be for nothing,” Derek said. “After four quarters, it all comes down to a few plays, which is heart-pounding. They are the kind of games that take years off your life but also games that are the most exciting and memorable.”

Derek tried punting in seventh grade because nobody else wanted to, and since then he has made some big punts and improved a lot in the past year.

“Not a lot of people give credit to the special teams, but they make a big impact on the game,” Derek said. “One bad kickoff or one muffed punt can change the momentum of the game.”

With so many things going on during a game, it can be easy to become distracted or focus on something that happened during the last play.

“My dad always tells me to stay in the here and now,” Derek said. “Whatever may have happened in the last play has to be over and you have to move on, or it will happen again. I just try to focus on what’s next.”

Derek enjoys playing wide receiver because he loves getting a chance with the ball and having a direct impact on the game.

“The linemen never get the credit they deserve,” Derek said. “They don’t get the ball, but they make the quarterback and receivers’ jobs possible. They work behind the scenes to protect us. I give a lot of credit to those big guys that make everything possible. This year they have closed ranks and pulled together, and there has been a big difference in their protection.”

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