First United Bank Boys Athlete of the Week: Travon McCaslin, Tulia
Travon McCaslin, Tulia football, junior
On the field: In what was the most monumental outcome of the penultimate week of high school football in the Texas Panhandle, McCaslin was undoubtedly the shooting star who shone brightest in an unexpected setting. Tulia hosted No. 5 Canadian in a key District 3-3A Division II game with playoff implications as an underdog against a team which had 47 straight district wins and three state championships over a nine-year span. The Hornets fell behind by 14 points, but largely because of McCaslin rallied big time, taking over in the second half for a 54-35 victory to shatter Canadian’s air of invincibility. McCaslin accounted for over 500 yards of total offense by himself, completing 13-of-24 passes for 378 yards and five touchdowns and running for 123 yards and a touchdown on only five carries. Because of the win, the Hornets (6-3, 3-2 in district) have their playoff destiny in their hands, as they’ll make the postseason if they beat Spearman in their regular season finale.
Coach Steven Coursey: “He had a really good night. He just kind of created a lot of stuff with his feet. He was able to extend stuff behind the line of scrimmage and then find receivers open downfield. This game’s all about players and him making plays like that makes me feel pretty small as a coach sometimes. I thought it was a huge win not just for him, but for our football team and this community. I’ve been in this business for awhile but for Travon it was kind of just another night for him. He’s been pretty special all year long. He’s had a lot of really, really good performances. Obviously the opponent makes it that much better when you’re in big games like this. We saw last year when we lost him in week two due to injury what it did to us offensively. He’s special. He’s helped a bunch while our offensive line has come together.”
McCaslin: “I feel like it was more of a team thing. Everyone came into the game locked in because we were already the underdogs. We had to come out ready to play but (Canadian) came out kind of hot. We had this little talk with each other and we said ‘Find a way’ because that’s our saying. Everyone just played together. I want to give big credit to my linemen. Everyone did their part. It was our Senior Night and all those dudes it was our last time playing with them on our home field. Before the game I knew we had a big chance. For this year it was my best game. Just our community has gotten a lot better. We’ve kind of grown closer.”
Favorite band or musician: Michael Jackson
Favorite social media platform: Instagram
Favorite athlete: Damian Lillard
Bet you didn’t know: Is playing his first full season of football this fall.
Parents: Lance and Angela McCaslin