When a team has one of the nation's best receivers, he will often draw double coverage. So it is for Kosciusko senior Antonio Harmon, rated as the state's fourth best recruit.
That has allowed senior Azikwe Mays to flourish in the Whippets' offense. Through the first four games, he has 10 receptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns.
“He's a kid who has really taken advantage of the new offense,” said KHS head coach Casey Orr. “He has already eclipsed his numbers from the last couple of years. He has been a great complimentary weapon to Antonio.”
Mays had 16 receptions, with one touchdown, the previous two years combined. He gives credit to the team's first-year coaching staff.
“The new coaching staff has given the team a push,” May said, saying the relationship between the coaches and players is good. “They push us to play harder.”
Like Harmon, Mays goes both ways, playing in the secondary on defense. But the Whippets did not play last week, and will not play this week, while the school is on virtual learning due to the pandemic. The stoppage comes after Kosciusko won two straight to even the record at 2-2.
“It's heartbreaking because we were on a roll,” Mays said.
Kosciusko had to forfeit Region 4-4A games with Choctaw Central and West Lauderdale, imperiling the Whippets' chances to make the playoffs.
“I believe we had a good chance to win those games,” Mays said. “Since we're going to miss those games, we're going to have to step it up.”
As a senior, he feels the need to assume a leadership role. “The team needs someone to look up to, besides Antonio. I'm trying to step up.”
Mays also plays basketball and competes in the high jump and triple jump in track. As a sophomore, he was sixth in both the high jump and triple jump at the North State track meet.
He is undecided about his plans after graduation, but hopes to play football at the next level.