Thomas Grayson Confident of Championship Repeat
By MIKE MOGUIN
Midtown Monitor Sports Writer
GROUND ATTACK: Senior Thomas Grayson will highlight Booker T. Washington’s running game this season.
Photo by MIKE MOGUIN for GTR Newspapers
When Booker T. Washington football comes to mind, you think of a defending Class 6AII state champion and versatility of Dax Hill. But Thomas Grayson, 5-10, 180-pound, senior running back, is also a threat for the Hornets.
Grayson rushed for 1,332 yards on 174 carries and scored 18 touchdowns in 2017. His most productive performance came when he finished with 213 yards on 18 handoffs and three TDs in ’s 56-21 win over Putnam City in the playoffs.
Grayson loved the feeling to make such an accomplishment, “but, I’m going for 2,000 this year,” he said.
When it comes to favorites, Grayson looks up to Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints.
“He’s among my favorite running backs. I like his ability to break tackles. He makes plays a lot. I want to be out there and be a playmaker just like he is,” Grayson said.
His favorite team is the Baltimore Ravens.
Grayson had committed to Nebraska back last spring, but decommitted on Aug. 22 to consider other options.
He still holds offers from Tulsa, Iowa State, Arkansas State, Eastern Michigan, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Colorado.
Grayson is also a member of the Booker T. track team. The running help keeps his speed, he said, but football is his main sport.
“I feel like I’m fast. I’m faster than the average person, you can say,” he says. “I don’t put much thought to it. I just go out there and play my game, really.
“Not everybody can be a running back. Not everyone can take a hit,” Grayson says. “But, I’ve been playing it since I was about six years old and I just fell in love with the position.”
He recalls the feeling when won state last year.
“It was a surreal feeling,” Grayson says. “It was my first state championship ever in anything. It was just awesome.
“We just had to play our ball that we’ve been playing all year,” he added. “We went 12-1, so whatever we were doing, we were doing great at it. So, we just kept to it.”
beat district rival Bixby, 28-21, in the state 6AII final. When the Hornets and Spartans met in the regular season, Booker T. delivered a convincing 21-0 win.
“We came in with the same mentality (in both Bixby games),” Grayson says. “But Bixby is a good team and they came to play. So, we had to step up to the challenge and we did.”
Grayson and the rest of the Hornets are confident they will repeat as champions.
“It’s rare to have this much talent on one team. I’m just glad to be a part of it,” he says.
“It is a different team, but we’re still going to play Hornet football. At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to. We’re going to stick to that philosophy,” Grayson says.
Since winning state, the Hornets are aware they now have a target on their back.
“Everyone is going to be gunning for us,” Grayson says. “I feel like that pushes us even harder.”
“I feel like our toughest opponent is going to be ourselves. We’re only going to beat ourselves.”
Booker T. lost its opener in a road battle with North Little Rock (Ark.), 29-28, in Bentonville, Ark. on Aug. 25.
They were to host Bishop Kelley in its home opener on Aug. 31, followed by another out-of-state date with Horn Lake, (La.) on Sept. 8. After a week off, they host Bartlesville (Sept. 21), then play the rematch with Bixby (Sept. 28) on the road.
The latter stretch consists of Shawnee at home (Oct. 5), at Sapulpa (Oct. 12), hosting Muskogee (Oct. 18), at Ponca City (Oct. 26) and a close out of the regular season at home against Sand Springs (Nov. 2).