Sophomore QB Keyes has thrown for 8,025 yards, 83 TDs in 2 seasons
Taylorsville sophomore quarterback Ty Keyes was the winner of the Class 2A Mr. Football Award selected by the Mississippi High School Activities Association. One player from each of the MHSAA’s six classifications was selected by the statewide association.
The winners will be recognized at a banquet in Hattiesburg on Thursday, Nov. 29.
Keyes, a 16-year-old sophomore quarterback who is described as a quiet, humble, focused young man, has spoken loudly with his statistics all season.
Known as a composed leader on and off the field, he also plays basketball and baseball for the Tartars. Last season, he led the Tartars to a 2A state football championship and they are on a mission to defend that title this season.
His statistics are eye-popping. In two seasons (not counting Friday night’s playoff game against Collins), he has thrown for 8,025 yards, 83 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He has completed 67 percent of his passes and also has run for 16 touchdowns in two years.
Tartar Snaps had a Q-and-A session with head coach Mitch Evans and Keyes before they headed out to a practice for Round 2 of the playoffs earlier this month.
Q: All of the other five Mr. Football selections are seniors. How does it feel to be getting all of this recognition as a sophomore?
A: I’m glad to be a part of it with them and I’m going to remain humble about it.
Q: What does this Mr. Football award mean to you?
A: It means a lot to me, my family and my team.
Q: What goals do you have for your last two years at THS?
A: To win as many rings as I can at Taylorsville!
Q: How have those around you helped to grow and progress as a player and as a person?
A: My coaches and teammates stay on me and tell me to remain humble. I love all of them, the coaches and the players.
Q: How do you prepare yourself for a game?
A: I just come in here before the game, listen to music and get in my own zone. I don’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing.
Q: Why do your wear No. 8?
A: Lamar Jackson. He plays for the Baltimore Ravens and he is my favorite player.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a role model to your brothers and younger children?
A: I try to be the best role model that I can, keep my grades up and respect my parents.
Q: What would you like to say to your fans?
A: I’m going to try to give them the best season I can.
Q-and-A with coach Mitch Evans:
Q: When did you realize that Ty would have the ability to do the things that he has?
A: I don’t think anybody realized that he would be as good as he is, but I saw him playing around in seventh grade and thought that kid could be a good quarterback one day.
Q: How valuable is it, as a first-year head coach, to have a player like Ty on your team?
A: I think it is valuable to any coach to have a player like him, where you don’t have to worry about him doing his job, who does his job the same each week and goes about his business the same each week. Just having a great player like him would make it easier on any coach.
Q: How has your team handled the attention of having a star player and expectations of being a top team this season?
A: I think the team has handled it well. I don’t think it has bothered the team or Ty in any way with all of the exposure or recognition. It has been good for the team, school and community to get recognition.