By Danny Hubley
Senior Tyray Collins, who was recently named Chaparral’s August Male Athlete of the Month, brings a certain swagger to the field to help out the inexperienced players on the football field.
He remembers another player who used to lead by containing a similar sense of confidence on the field.
“I feel like a good leader like [former Chaparral running back] Richard [Nelson] was, but I’m also proud of my team changing history,” Collins said. “I’m feeding off my experience to the younger guys who don’t know as much as me, so I’m leading them on the same track as me.”
Collins’s early season production led Chaparral to its first 3-0 in start in 14 years, heading into Friday’s game against Foothill High School (2-0). It marks the first time Chaparral and Foothill will play each other since 2010, meaning the game is a fresh matchup for both sides.
If the Cowboys aim to become 4-0, Collins will need to produce like he has in the first three weeks of the season.
He has rushed for 361 yards on 23 carries with six touchdowns. He also has three catches for 93 yards and four interceptions.
Collins’s yardage have been the result of long touchdown runs. Four of his touchdowns have gone longer than 40 yards.
“After I cut back and find that hole all I see is green grass,” Collins said. “I see nothing but open field and i know i’m on my way to the end zone.”
Collins didn’t start his career with the Cowboys, attending Mojave High School to start his prep career. He transferred in as a sophomore.
Football, however, wasn’t different between the schools. It’s the one thing that helped Collins make the adjustment from moving schools.
“Football means a lot to me,” he said. “[When I moved to Chaparral, it was] like new start or a new me. Besides school, I feel like football is a stress reliever and doesn’t fail me.”
It makes sense as to why Collins always gives his full effort when playing the game. He plays both ways and is expected to produce at a high level on both ends.
Against Eldorado – a game where Collins posted his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game – there was a play in the final quarter that displayed his “play hard all the time” mentality. In the final minutes of the game, Collins batted away a ball that he believes under normal circumstances he would have caught.
“I could’ve caught the ball if I wasn’t so tired,” Collins said after the game.
It’s that exact effort that explains why the coaching staff loves Collins.
“Tyray is a great athlete, and he has to be because he has been with us for years,” Chaparral coach Paul Nihipali. “That’s is expected of him.”