JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – David Crockett senior Alex Tyson got a later start on the gridiron than some of his teammates, but it never stopped him from strapping on a helmet in eighth grade.

“I was just like – everybody else is playing it in middle school – I can play it too,” he recalled.

He enjoyed the game so much that playing for the Pioneers as a freshman was a no-brainer.

“I kind of just went to a couple of practices and kept going,” he said.

And once he started, he just didn’t want to stop.

“Because if you start and don’t finish it just feels like it’s not worth it,” Tyson explained.

Things weren’t always easy or perfect when Tyson got to the varsity squad. The season before his ninth-grade year, Crockett started the 12-0, before falling to Knox West in the TSSAA quarterfinals.

“The next year, we started out really good – undefeated until Week 6,” he tried to recall, “then we lost four straight.”

The win streak actually reached seven games in that 2019 season, before four-straight losses to close the campaign. However, it’s those ups and downs that makes football so appealing for Tyson.

His senior season this fall saw its fair share of difficulties.

“We had a lot of injuries,” he said.

A 5-6 finish to the year isn’t quite what he envisioned, but he’s proud of the fight his teammates showed throughout.

“Being also able to make it to the playoffs through all of that – it’s surprising that we were able to go through adversity and still make it through,” Tyson said.

He believes his football-playing career has come to a close, but football will always be a part of his life, through the lessons it has taught him.

“Selflessness is a characteristic that is not as looked at, but is very big,” he said. “Just being able to put other things above like what you want – if you want to do something, but you know that something else needs to be done for other people around you to be better – you do that, instead of just using the time for yourself.”

A main lesson that will certainly serve Tyson into college and for years to come.