In his 40 plus years of coaching, Ralph Mason can’t remember having many athletes like Reece Azam.
At 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, Azam stands out in the Andrews High coach’s mind for what he represents other than just football.
“He has great leadership skills,” Mason told Empower Texans of the senior center and defensive tackle. “We moved him up to the varsity as a sophomore and he’s always led by example in the way he works – doesn’t take any days off and always plays with a purpose. He does things the right way.”
With the Mustangs off to a 5-1 start this season, others have taken notice. An honorable mention selection on the Associated Press 4A all-state team in 2017, Azam has already committed to join the Air Force on scholarship.
Azam’s value to the Mustangs was on full display during a recent battle against Hereford, then ranked No. 8 in the state.
“Normally, we only play him on defense in spot situations, but against Hereford we had him out there the whole game because we understood that (he) gave us the best chance to win,” Mason said. “He was ready to go and that had a lot to do with us coming out on top, 28-21.”
Azam is committed in the classroom, where Mason said he excels and serves as an example to his teammates by going the extra mile.
“Lots of young people do things they see others doing, not Reece,” Mason added. “In all my years of coaching, he stands out among the kids I’ve had. I’ve got great kids, but I wish I had more like him.”