Sports can take you far and for North Stokes Austin Tucker it’s taking him across the country. The senior recently signed a letter of intent to play football for Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, California.
“I haven’t seen the school yet except for a virtual tour, but I’m looking forward to going. The furthest I’ve ever been is to Tennessee,” he said.
Tucker’s been a four-year varsity player for the Vikings and as a 6’5 299 pound lineman he’s made a strong presence in the program.
Nicholas Brandes, the athlete’s position coach said he brought size and a sense of knowledge to the game.
“Austin’s a big kid which allows him to do things others can’t. As he gains strength, he’ll do some amazing things. We didn’t have to worry about his spot when he was there and that will be missed. Austin’s matured at a major level and I look forward to seeing what occurs with him.”
During his time at North Stokes, Tucker’s experienced a gamut of emotions on the football field. The team didn’t pick up a win his junior season, but broke the streak in the first game against Alleghany his senior year.
“It humbles you. When you’re losing you realize you’re not as a good as you think you are, but when you’re winning it makes you want to work harder to stay on top. The one thing I took from it is don’t take it for granted.”
Tucker believes there’s more wins in his future as prepares to play at the college level. Monterey has won a string of Coast Conference Championships and in recent years has seen two of their alums chosen in the NFL Draft.
“They were one of the first programs to reach out to me and they really stood out from the rest. I get the feeling they’re very family oriented,” he said. “Every coach I’ve ever had said to go hard and don’t stop and that’s what I plan to do.”
Tuckers parents, Julie and Keith believe their son will find success wherever life takes him.
“He puts forth unstoppable effort,” his mother said. “I’ve always taught Austin you either win or learn, but you never lose. Learn something from the experience, move forward and become better.”
Tucker’s father said he didn’t grow up playing football so he’s enjoyed learning more about the sport while watching his son on the field.
“I’m very proud of him. I know this college is 3,000 miles away, but it’s an opportunity to see the world. I know he’ll do great things.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.