ASHEBORO – Two members of Southwestern Randolph’s football team will go from the state playoffs to the pros this weekend.
That’s because senior receiver Bryson Reid of the Cougars was selected as a recipient of a Carolina Panthers Community Captain Award.
As part of the program that honors players who excel in the classroom and the community, Reid has been invited by the Panthers for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
“My teammates were so excited for me,” Reid said.
He selected Cougars quarterback Keaton Reed to be his guest for the NFL game-day experience.
Reid is part of the Beta Club at school and he’s involved in youth mission programs with First Baptist Church of Asheboro. Because Reid is a recipient of the award, the Panthers will make a $500 donation to the Southwestern Randolph athletics department.
“His character is what separates him,” football coach Seth Baxter said. “A great leader, and one of those kids you want representing your school.”
Baxter said Reid also made an impact on youngsters when he has been a counselor for youth camps at the school.
Reid, 17, said this will be the first time he attends a Panthers game.
Before that, he’ll be suiting up at least one more time for the Cougars. He’s also a cornerback and is involved on punt and kickoff returns.
Southwestern Randolph (8-2), which has compiled a school-record win total this year, is set to open the Class 2-A playoffs with Friday night’s home game against Polk County.
“It has been a great season,” Reid said. “We’ve been together since middle school. We’ve never really had a winning season.”
Other than when he was on the sideline as a ball boy several years ago, Reid said he has never been part of a football playoff game.
Reid’s junior season was cut short because of torn ankle ligaments. That caused him to miss a couple of baseball games in the spring.
This season, he said his favorite experience was the 42-30 home victory against Starmount because of the atmosphere — a “Blue-Out” with fans wearing school colors. He said he was most fond of teammate Adam Cole chasing down a Starmount ball carrier and causing a fumble – and then the reaction from the Cougars defenders as they blocked for a big return.
Reid said he’s still assessing his college options. He intends to major in political science.