By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Two key players from last year’s Commerce High School football team are heading their separate ways to pursue collegiate football.
Cortez Crosby, who anchored the Tigers’ defensive line for the past two seasons, signed with the University of Memphis Wednesday morning. Wide receiver/defensive back Buck Wilson, one of the Tigers’ most potent weapons on offense, will be taking his talents to Southeast Missouri State University. They were both instrumental in the Tigers’ two playoff runs in 2011 and 2012, including Commerce’s first playoff victory in more than a decade.
A celebration was held for the two young men in the library of Commerce High School.
“I want to tell both you guys, change is scary,” Head Coach Scott Wells said to Wilson and Crosby at the celebration. “Change is part of life, and the great thing about it is, usually, if you approach it the right way, change is a great thing. You always come out the other end a better person.”
Crosby, who faced double teams through much of the season, recorded 121 tackles, including 82 solo stops, along with four sacks and two fumble recoveries. He was named the District 6-2A Defensive Most Valuable Player in 2012. Crosby recorded eight sacks and 93 total tackles in 2011. He was also an important member of the Tigers’ powerlifting teams. He finsihed first in Saturday’s powerlifting tournament in Rains. In 2012, Crosby finished first in powerlifting meets in Anna, Brownsboro, Rains, Paris and at the All Region, Division II meet.
“I’d like to thank coach [Kyle] Abshire and coach Wells for being there for me; my mom, my dad; and the Peaks,” Crosby said. “I had a lot of scholarship opportunities, but I felt that Memphis was right for me. The atmosphere, the way the football program is run; it felt right.”
Wilson will play defensive back for the Redhawks. He earned first team All-District Honors in 2012 and recorded 868 yards on 64 catches with nine touchdowns. He also had 52 tackles on defense. He had 42 tackles his junior season, along with 35 catches for 753 yards and nine touchdowns. He was also a 2012 first district selection in baseball.
“I want to thank my family, friends and fans,” Wilson said. “And especially my band. I love my band. I want to play to the best of my ability, work my way up the depth chart and have a good college career.”
Wilson and Crosby both stated that earning a college degree was one of their major goals.