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By Staff | Jul 20, 2016

Photos by Ed Parsons Spotlight athlete Brandon Keys hoists a pair of 25-lbs barbells in the air as if they were nothing.

This week’s spotlight athlete is Brandon Keys, a 5’9” 210-pound package of muscle. Keys, who will be entering his senior year at Tyler Consolidated, will be back for his fourth year as a starter and letterman on the Knights’ football and wrestling teams.

Most kids aren’t ready to return to school following summer break, but this guy can’t wait. He says he has something to prove and has been spending a lot of time in the weight room getting ready to do just that. His summer workouts include lifting on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday while also jogging for cardio exercise. For the past three years he has handled the middle linebacker chores for the Knights while also playing on the offensive line and filling in at fullback when called upon.

Keys is one of those quiet type of guys who lets his actions do his talking. When football season rolls around, you can bet he will be ready to dish out some punishment. Opposing teams may want to think twice before testing the middle of the Knights’ defense.

“My coaches have been a tremendous help to me during my time with the Silver Knights,” he said. “I have been inspired by Coach (Ryan) Walton as he continues to remind me of my job as a middle linebacker. All my coaches have taught me a lot.”

Looking a head to this year, Keys said he wants to help his team make the playoffs.

“I feel we have some quality players coming back and if we can stay healthy, we could go deep into the playoff’s,” he said.

Football, however, isn’t the only thing Brandon’s about. For the past three years, he has also been a standout on the TCHS wrestling team, earning three letters and competing in some major tournaments including last year’s state meet in Huntington where he earned a spot in the 195 pound weight class.

As a wrestler, Keys brings strength plus knowledge to the mat. He says he has a world of respect for his wrestling coach Jason Snyder. According to Keys, Coach Snyder has taught him several moves and even wrestles with him to help him gain experience.

Keys says he has set some goals this year.

“I want to place in all the big meets this season and make it back to state,” he said.

Last Season, Keys had more than 40 wins with his highlight being a victory at the St. Marys’ tournament and nearly placing at OVAC.

Keys has been an honor student all through his high school days and currently carries a 3.0 GPA. He is also a member of the FFA and a Skills USA member at MOVTI where he practices welding. Although he hasn’t decided where, he wants to go to college after graduation and become a teacher, and coach football and wrestling.

Keys said he wants to dedicate his senior year at TCHS to his grandfather, Junior Keys, who was his biggest follower and fan. He also wants to thank all his family and friends for their support.

I want to wish Brandon the best during his senior year and with the future that follows. He is certainly one of the most polite and respectful young men I’ve talked to in a long time. He said he likes working with the younger kids to help them become better athletes. I think he will make a dandy coach some day.