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Scholar athlete: Vidalia’s Mayes approaches life with a football mentality

Vidalia High School defensive back Trashone Mayes carries the ball during a drill Wednesday afternoon at practice. The senior aspires to be a pharmacist, and he plays football, basketball and plans on trying out for the baseball team this year. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — Vidalia High School senior Trashone Mayes tries to treat life like a football game.

Sports have always been important to the 18-year-old Mayes, who plays basketball and football for the Vikings. But he knows that sports are just one part of his life.

“I see everything as like a big game, and I don’t want to lose the game,” Mayes said. “There are four quarters in a game, and sports are just one of those quarters. So sometimes when you have a bad practice or a bad game and lose that quarter, you just work hard to win the other three quarters.”

Mayes said another major quarter in his life is his school work, and right now he is playing well.

Mayes said he holds a 3.3 GPA, and he currently has an A in physics and high Bs in his other classes. Mayes said he is proud of his grades, because he was brought up to believe that education is important.

“My family always said sports are great, but I need to have a backup plan,” he said.

Mayes wants to be a pharmacy major when he graduates from Vidalia, and he said he is currently looking at Louisiana State University in Alexandria and Northwestern State University. But he hopes in the end he will end up in Baton Rouge.

“My dream school is LSU,” he said. “But I really need (scholarship money) and for that I have to get my grades up.”

Mayes said his grandmother, Louvenia Morales, and sister, Jasmine Mayes, inspired his decision to go into pharmacy. They are both nurses.

“My family is big in the medical field,” he said. “And as a pharmacist I can help other people, and I am friendly and like to talk to people, so I can work with patients of all ages and relate to them.”

Mayes said his mother, LaTisha Mayes, has also inspired him to do well in the classroom.

“She doesn’t make threats, but she tells me to work hard and get out of Vidalia, and make her proud,” he said.

Mayes said he thinks he may want to move to California or Texas eventually, but he still wants to be close enough to visit his family in Vidalia.

The senior athlete has yet to take the ACT, but he said his first opportunity is coming up Oct. 27.

“I’m wishing for good luck when I take that,” he said.

Mayes plays defensive back, wing back and running back for the Vikings’ football team, and he said his smarts help him on the football field as well.

“I have to be able to help my teammates know where to be, and they have to rely on me and ask questions,” he said. “Football and basketball are team sports, and you can’t rely on one person. Teamwork wins games.”

Despite his best grade coming in physics, Mayes said his favorite class this year is advanced math.

“Our teacher (Amanda Wingfield) makes it entertaining,” he said. “You can’t really study for math, you just have to keep practicing.”

Family issues kept Mayes from playing football with the Vikings last season, but he said it was difficult for him to watch his teammates struggle.

“It was hard to watch my friends go through that,” he said. “I felt regret that I couldn’t be out there.”

Last week, Mayes said the feeling of getting the Vikings’ first win was great, but it made him want more.

“It was kind of hard to explain (the feeling of winning),” he said. “It was unimaginable, but it made me realized that I wanted another one.”

Mayes hopes to try out for the Vikings baseball team this year as well. He said he thinks he would make a good centerfielder and pinch runner.