Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Allen Cummings is a junior at Ferriday High School and runs the 4x100, 4x400 and participates in the long jump.
Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Allen Cummings is a junior at Ferriday High School and runs the 4x100, 4x400 and participates in the long jump.

Scholar Athlete: Cummings shows leadership in classroom, track

Published 12:03am Friday, March 28, 2014

FERRIDAY — For Ferriday High School’s Allen “A.C.” Cummings, it takes motivation to excel in the classroom and in athletics.

The junior has a 3.1 GPA while participating in football and track for the Trojans.

Ferriday kicked off its track season last week in the Wossman High School Invitational, and A.C. helped lead the 4×400-meter relay team to third place as the first leg.

Despite his contributions on the track, A.C. also leads by example, said head track coach Cleothis Cummings.

“Just having him as an athlete and a student, he’s a big part of our team,” Cummings said. “He’s very disciplined, and he’s someone that comes (to practice) and gets things started every day.”

A.C. said he initially began running track to keep his foot speed sharp as a wide receiver for the football team, just like many other athletes do in the spring.

“It gives me a chance to work on my football skills and it helps me transition to the field,” A.C. said. “You have to be really motivated just to run track, you have to really want it.”

Cummings, who is A.C.’s uncle, said he likes to see several of his football players bond through other sports.

“(Some of the players) have been playing together since (football) little league, but track is something else they can use to bond with,” Cummings said. “They have been enjoying it together for the past three years.”

Just like on the track, A.C. excels in the classroom because of goals he aspires to reach in the future.

A.C. realized what he wanted to pursue professionally one day when he was at Ferriday Upper Elementary School.

“We got to dissect animals, it was very interesting, and I loved it,” A.C. said. “Now I love science, and I love doing experiments. I want to become a veterinarian or something in that field.”

In pursuit of his goals, A.C. said he knows he must have his priorities straight.

“I go home after practice and go straight to homework and studying,” he said.

Cummings said he gives credit to A.C.’s parents for making sure A.C. keeps his head on his shoulders despite being a teenager with a normal social life and a two-sport athlete.

“He has a lot of pressure on him as far as getting his academics, and I make sure he is one of many (on the team) that take care of their academic responsibility,” Cummings said.

A.C. recently took the ACT, and he is waiting to receive his scores back soon.

A.C. said he is not sure of what college he wants to attend, but he is sure he will major in pre-vet or animal science.

Until then, the Trojans will compete in the Richwood High School track meet today in Richwood, La.

He is the son of Samantha Cummings and Patrick Jackson.