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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Football team captain reflects on career

Tyler Mercer shares his story through faith, football
Hand on heart, senior Tyler Mercer stands with his team during the national anthem. Mercer committed to Tulane University to further his football career. In the attached article, Mercer reflects on his high school football career and decision to graduate early.
Riley McConnell
Hand on heart, senior Tyler Mercer stands with his team during the national anthem. Mercer committed to Tulane University to further his football career. In the attached article, Mercer reflects on his high school football career and decision to graduate early.

Athletic careers often start in middle school, but senior Tyler Mercer began building his in fourth grade. Similar to his teammates, Tyler said he found himself in awe with the game — football.

“(I continued playing because of) my love for the game itself,” Tyler said. “But more importantly, the relationships that I’ve built through the sport.”

He built his athletic career on skill, but he also established relationships, specifically his relationship with Christ and his faith.

Growing up in Christianity, led by his parents, Jennifer and Michael Mercer, the faith provided the foundation for his life. He attended events and involved himself in church, but he said he still left with a feeling he was still lacking something.

“It’s not a religion that you know all of the right answers,” Tyler said. “It’s a relationship.”

Falling into habits and sides of life he shouldn’t have, Tyler knew he needed to make a change. In 2022, he suffered a back injury that left him benched sophomore year season —  his first year as a varsity player.

“Looking back, I grew so much from that, and I think I am a better athlete because of it,” Tyler said. “Getting injured gave me the opportunity to share Christ with (my teammate) – that was God’s purpose for me, and a lot of other good things came from it.”

Tyler found himself wanting to make a change, with the help of faith. Serving as a ‘wake up call,’ he set his identity in Christ, and his faith journey flourished.

He takes on more responsibility than anyone else. I’ve watched him develop into the incredible football player he is now.

— coach Brian Thompson

“Spending my early high school years living for the world, it ultimately left me empty,” Tyler said. “I made my relationship with Christ personal, and my actions are now aligning with that. I’ve been happier with myself.”

Mercer noticed an increase of self-improvement once he aligned himself with Christ.

“My ‘why’ is Jesus Christ,” Tyler said. “I believe that football can be a vessel to improve the world around me – to help those around me and show the love of Christ to others.”

Growing up as a twin gave Mercer a best friend and supporter – senior Chase Mercer. Chase plays defense for the Prosper Eagle Football team.

“He’s an amazing motivator because of his passion for the game,” Tyler said. “He’s one of the hardest workers I know, and holds me accountable. He pushes me to be a better athlete, so I can give him credit for all of my accomplishments.”

His parents are not only proud of his athletic skills, but the moral path he’s chosen.

“Tyler has always been a tenderhearted, intelligent, observant, and a no-nonsense type of person,” Mrs. Mercer said. “Tyler has learned when to appropriately use each of these traits, whether he’s on mission trips sharing the Gospel, working on challenging academics, or reading the opposing football team’s ‘D-line’ in order to secure a win.”

He’s an exemplary student, an exemplary person. He showcases leadership, in his community, church and on the field.

— Head Coach Tyler Moore

Tyler’s journey has led him to his commitment to Tulane University, where he will continue his academic and athletic skills. The challenging process of browsing his list of offers included comparing them.

“Everybody has their specific journey to go through,” Tyler said. “There’s a lot of decisions to be made, and it’s a big decision for your future. Ultimately, it took a lot of prayer to decide where to go.”

Tulane came to the top. With a 9.6% acceptance rate, his high test scores and academic side of the school made it a perfect fit. With a good last season, Tulane left ranked No. 9 in the nation for football. With the right coaches and suitable rank, Tyler knew what his choice needed to be.

“We had a good relationship from the start,” Tyler said. “The ‘O-line’ coach came from the Saints, and I respect him a lot. He is very knowledgeable in my position.”

A popular choice among many student-athletes at PHS is to graduate in December, a semester early, in order to get a jump-start on their college career. He announced his decision on ‘X,’ formerly named ‘Twitter,’ on Aug. 23.

“It was a hard decision, because obviously I want to enjoy my senior year,” Mercer said. “It’s hard leaving my friends and the relationships that I’ve had for the last 16 years.”

Long conversations with his family and God ultimately led to Mercer’s decision. Already having obtained all his credits to graduate,  Mercer is ready to get an early start to his college season, joining the Green Wave during their spring season.

We’ve been able to push each other to achieve greatness. He’s always been there for me, pointing out each others weaknesses along with our strengths.

— Chase Mercer, senior

Given the title as one of the team captains, Tyler said he wouldn’t want to change his leadership skills for the role — or he wouldn’t deserve it.

“If you have to change a lot after being chosen as captain, you probably shouldn’t have been named captain in the first place,” he said. “The other captains and I were chosen for actions and leadership displayed.”

 

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Riley McConnell
Riley McConnell, Chief Operating Officer
Riley McConnell is a senior at Prosper High School and is the Chief Operating Officer for Eagle Nation Online. This is her third year on staff and is involved in the Football Operations Department, an organization she is a founding member of. She is also the head photographer for the school's baseball team, alongside pursuing her personal photography career.
Juliana Cruz
Juliana Cruz, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Juliana Cruz, a former native New Yorker, is a senior at Prosper High School. This is her second year working for Eagle Nation Online and she serves as social media manager, news editor and Editor in Chief. She enjoys writing and wants to continue to expand her coverage. Outside of school and work, she is on the powerlifting team and spends her time with family.
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