Painful lessons help growth of Asheboro lineman

Asheboro’s Arhman Tyson makes a stop last season on Providence Grove’s Zane Cheek. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

Tyson set to play in North Carolina East-West All-Star Game

ASHEBORO – While college football isn’t in Arhman Tyson’s immediate future, he’s not done on the football field.

The Asheboro standout will give it at least one more go-around in a showcase event.

“Since I was 7, I’ve been doing it,” Tyson said of playing football. “I kept getting better at it and wanted to see how far that could take me. It was something I was really good at. I learned football pretty quickly.”

Tyson said he also learned plenty during the past year when there were personal challenges after his father’s death during the football season. 

Tyson is Randolph County’s lone representative in the North Carolina East-West All-Star Game for football. He’ll play for the West team at 8 p.m. July 13 at Jamieson Stadium on the Grimsley High School campus in Greensboro.

His version of playing through pain was different from many other players last year.

Lewis Tyson Jr. died at age 49 on Sept. 23. Arhman Tyson had just left football practice and was with his father in a Ramseur store, where he collapsed from a heart attack.

Yet the next night, the senior played in a home game against Southwestern Randolph. That was part of what he referred to as becoming “a man of my business.”

He found outlets to work through the grief.

“It hurt a lot,” he said. “Even then, I realized that can’t get me all the way down. I still had things I had to get done.”

Asheboro coach Blake Brewer praised Tyson’s maturity on and off the field. He said he’s glad the lineman has a chance to run onto a football field again next week.

“No matter if you’re going to college to play or this is your last hurrah, it’s a chance to perform for yourself and your family,” Brewer said. “To show you’re one of the best of the best.”

Tyson will be Asheboro’s first North Carolina East-West Game participant in any sport since 2016.

He’s a 285-pound defensive lineman who was able to carve out significant credentials last fall despite playing on a struggling team. He was named the Lineman of the Year in the Mid-Piedmont Conference, overcoming Asheboro’s 1-9 record and winless mark – without a result closer than a 20-point margin – in league play.

Tyson said he realized there were times the Blue Comets needed an impact play, and he was glad to provide those.

“I just stepped up,” he said. “When something needed to happen, you got to step up.”

Brewer said he received inquiries from colleges about Tyson’s availability. Instead, he’s heading to North Carolina A&T, where he’ll major in biology. He isn’t going to pursue football right away.

“I was thinking about not playing college football my freshman year of college,” he said. “I want to learn college and get all that down.”

Going into high school, Tyson said he was also interested in playing basketball, but through peer pressure, he ended up on the wrestling team. He carved out a solid portfolio on the mats, becoming the county’s top heavyweight. 

His time with wrestling was cut short by an injury in February’s Class 3-A regionals, but there were lessons learned in that sport. 

“The bonding aspect (was the best),” he said, also noting the grind of a season. “Everything else was dreadful.”

Yet he liked how he could showcase certain abilities. 

“People think he’s big and slow, and you show that you can do whatever anybody else can do,” he said. 

By Bob Sutton