VALDOSTA –– Lowndes Vikings' junior Tylar Belcher is small in stature, but a big-time player.
The 5-foot-8, 156-pound cornerback-athlete made his mark in the Vikings’ 37-17 win against Oakleaf with two interceptions and a 55-yard punt return. As a result, Belcher was named the Defensive Player of the Week by Lowndes Football's official Twitter account.
Belcher grew up in Valdosta his entire life and athletics run in his family.
“Football runs good in my blood," Belcher said. "My dad and my brother played college ball. My sister ran track. She was pretty good. My mama took the different route. She is a nurse and the real smart one."
His first cousin, Chase, is a wide receiver with the Vikings.
His “Why?” is big to him as he uses his family and teammates for therapeutic reasons when preparing for the Friday night lights.
“I always look at a picture of my family before I play," Belcher said. "That is my purpose of playing this game. I want to put my family in an even better situation. I also look to my teammates and the seniors. I want to play for them. When I am a senior, I want them to play for me, so I give everything I got.”
When it comes to football influences, Belcher looks up to former Redskins safety Sean Taylor, Seahawks safety Jamal Adams and former Lowndes cornerback Greg Reid, who played at Florida State before a short stint with the St. Louis Rams. Reid now plays with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
Setting his team in the best situations possible is what Belcher felt led him to have such a valuable input in the team’s victory.
“Before I stepped on the field, I told my teammates had their back," Belcher said. "Everything I did was to put our team in a good position. Those two interceptions and run to the end zone was to help my team win the ball game."
Vikings head coach Jamey DuBose feels that Belcher’s performance was more of the same with his quickness and exciting play style.
“Tylar’s a baller," DuBose said. "We talk about opportunities all the time and he come out and sees it as a challenge. He saw a ball in the air and went after it. His punt returns are electric as he looks to make plays for us. He’s not a guy that just happened or lucked up because he works on his craft and skills to become better."
Belcher is open-minded and always a sponge for information, even beyond his playing days.
“I like to listen," Belcher said. "You learn different stuff from people in certain situations. I take things in from older people. You never know when you can use it in a situation."
DuBose says that Belcher does a great job representing the Vikings on and off the field with his leadership and work ethic.
“He’s a class act," DuBose said. "I am not about words and he leads by action. He is going to represent this program, me, and his family when young people see him in the community. We always say, ‘It’s tough to be a Viking’ and he gives 100 percent no matter what. He understands the responsibility and has paid the price to be the best Viking he can be."
Once Belcher is finished playing football for the Vikings in the Fall of 2021 and graduates in May of 2022, he plans to continue his playing career on a collegiate level and obtain his degree.
“I want to play D1 ball and get my degree in Agriculture and go wherever it takes me,” Belcher said.
Belcher currently has an offer from the University of Akron.