By Jonathan Hull
June 16, 2016

Taylor Masey might have a larger cheering section at the 79th Oil Bowl Classic than most players not from the area.

Massey is playing receiver for the West team during Saturday’s game set for 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium.

The recent Cisco graduate does have some ties to Wichita Falls, though.

“My grandfather (Cliff) is from here,” Massey said.  “He talked about growing up watching the Oil Bowl and all the great players he saw play in the game.  When I got a chance to play in it, I knew I had to take it.”

Winning seems to come naturally for Massey.

He was a three-year letterman for Cisco, playing receiver on the Loboes’ 2013 state championship team as a sophomore and quarterback as a junior and senior.

He was named District 2-3A Division II Most Valuable Player as a senior and was also a first-team all-district performer in basketball.

Massey finished his phenomenal senior year in Austin for the state track meet where he won gold in the long jump, triple jump and 110 hurdles, while claiming bronze in the 300 hurdles.

It’s what comes with representing a top notch athletic program like Cisco.

“It’s always an honor,” Massey said of representing Cisco. “Everywhere I go someone asks, “So you played for coach (Brent) West?”  I don’t have to tell anyone where it’s at.  They say, “Oh, I know where Cisco is at.  Don’t y’all have a good football program?”

“To have a tradition like that to represent is an honor.”

Due to his athletic achievements, Massey enters the Oil Bowl with some high expectations.

“I lived with that pretty much my whole life starting with peewee sports,” Massey said.  “I’ve always been a little younger than everybody.  I had high expectations for myself, so if I wanted to play I always had to show out.”

“Coming from Cisco, I represented  a great community, a great coach, and a great school.  I have had to go out and represent them the way they would want me to.  I fell like I’ve done that throughout my senior year.  Not to brag on myself, but I feel like I have in track and football.”

Massey is playing his first game ever at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, but it’s likely not his last.  He’s headed to Tarlton State to play football in the fall, where he’ll make the position switch from quarterback to receiver.

“I’m playing receiver this week because I know that’s where I’m expected to play in college,” Massey said. “That’s where my future is and I’m kind of using this as a game to help me get in football shape.”

Massey also had an offer to come play receiver at Midwestern State, but chose Tarleton due to the opportunity to gain playing time immediately.

“Midwestern was great.  I really liked it here,” Massey said.  “I just thought I’d get a better chance to play right away at Tarleton because of the depth they’ve developed here.”

At least Massey will be cheered during his first game at Memorial Stadium.  He probably can’t expect the same hospitality during subsequent visits.