Playmakers 2023: Quarterback John Wyatt Massey is PCA’s ‘go-to-guy’

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story appears in “Playmakers,” The Vicksburg Post’s annual football preview magazine. The 2023 edition will be available with The Post’s weekend print edition on Aug. 19. You can also get a copy by visiting our office at 1106 Washington St., by calling 601-636-4545, or view a digital version here.

Whenever things get tense for Porter’s Chapel Academy, John Wyatt Massey is the man with a plan.

“He knows every play. It’s all up in there. If you don’t know what you’re doing, just ask him. That’s the go-to guy,” junior running back Jase Jung said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

It’s not just a character trait for Massey. As the Eagles’ starting quarterback, it’s his job and a responsibility he takes very seriously.

The senior is entering his second season as a varsity starter and sixth playing the position in PCA’s system. It’s given him a healthy respect for all that comes with playing football’s premiere position.

“It’s a double-edge sword. You’ve got all the glory when you succeed, but when you fail it’s on you,” Massey said.
Massey has developed into a football savant during his high school career. He was a starting linebacker as a sophomore and has excelled on both sides of the ball.

Massey had 70 tackles and three interceptions in 2021, when he primarily played defense. In 2022 he took over at quarterback and passed for 1,262 yards and 12 touchdowns while rushing for 342 yards and seven TDs.

Head coach Blake Purvis said Massey calls the Eagles’ defensive signals as well and has become his second set of eyes on the field.

“He’s our quarterback on defense, too, making sure we’re in coverages and all the assignments are taken care of and directing people. It’s a big benefit on both sides of the ball,” Purvis said.

Massey credited his high football I.Q. to a lot of game experience. He was PCA’s junior high quarterback for three years before moving up to the varsity roster, so the playbook is now hard-wired into his brain.

“That just comes from doing it. We’ve run the same offense since I was in the seventh grade. Pretty much every play, I know who’s got what and where to go,” Massey said. “There were several times the coaches asked what look the defense is giving, and then off of that we can make adjustments and I’ll give a suggestion.”

Massey’s long tenure as the head of the huddle has also put him in a leadership position among his teammates. The Eagles have five seniors and six juniors on the roster who have grown right alongside him.

Purvis was quick to say that it’s not a default position. Massey has earned their trust with the way he plays and carries himself.

“They follow his lead and the direction he gives. He’s matured in that on the field, in knowing how to direct and stuff,” Purvis said. “With that maturity from his side, I think we’ve seen a better response from the guys.”

Purvis added that Massey’s leadership shined through during the offseason, and will be critical as the schedule unfolds. The Eagles only have 13 players on the roster in grades 10-12, so having a trusted senior leader to direct them is important.

“We’ve seen it early on this year with our lack of depth and having to move guys around,” Purvis said. “Just calling the play and don’t worry about who’s in there because when the ball is snapped he’s got the other guys on the field going in the right direction.”

2023 Porter’s Chapel schedule
All games start at 7 p.m.
Aug. 11 — Porter’s Chapel 66, River Oaks 34
Aug. 18 — Porter’s Chapel 58, Delta Academy 8
Aug. 25 — at Prentiss Christian
Sept. 1 — Riverdale
Sept. 8 — at Humphreys Academy
Sept. 15 — *Park Place
Sept. 22 — Tensas Academy
Sept. 29 — *at Hillcrest Christian
Oct. 6 — Sharkey-Issaquena
Oct. 13 — Wilkinson Christian
Oct. 20 — *at Prairie View
*MAIS District 3-2A games

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest