GRC receiver signs with West Virginia State

Published 10:57 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

When GRC’s football team suffered a last-second defeat to Tates Creek in the first round of the 2022 KHSAA playoffs, it was an emotional time for senior wide receiver Tate Spayd.

However, all frowns have now turned to smiles.

Surrounded by teammates, classmates, allies, and family members, Spayd recently signed to continue his football career at West Virginia State University.

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“I felt like I fit well in their program,” Spayd said. “They were looking for guys who could finish. I feel like I could finish any part of my game.”

Spayd was mentioned early on as a key performer for the Cardinals when current GRC Head Coach Joe Chirico was in his initial season in 2021.

Listed at 6’1” and 175 lbs., Spayd has recorded a 40-yard dash time of 4.62 seconds and a 30.5-inch vertical leap.

Previously, he had received an offer from Union College.

Although Spayd had fewer receptions this past season to allow other players to stand out on a team that more than doubled its win total, he proved he could nevertheless come through when needed.

Late in the first half of a game against Campbell County, the Cards faced a must-score situation with time running down and the ball 44 yards from the endzone.

Undaunted, Spayd ran at full gallop and gathered in the pass for a score as time expired.

Though the Cards would lose the game, the catch enabled them to be in the contest until the final seconds.

West Virginia State University, located in the unincorporated community of Institute, is a school of just under 4,000 students.

Spayd mentioned that familiarity is one advantage to playing for the Yellow Jackets, who finished last season with a respectable 7-4 record.

“They run the same kind of offense,” Spayd said. “I feel like Coach Chirico and [West Virginia State Head] Coach [John] Pennington have the same kind of style. I feel like it’s an extension of GRC, but at the next level.”

The wide receiver won’t have to feel too far away from home while at school.

Dawson Gay, a 6’0” sophomore for the Yellow Jackets, is also a GRC alum and a close friend of Spayd.

“That’s even a plus,” he added.

Asked what his goals were for his initial year, Spayd mentioned that he hoped to have an opportunity to shine on the field.

“My overall goals for my first season are to start,” he said. [I] obviously want to have my first reception [and] my first touchdown.”

However, as has been the case during his time in Winchester, Spayd also looks to be a part of a football community.

“I just want to build a family up there like I have my first couple years of high school. Go Jackets!”, he said.