We often hear coaches and athletes talk about making the most of opportunities when they present themselves, whether it be on or off the field.
Jaxon Cusac-McKay has one of those chances, and he's literally — and figuratively — running with it.
The multi-sport star has been approved to transfer from Fieldcrest High School in Minonk to Calloway County High School in Murray, Ky., to play football this fall. He debuted Friday and notched a reception in his new team's 33-0, season-opening win over Marshall County.
"My family and I talked about this earlier in the summer, but at that time it wasn't for sure football in Illinois was going to be cancelled or moved," Cusac-McKay said Friday before kickoff. "We talked more about the possible opportunity [to transfer] after it was announced football would be moved to spring and [the IHSA] would allow me to return to Fieldcrest in the spring if football is still a go.
"Over the last three weeks it has become a reality."
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has approved Cusac-McKay to play in the Lakers' season opener against Marshall County in Benton on Friday night. Calloway, with an enrollment of 879, plays in Class 4A of Kentucky's 6-Class system and hasn't beaten Marshall since 2013.
Last fall for the Knights, the receiver/running back/defensive back Cusac-McKay hauled in 59 receptions for 792 yards and 10 TDs and added 387 yards and six TDs rushing. He also recorded six INTs on defense, earned Second Team All-Friday Night Drive status, All-Heart of Illinois Conference honors and helped the team to a 12-1 record and Class 2A semifinal berth.
"I feel like my role here will be the same as it is at Fieldcrest, to be honest," said Cusac-McKay, his father having owned a lake house in the Calloway County area for the past 15 years. "It may change as the season goes on and I prove myself a little bit.
"I really wanted to play football this fall, and this opportunity came about. It is still uncertain if we'll be playing football in Illinois in the spring, so sometimes you have to take a chance in life and hope that it pays off.
"I mean, my heart is still home in Minonk, but I just want to make my time here in Kentucky as fun and enjoyable as they can be."