#MNPSMVP (Grad edition!) Mayson Harris – Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School/Pearl-Cohn High School

Mayson Harris sums up all four years of his high school experience with the wise words of “Don’t cry because it’s gone – smile because it happened.” The soon-to-be graduate of Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School said he is a bit nervous about his big day, but excited to begin the next chapter of his education.

“When I began applying for colleges and universities to attend, I always knew that a Historically Black College or University would be at the top of my list,” Harris said. “I am thrilled that I will be close to home continuing my family legacy at Tennessee State University.”


Harris will be the 50th member of his family to attend the university and he will be a member of the football team just like his grandfather.

Harris started playing football at the age of five for the neighborhood recreational league. He played football from recreational league to middle school and on to high school – a 13-year commitment to the sport. As a member of the Pearl-Cohn High School Firebirds, Harris played offensive lineman and, occasionally, defense. He played varsity all four years and was named All-Regional and All-City three years in a row. At the beginning of football season, The Tennessean named him among the top offensive lineman returning his senior year. He ended the season by being named to the All-State football team.

Harris’ fondest memory as a Firebird was playing with his older brother Niles for the state tournament in Cookeville, Tennessee. Even though the Firebirds loss, he was grateful to play alongside his older brother for his senior year.

“We had a great season this year. I was hoping for a repeat visit to the championship like during my freshman year but unfortunately we were knocked out in the second round,” he said. “Pearl-Cohn has great players on the team. I wish them much success this coming season.”

From the gridiron to the classroom, Harris’ hard work and dedication is evident. He maintains a 3.3 grade point average and is completing a rigorous academic course load that includes three Advanced Placement courses. He is also a member of the Chinese Club and Orchestra, in which he plays the cello, and performed in his first school play titled In the Heights. Beyond his school activities, you can catch Harris performing with the MET Singers or participating in his church’s Youth Department.

“Mayson is a true athlete and young man. He never disappointed on the field and gave 110 percent each game,” said Tony Brunetti, head coach for Pearl-Cohn High School’s football team. “Having the opportunity to watch him grow as a player, made me proud to be his coach. I know that he will continue to work hard in everything he sets his mind to do. I look forward to his future success.”