Many Miles & Yards Lead Tupak Kpeayeh To History
Karl's TV & Appliance Athlete of the Week
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The first thing you notice is the name.
“I’m Tupak with a K. Everyone thinks it’s with a C, they always spell my name wrong. Ton of people just ask if I can rap all the time and I say no!” Washington Senior RB Tupak Kpeayeh says.
And then you see that Tupak Kpeayeh makes his music on the gridiron.
“He hits holes that you can’t really see and then he makes moves on guys. He’s shifty, he’s fun to watch.” Washington Senior QB Jayden Johannsen says.
“I feel like I’m on Madden. You can move where ever you want, you control the whole thing. So when I have the ball I just try to control it on the field, do what I do.” Kpeayeh says.
As easy he makes picking up yards look, it took thousands of miles for Kpeayeh to get here. Born in Liberia, a country struggling through war and poverty, Tupak’s family immigrated to the United States when he was four.
“My dad always tells me that America is way better. He always tries to motivate us to achieve more things, and then bringing us to America was something that he achieved that he wanted to do for our family.” Kpeayeh says.
The family eventually settled in Sioux Falls, and where a friend introduced Tupak to a new game.
“At first my dad didn’t know what football was. He thought he was signing me up for soccer. For how hard my dad works, every time I come on the field I think about him. I practice for him, I play games for him. I just want to see him smile, I want to see my mom smile.” Tupak says.
And there have been plenty of those since Tupak took over as Washington’s starting running back in 2016. Anchoring the three time state champs, Kpeayeh has run for a state 11-Man record 62 touchdowns and more than 5,047 yards, just 258 away from the 26 year old South Dakota record.
“I’ve never seen anyone better. Vision wise I’ve seen guys maybe faster or bigger, but no one that has the ability to see what he does and the way he can make guys miss.” Washington Head Football Coach Chad Stadem says.
And yet Tupak’s biggest run is still ahead.
“Going to college, that’s going to be a big thing for my family because nobody in our family went to college yet. And I know that will make my parents proud.” Kpeayeh says.
And it certainly will be his most important one.