Antonio Chew, Sr. is a rising Mid-South-area entrepreneur as owner of the 901 South Tire Shop/Grillmaster Chew’s BBQ And Catering.
Aside from attracting a slew of Mid-Southerners to try his assortment of delectable barbecue meals, Chew, Sr. has become quite instrumental with regards to ensuring that his son, Harding Academy athlete Antonio Chew, Jr., generates the essential exposure as it pertains to landing a college athletic scholarship.
“Coaches are always telling me that he’s one of the most underrated, but hardest hitting (defensive) linemen in the (Shelby-Metro) area,” Chew, Sr., told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview.
Though his 5-foot-11, 240-pound frame is considered “undersized,” according to several recruiting analysts, the general consensus regarding Chew is that this lineman is durable and versatile in that he possesses the resiliency to play on both sides of the ball, a key attribute he hopes college scouts and recruiters will take into account as the 17-year-old prepares for Spring practices.
“I work out five days out of the week, and sometimes six or seven,” Chew, Jr. said in assessing his routine offseason conditioning sessions.
In addition to his seemingly tireless offseason drills, Chew, Jr. doesn’t shy away from the notion that acquiring a football scholarship is indeed high on his list of objectives in the foreseeable future.
To his credit, he appears to be on track to ensuring that his long-awaited dream becomes a reality.
That’s because according to Chew, Sr., his son has garnered interest from Kentucky Christian University and Shorter University, a list that is expected to increase, considering Chew, Jr. has one more year of high school eligibility remaining.
“I had an interesting (2015) season…probably my second-best season,” said Chew, Jr., who helped steer Ryan Derrick’s Harding-coached team to a 10-3 finish that was highlighted by a stellar postseason display.
While the heroics of lineman rarely show up on the stats sheets, Chew, Jr. certainly held his own in emerging as the catalyst of Lions defense that recorded two shutouts this season.
Chew. Jr., Tennessee’s No. 61 overall prospect for the Class of 2017 by Maxpreps.com, performed masterfully on both sides of the ball for a Harding squad that will rely on him heavily next season to have a monumental impact.
As Chew, Jr. tells, he’s certainly up for the challenge, especially after a season in which he’s managed to draw rave reviews from college scouts and recruiters.
“Whatever college offers me will be investing in a smart, talented, and hard-working young man,” Chew, Jr. said. “Playing football period was a dream of mine, and ever since I started playing, I wanted to go up to the next level.”
His long-awaited dream, by and large, appears destined to come full circle — a development that would surely bring even more smiles — and business — to the family’s rising entrepreneur.
“Playing at the college level has been something I wanted to do since I was young.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.