Athlete of the week: DeShun Coleman leads the Callaway offense with poise and confidence

Published 4:32 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Senior quarterback DeShun Coleman leads the Callaway football team with poise and confidence. The three-year starter for the Cavaliers is putting together his best season yet in red and black.

“I feel like my sophomore year I was just going out there playing, not really knowing the game, but my junior year I feel like I started growing an understanding the game more, and now this year, I feel like I’ve put it all together this year,” Coleman said. 

Coleman has thrown for 1,446 yards and 19 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing yards with 558 yards on the ground, along with seven rushing touchdowns.

The dual-threat quarterback has even elevated his game to new heights in the postseason.

“He gets better each game and really commands our offense,” Callaway coach Pete Wiggins said. “His leadership on the field is really special for us.”

In two playoff games this season, Coleman has completed 84% of his passes for 498 yards and eight passing touchdowns. He has also been a menace on the ground in the playoffs with 66 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown combined across his two playoff games.

It has been a steady progression for Coleman, who took the starting quarterback reins from his older brother, Demetrius, who helped lead the Cavaliers to a state championship when Coleman was a freshman. The younger Coleman always figured that he would be a wide receiver, but he eventually followed in his brother’s footsteps and switched to quarterback in middle school.

Coleman sat and watched the team win a state title in 2020, but it would not be long before he got his turn to lead the team.

“It was a lot at first, but I just came in and wanted to make a  name for myself,” he said. “It was fun to learn from him, but I wanted to take my own footsteps as well.”

As bright as Coleman’s star shines on the gridiron, he is equally adept at life on the court. He has played basketball practically his entire life and it remains his first sporting love.

“Basketball has been my favorite sport my whole life,” he said. “We are a basketball family, but since I started playing football I’ve loved it too.”

There is also a Coleman connection for the basketball team. Coleman’s father, Kenny, has been an assistant coach for the Cavalier basketball team for a few years but was promoted to head coach during the offseason.

“It is going to be really special because my dad has been coaching me since I was little,” Coleman said. “This will be a challenge because it’s at a higher level, but he’s been coaching me my whole life, so it will feel normal.”

Coleman will be jumping right from football into basketball when his season on the gridiron concludes.

“It’s tough because you have to find your basketball groove because you haven’t played basketball in so long,” Coleman said. “It can be tough to get back into basketball shape and find that rhythm dribbling and shooting the ball. It is tough, but now that I’ve been doing it for four years I’m kind of used to it.”

The conclusion of football season is in the rearview mirror as even if the Cavaliers make it to the state championship, there is a maximum of three games left on the docket for Callaway which means these could be the final football games Coleman ever plays as he hopes to play basketball in college, but has offers to play football at the next level and could take one of those opportunities.

Right now, Coleman remains grounded and focused on a tough Fitzgerald team that will be traveling to Callaway Stadium on Friday.

“We are going to spend time with our families on Thursday, but other than that we are staying focused,” Coleman said. “We have to make sure we don’t have a big head going into the game just because we won big in the first two playoff games.”