Football: Portage’s Rashaan Coleman tackling latest challenge
By LaMond Pope 713-2691 or firstname.lastname@example.org July 17, 2013 10:38PM
Portage's Rashaan Coleman spins off Lake Central's Bradley Uzubell in the second quarter at Lake Central High School Friday night. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
IFCA north-south all-star game
When: 6 p.m. Friday
Where: North Central High School, Indianapolis
Last year: The South won 16-7
Series: The South leads 25-21
Northwest Indiana participants: Austin Brown, Griffith; Rashaan Coleman, Portage; Andrew Kittridge, Valparaiso; Torre Hopson, West Side; Adrian Snyder, Joe Troop, Chesterton; Ronald Scott, Morton; Gerald Valenzuela, Hobart; Michael Oljace, Lake Central; Sean Jones, Crown Point; Nick Serrato, Andrean; Quentin Lacey-Blackwell, Merrillville
Updated: August 19, 2013 4:03PM
Rashaan Coleman spent time at running back, receiver, quarterback, safety, punt returner and kickoff returner while at Portage.
But his versatility extends beyond the football field.
“He’s very talented in a lot of different things. He’s talented in the classroom, he’s an unbelievable piano player,” Portage coach Wally McCormack said Monday. “He’s a heck of a kid. I wish we had more like him.”
Coleman is tuning up at another new spot, outside linebacker as part of a 4-4 scheme, for Friday’s IFCA North-South All-Star Game.
“It’s pretty cool,” Coleman said in a phone interview Monday. “I get to represent my school. It’s just an honor.
“… You get to meet people from all across the state and you get to meet coaches. I’m with the greatest coaches and the greatest players in the state right now and I’m taking advantage of it and I’m competing.”
Coleman will be at running back and slot at Austin Peay. For the North-South All-Star Game, he has embraced the opportunity to tackle another position.
“We are all just working hard to perfect a lot of things,” Coleman said. “… It’s all about perfecting everything we can master. It’s all about paying attention to the small details and making plays.
“Friday night I want to make as many plays as I can and help our team win. Everybody talks about ‘it’s just a game.’ But I think we all want to win it.”
McCormack said Coleman had a similar mindset at Portage.
“He had a great year for us. He was our leading rusher, he was our leading receiving, he led us in interceptions or was second in interceptions,” McCormack said. “He was in the top two or three in tackles. We started out the season trying to have nobody play two ways, but he’s too good of a player not to play both ways.
“In our league very few people play both ways. Rashaan was able to do it and do it at a very high level. He had a great year for us. He’s a coach’s kid. He knows a lot about the game. He’s very passionate about wanting to win.”
McCormack said Coleman is “a heck of an all-around football player.”
“I thought of it as just an honor that I was able to make plays on both sides of the ball, and even special teams,” Coleman said. “I tried to master every single position I played and pick up details. It means a lot to be versatile. You can’t be good at something if you are just one-dimensional. I never wanted to make my game one-dimensional.”
McCormack is glad Coleman will have the opportunity to showcase his talents Friday.
“This North-South All-Star Game is for guys like him, guys that were really good high school football players,” McCormack said. “I know he’s excited about being there and I’m sure he’ll represent our school very well.”