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Calcote piles up tackles in victory over McComb Tigers

Kalen Calcote’s favorite subject in schoolis math. The Brookhaven senior linebacker made enough tacklesFriday night to use a calculator.

    Calcote, a middle linebacker, was credited with 15 solo tackles, 5assists, and one quarterback sack in leading the Panthers to a13-12 win over the McComb Tigers. That performance has earned himThe DAILY LEADER’s Defensive Player of the Week recognition.

    “We have a great defense,” said Calcote, the 17-year-old son ofTammy and the late Willis Calcote. “I think we can stop any offensein Class 5A.”

    Ole Brook Panthers joining Calcote on the defensive side of theball are Jaboree Poole and Thevis Cooper  at end. The tackles are MalcolmStewart, Jr., Marquis Price, Ricky Parker and Josh Thomas.

    At linebacker is Tyris Hill in the middle. On the outside areMarcus Coleman and Shiem Brumfield. Greg Sims is at leftcornerback. Dontray Smith and Billy Thomas are at right corner.Jonah Hill is at safety and the free safety is Alvin Franklin.

    Calcote and the Panthers are off to a 5-0 start this season. Theyare ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press Class 5A poll. They puttheir perfect record on the line Friday night at West Jones, theirthird Region 3-5A foe of the season.

    “I love playing linebacker,” said Calcote. “It’s the mostaggressive position on defense.”

    Against McComb, Calcote and his teammates were kept busy by theTigers’ strong rushing attack. “McComb tried to run the ball on theedges,” said Calcote. “They tried to run it up the middle,too.”

     Ole Brook head coach WadeHenderson recognizes Calcote’s value to the team. “Kalen is a greatkid. He’s our leader on the field and our overall teamcaptain.”

    “He’s a big hitter and he’s always in the right place at the righttime,” Henderson noted. “He made a lot of big plays againstMcComb.”

    Calcote runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. In the weight room, hebench presses 285 pounds and squats with 360.

    Family is important to Calcote. They worship at The Hope Church onSouth First St. He has five brothers: Richard, 25; John, 19; Chris,15, a sophomore linebacker; Wesley, 10; Elijah, 6; and a sister,Evette, 22.

    Looking to the future, he wants to play college football. He plansa career in mechanics and welding.

    “Kalen is  everything acoach looks for in a player,” said BHS defensive coordinator KelbyBowman. “He’s a defensive leader for us and he’s been in our systemsince the ninth grade. He’s a coach on the field.

    “Kalen plays with emotion he’s going to have a great collegecareer.”

    Calcote has received recruiting interest from several colleges buthe wants to wait until after the season before making acommitment.

    In the meantime, Calcote wants to help the Panthers make a returnto the Class 5A state championship game. On Sundays, he enjoyswatching the San Diego Chargers and tight end Antonio Gates.