Gate City High School senior Michael Calhoun signed with the track and field team at Charleston Southern University on Friday afternoon, an achievement he admits once seemed far-fetched.
“I never would have thought that Michael Calhoun from Scott County, Virginia, had the potential to be a Division I athlete,” he said. “That just goes to show you how God works in mysterious ways and as long as there is a work ethic and you have the right intentions in mind, anything is possible with God.”
College coaches came calling after Calhoun began throwing the shot put long distances. He finished as runner-up to Union’s Justin Barnett – who is now competing at Virginia Commonwealth University – in the shot put at the 2019 VHSL Class 2 state meet.
“Although discus has somewhat grown on me, nothing has taken my eyes off the shot,” Calhoun said. “The event just feels natural and being a relatively young thrower who started as a sophomore, I feel like there is a lot of potential and room to improve. Another thing I have been working on is the weight and hammer throws. My goal for my collegiate track career is to do the absolute best I can, break a couple of school records and before I graduate make it to the NCAA national championships.”
Ethan Blevins (Abingdon) competes in the steeple chase for Charleston Southern, while distance runner Trevor Dominy from VHSL Class 1 powerhouse Auburn is on the current roster as well. The Buccaneers compete in the Big South Conference.
“It took a lot of praying and I have been blessed to receive offers from very great schools,” Calhoun said. “I went on an official visit to Charleston and just had a feeling that this is where I was meant to be. Faith and seeking God’s plans for me plays a huge role in my life and I try to let him guide me as I go. Charleston Southern just happens to be a DI school that is Christian-based and not only a place to further my education and athletics, but a place to grow as a Christian as well.”
A 6-foot, 265-pound bruiser, Calhoun rushed for 890 yards and scored 11 touchdowns this past fall for Gate City’s football squad. He also made 44 tackles as a defensive end, while making leaving a lasting impression on his coach.
“What impresses me most about Michael is his selflessness,” said Jeremy Houseright, who just completed his first season as the head football coach at Gate City. “He always puts the team first and he always puts other people first. During his four years he played anywhere the team needed him; all he wanted to do was help the team. He is a great kid.”