Name: Da’Shaun Wallace
Fall Sport: Football
Position: Wide Receiver
Years on Varsity: 2.5 years
Height & Weight: 6’1”/170 lbs.
Experience: 13 years (began playing football when he was six years old)
Da’Shaun Wallace has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by McNair Auto Sales. In what was the most impressive offensive performance of the season by the Richmond Senior High School varsity football team, Wallace had a big game Friday night against Sandhills Athletic Conference opponent Scotland High School. Teammates Caleb Hood and Malik Stanback also had stellar performances, and have been named the RO’s Official Athletes earlier in the season.
RSHS Academics: Wallace has worked tremendously hard this school year not only on the football field, but also in the classroom. He recognized that his grades in the past haven’t been the best they could be, but has done much better his senior year.
Currently, Wallace is taking Honors Discrete Math, American History I, Marketing and Weight Training. He’s planning on taking American History II and Spanish II in the spring. When asked what his favorite class is, Wallace expressed that he really enjoys math.
“Math is definitely my favorite subject,” Wallace said. “I’m pretty good at it and like the challenge of dealing with numbers and solving problems.”
RSHS Sports: Wallace moved to Richmond County as a sophomore, after attending high school in Lexington, North Carolina. Since becoming a Raider, he has gotten involved in sports year-round at Richmond. During the winter season, he’s a member of the varsity basketball team, which he’s been a part of since his sophomore year. He generally plays as the team’s point guard, shooting guard or small forward. As a junior, Wallace played in all 27 games and averaged five points per game.
During the spring, Wallace participates on the track and field team. Since his sophomore year, he’s been a long jumper and the anchor in the 4×4 relay. He plans to play both sports during his final year at Richmond.
Extracurricular Activities/Community Involvement: Because he’s so involved in sports at Richmond, Wallace doesn’t have much spare time to join a lot of extracurricular activities. He’s currently not involved in any, but expressed interest in joining the African American History Club.
In the community, Wallace attends church at Prayer and Faith Temple in South Hamlet. He says he enjoys going to church and being active within the church. He often times plays drums during Sunday services, and helped collect donations for the church at the Seaboard Festival in Hamlet a couple weeks ago.
Hobbies: When he’s not at practice or training in the weight room, Wallace said one of his biggest hobbies is watching sports on television. He said his mind is always on trying to get better, and watching college and professional football players on film can help him do that.
“Georgia is my favorite college team to watch,” Wallace said. “In the NFL, my favorite team is the (Arizona) Cardinals. I think their defensive backs are really good. And they have Larry Fitzgerald, who is a talented receiver.”
Another unique hobby Wallace enjoys doing is cooking. He said that he’s all about “trying new things,” and said he can cook up a pretty delicious lasagna. Other things Wallace does during his down time include hanging out with friends and playing pickup games of football and basketball.
Interesting Fact: Wallace explained that he’s a collector of different types of shoes. He currently has 13 pairs of shoes that he takes extreme care of, which range from sneakers to loafers.
“I like to dress differently than other people,” Wallace said about his wardrobe. “I have five pairs of Jordans because they’re my favorite shoes.
“I keep all of my shoes in their boxes,” he continued. “I’m a neat freak and I like to be organized. I clean my shoes regularly to keep them looking good.”
College Aspirations: As he’s in his last year of high school, Wallace is still weighing his options for attending college. He knows what he wants to major in, but which school he attends is still wide open, as it’s hinged on his scholarship offers for football.
Head coach Bryan Till explained that Wallace has done a really good job of bringing his grades up this year to where they need to be. However, there hasn’t been a lot of film of Wallace’s performances until this year.
Till noted that Wallace is talented enough to play Division I football, but the current situation suggests that Wallace will play Division II because of missing the DI recruiting window. Scholarships are certainly still an option for Wallace, but now he has to wait to see what offers he gets.
“I want to attend a four-year university,” Wallace said. “I want to major in communications and go into sports broadcasting. I want to do this because I want to be able to stay around the game (of football) even after I’m done playing.”
Wallace sprinting toward the end zone for his first score against Scotland High School.
Mentor: When discussing who his biggest life mentors are, Wallace didn’t go too far from his roots. All of his mentors have influenced his life in some way, whether it be on the football field or impacting his life to help make him a better young man. He chose all the members of his immediate family, which include his mother Kiki Little, his father Derrick Wallace, Sr., and his two older brothers, Kenyun Dumas (21) and Derrick Wallace, Jr. (19).
“Growing up, I saw how hard my mom worked to support our family,” Wallace said. “She taught me how to get through tough situations and showed me how to use manners.
“My mom has really influenced me in a lot of ways,” Wallace continued. “I’ve watched her get up early and work multiple jobs to support our family. She’s a really tough woman.”
In discussing his father and two older brothers, Wallace said the three of them helped shape him to be a better person and football player.
“My dad has taught me how to be a man,” Wallace added. “He also played football at Richmond, so I knew I always wanted to play here, too.
“My brothers always give me a hard time, but in a good way,” Wallace said with a chuckle. “They’ve helped make me tougher. I look up to them and my dad to be a better football player and person.”
Player of the Week Stats: In the SAC championship game against Scotland that saw freshman quarterback Caleb Hood tie the school record for most completions in a game (24), Wallace was one of his top targets. Wallace snagged seven receptions for 131 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He trailed only junior wideout and teammate Malik Stanback for total reception yards (Stanback had seven catches for 154 yards).
Wallace’s first touchdown of the night came late in the first quarter, which was a 25-yard catch and run where Hood found Wallace on a curl route on the left side of the field. After the catch, he cut back toward the left sideline and crossed the goal line near the front left pile on. His second touchdown of the night happened to be the Raiders final score of the game, when Hood found him again, this time from 28 yards out.
Wallace finished the Scotland game with four receptions of over 20 yards, his longest going for 30 yards. He averaged just over 18 yards per reception and picked up six first downs.
On the season, Wallace has proven to be Hood’s go-to receiver in the end zone, as Wallace leads the team with eight receiving touchdowns. Through 11 games, Wallace has collected 29 receptions for a team second-best 545 yards. He’s also averaging 60.6 reception yards per game, and a solid 18.8 yards per reception.
What worked well for you in the Scotland game? How did that game better prepare the Raiders for their opening round playoff game against North Mecklenburg?
“The game against Scotland was a big confidence boost for our team,” Wallace said. “It challenged us as an offense to come back and have to score on almost every possession.
“For me, I kept telling myself that we had to get into the end zone,” he added. “We wanted to get the crowd into the game. But scoring 47 points did us well. It boosted our confidence and we hope to put up more in the first playoff game.”
Coach Till said the team needs to keep its head up and that the playoff run to the state title is before the team. What needs to happen to beat North Mecklenburg Friday?
“The team as a whole needs to play better than we did at Scotland,” Wallace said. “We also need to do better in practice. Practice determines how well we’re going to do in the game.
“We’re going to winning against North Mecklenburg,” Wallace said with a confident smile. “We just need to score one more point than them, and we’re going to do it.”
Coach’s Corner: Till, who is in his inaugural season at the helm of the Raiders program, selected Wallace as the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week because of his proven track record to catch difficult balls and his development over the course of the season.
“Da’Shaun’s ability to go and get the football is incredible,” Till said. “There are a lot of guys who are fast, but if you put the ball anywhere in his wingspan, he’s going to come down with it. It’s not a shock to anybody at this point; his ball skills are great.
“I wish I had another year with Da’Shaun,” Till continued. “Not just because he’s a good football player, but because he’s maturing and he’s had a lot of growth. He’s starting to figure things out.”
Look for Wallace on the Richmond Observer’s flagship news program Live at 5, as he’ll be in studio for Wednesday’s edition.