By John Davis, Sports Editor
There are a number of things that Oxford's DK Metcalf excels at. He's fantastic on the football field for the Chargers, and that goes for him as a wide receiver, returner or as a defensive back. He's a force inside the paint on the basketball court and a great hurdler on the track. <>
As impressive as he is from an athletic standpoint, Metcalf's attention to detail in the classroom can't be overlooked. The U.S. Army All-American sports a grade point average of 3.57 making him one of the top-rated students in the school.
In Metcalf's case, there is no other option than to do well in school. It's been stressed by his parents since he was little.
“One of the main things we tried to focus on with Dekaylin was grades. His mother was an athlete and a great student. I was an athlete and an OK student. But we pushed the fact that you can't have athletics without education,” said father Terrence Metcalf, who was a standout at Ole Miss before playing in the NFL. “What I tried to educate him about was even when I got to Ole Miss, the learning process didn't stop. In order to be best that you can be, you have to learn how to study now so that way it carries over once you get to college and if God blesses you, once you get beyond college. My wife Tonya always made sure they focused on their education and what they needed to do.”
Tonya Metcalf, who played basketball at Lafayette under maiden name of Malone, said if you don't have good grades, it hinders athletes from doing a lot of other things in life.
“Anybody can be a great athlete, but you have to have the grades, the discipline, to move on to college,” she said. “Football is not forever. You need something else to fall back on. And I'm a stickler about grades. If they make As and Bs, I say 'Good job.' But I don't want to congratulate them on something they already supposed to be doing. We want to reward, but we have a standard.”
Tonya Metcalf added that DK caught on quick that grades were important.
“We never just had to stay on him about it. He took it upon himself and he's been handling it on his own,” she added. “I'm so proud of him. In the back of my mind, I want to praise him more. I just thank God for the discipline that he has on the field, on the track and in the classroom.”
There are times when it's been tough to balance the classroom and the success in athletics, DK Metcalf said.
Oxford coach Johnny Hill gave a lot of credit to Terrance and Tonya Metcalf for not settling for excuses.
“They hold him accountable for their grades, practices and they do a lot of shuffling there to do it the right way,” Hill said. “DK is the kind of player you can count on. He's been a pleasure to coach the last three years. He's a great athlete and I was there the night DK had like six dunks in one game and tore the rim up.”
Oxford basketball coach Drew Tyler felt like Metcalf's inner drive was a huge reason for his success. In some people the drive becomes a hinderance, but Tyler felt it was just the opposite with Metcalf.
"He has an incredible work ethic. Everyone knows he's athletic, but he's disciplined about doing everything he does the right way, the best that he can," Tyler said.
DK Metcalf is rated as one of the top playmakers in the high school ranks in football. He has traveled all over the country competing in various combines and camps, and he will sign with Ole Miss in February. Until he wears the Ole Miss red and blue, he will continue to help lead the Chargers to a state title in football, basketball and track for the next eight months.
Halfway through his senior season, Metcalf said it was hard to believe that this was his last year.
“It still shows that I have some work to do,” he said. “I have to keep coming off the ball hard. I have to work on my blocking mainly. I'm getting too many holding calls, so I have to work on my blocking.”
Heading into Friday's game with Lewisburg, DK Metcalf had 28 catches for 442 yards and six touchdowns.