Jacob Hester said it all.
Hester, a former Evangel, LSU and NFL player, had been in the stands watching his former high school team finish off rival Calvary with a late push.
But when Hester walked on the field following the game, he wanted to talk about Weston Steelhammer, Calvary’s 6-foot-2, 185-pound, do-everything warrior.
“Hester came up to me after the football game and said: ‘Coach, I’ve never seen a kid like that, who has that moxie on the football field, from the NFL down to high school,'” Calvary coach John Bachman Sr. said. “I told Jacob: ‘I have. You.'”
Those words are high praise from one of the top players and one of the top coaches in Shreveport history.
Steelhammer, The Times prep athlete of the week, has lived up to the compliments so far this season.
Friday, he caught two touchdown passes in the second quarter against Evangel to help the Cavaliers stay in the game. He finished with 11 catches for 159 yards and caught another touchdown late in the fourth quarter, as Calvary pulled within 42-41 before losing 49-41.
“We started slow and finished better, but we made a lot of mistakes that turned into big plays for them,” Steelhammer said. “We limited those in the second half and kept fighting. We stuck together. It just didn’t end like we wanted.”
Steelhammer played almost every snap. He lined up at wide receiver on offense, free safety on defense and played on Calvary’s special teams. After the game, he was so exhausted that he threw up and had trouble moving around.
“I was pretty beat. It was a physical, long game,” Steelhammer said. “I knew it was going to be like that. We were expecting that and looking forward to it. I want to be out there on the field. I like being out there with that weight on my shoulders. I love playing in those big games.”
Steelhammer’s extreme effort has become common this season for the Cavaliers.
“He’s a complete football player,” Bachman Sr. said. “You put down those white lines, and all of the sudden his 40 time gets faster and he grows from 6-2 to 6-4. He’s Superman on the football field. I don’t know of anyone who’s seen him play who would disagree with me. I talked to at least 30 people after Friday’s game, from both sides, and all of them wanted to talk about Weston.”
Steelhammer hopes to pick up more college football scholarship offers — currently Air Force, Central Arkansas and McNeese State are interested. He also has top-level college baseball programs interested in him.
“I don’t know what he’s got to do to get more college interest,” Bachman Sr. said. “All college coaches who want to keep their jobs, recruit Weston Steelhammer. He will help you win.”
For Steelhammer, motivation has been easy to find.
“Since day one of the offseason, our goal has been to make it to the Superdome. We have a great group of seniors this year, and we keep each other motivated,” he said. “I try to work hard. A lot of it is putting the work in on Monday and Tuesday and the days leading up to Friday.”
While most of Steelhammer’s time is spent on the football field or studying, he enjoys spending his free time with friends and family.
Bachman Sr. described Steelhammer as a young man any mother would want dating her daughter.
“He’s a class act, a respectful young man who is serious about what he does,” Bachman Sr. said. “He’s not perfect, but he’s close.”
Connect with Brent Shirley on Twitter at @bshirley08.