Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is football and lacrosse player Malkam Wallace from Coppell High School in Texas.
One of three sophomores selected for Coppell’s varsity lacrosse team, Malkam knows how to step up and perform under pressure. He played a key defensive role in the team’s successful run to the THSLL Class A State Championship this past season while also earning a 3.78 GPA and logging community service hours through Coppell’s chapter of the Young Men’s Service League.
In addition to dominating on the lacrosse field and in the classroom – Malkam appeared on the A/B Honor roll last year and has been invited to the National Society of High School Scholars – Malkam also plays football. This fall, he’ll move up from JV and take a running back slot on Coppell’s varsity squad.
Here’s what Malkam had to say about his love for lacrosse, giving back to his community, and his plans for the future:
What’s your definition of a successful student-athlete?
For me, success as a student athlete is getting better each day and competing to be the best version of myself. I always try to improve, no matter what it is, be it football or lacrosse or just sports in general.
How did you first get into playing lacrosse?
My mom actually put me in when I was young. I think fourth grade is when I started playing, and since then I’ve loved the sport and stuck with it. I love how fast it is, the aspect that anything can change.
What was it like for you to be one of the younger players to make varsity?
It was exciting. It was me and I think two other guys as the young kids on varsity. It was a welcoming experience. I learned a lot from the older guys, so going into the future I’ll be able to pass down those skills and help younger players.
What benefits do you see in being a multi-sport athlete?
Being a multi-sport athlete is very beneficial to each game.Playing multiple sports develops different skills that impact more than your game. It impacts your skills outside the field and how you see each sport.
What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?
Just recently, in my sophomore year, our varsity lacrosse team won our State Championship. We’re the THSLL Class A division. So, it was a great experience and being able to be with the guys and winning a State Championship was amazing.
Who is your role model in athletics?
I take a lot of inspiration from Jim Brown because he kind of reminds me of myself. He played football and lacrosse professionally and he wore number 32, as well.
What do you love most about competing?
What I love most about competition is that it motivates me to be better. I don’t like losing in general, so I think when I compete against people, it drives me to be a better athlete and win. I just love competing against others.
What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?
My main goal would be to make it to the next level – to receive an athletic scholarship to either play football or lacrosse. Getting there is gonna be a grind, I know that for sure. I know it won’t be easy. I’m not the biggest kid on the field, so I know I have to put a lot of work in, just keep my head down, and grind.
Can you tell me a little about your community service through the Young Men’s Service League?
The service league is a mom and son’s league where all the families come together to do service for communities in need. Recently, I helped build ramps for people with disabilities who needed help accessing their houses. And we’ll do things like helping special needs kids who just want to enjoy water parks or skate parks, just helping them go to those areas and have fun.
I love the feeling that I can personally be part of a bigger picture, that I’m putting something into the world and helping people who really need it.
To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.