WEST POINT — Off the football field, Chris Calvert is modest almost to the point you would think he is shy.
But the West Point High School running back can flip a switch when he steps on the field and play nothing like his personality.
Calvert showed that Friday night in a 47-21 victory against Lake Cormorant in West Point. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound sophomore had 14 carries for 148 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 91 yards and another touchdown to help the Green Wave improve to 6-2 and 3-1 in Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 play.
For his efforts, Calvert is The Commercial Dispatch’s Prep Player of the Week.
“Through the whole week with school and at home, I have a lot of anger built up,” Calvert said. “People have been downing me saying I wasn’t going to be nothing, so when I get out there on the field, I just show them. It just makes me work even harder.”
Calvert has impressed his coaching staff with his attitude every day in practice, in the film room, and in games.
“He works extremely hard, but he has the attitude of (being) very humble,” West Point coach Chris Chambless said. “He doesn’t walk around here like he is the man. He comes to work every day like he could lose his position and knows his role. You never hear a complaint or never hear anything come out of his mouth negative.
“He’s like a sponge. He wants to learn. He knows he doesn’t know everything.”
Chambless said having players with Calvert’s attitude makes his job very easy. He said those players are fun and easy to coach because they buy into what’s being taught.
Calvert said his desire to learn comes from his coaches and his teammates.
“If I make a mistake, they’re always there for me and they help me to get better,” Calvert said. “They push me, and they help me strive to be great.”
Calvert caught a 61-yard touchdown from Marcus Murphy early in the third quarter to help the Green Wave begin to pull away from the Gators. He then rushed for a 51-yard touchdown to give West Point a 40-21 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
This season, Calvert has rushed for 834 yards and nine touchdowns. He only has four catches for 101 yards, but he showed last week he can be a weapon in the passing game.
“Being able to get it in his hands out of the backfield adds another dimension,” Chambless said.
Chambless believes Calvert’s physicality is his greatest attribute. He also likes how hard Calvert runs and how he gives everything he has in games.
“One guy is not going to tackle him,” Chambless said. “With that burst of speed he has and the fact he has good vision, put those two together and his physicality, he’s turning into a pretty good running back.”
Playing in college is a possibility for Calvert, but he said he hasn’t thought about it. Chambless said he sees a lot of potential in Calvert to be able to play in college.
If Calvert continues to play like he has this season, he likely will attract interest from college coaches.
But all Calvert is concerned with is doing right by his family.
“In a couple of years, I just hope I’m able to help my family get out of this society, move on to better things, and have a better future with my family,” Calvert said.
Calvert and West Point will play host to Saltillo (0-8, 0-4) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Follow Dispatch sports writer Ben Wait on Twitter @bcwait
Ben Wait reports on Mississippi State University sports for The Dispatch.