Perseverance is key: ASH’s Datlan Cunningham ran for 3TDs in the first half against Nat Central

Meet this week's ACA Athlete of the Week from Alexandria Senior High School-Datlan Cunningham!
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:02 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - ASH’s Datlan Cunningham scored three touchdowns for the Trojans last Thursday in the first half against Natchitoches Central.

“People want to do a lot of talking and I don’t do a lot of talking,” said Cunningham. “I just play, and you have to just play. You do not have to do all that talking, you just prove what you have on the field.”

“I am proud that his performance paid off, but we have been seeing it every single day it is not just a Friday night thing,” said Trojans’ Head Coach Thomas Bachman.

There is more to a player’s life after the field lights turn off and they leave the locker room. Datlan has persevered through difficult times off the field as he was not able to play his junior season, but this year is his last, and he plans to leave it all on the field.

“I just show up every day and start putting in work and do the best I can,” said Cunningham. “One year. I only have one year to do it all, so I have to do the best I can.”

James Herrington, Datlan’s best friend and Trojans tight end, was able to block for each touchdown Cunningham scored Thursday night, but he says their bond goes beyond the football field.

“We both have early release,” said Herrington. “So, we run over to the gas station over there, and we usually get a snack. We take turns paying for it and everything, then we come back and go to meetings and go out to practice. We have known each other for a while and him not being able to play last year kind of devastated all of us but seeing him back this year for our senior year is exciting.”

As a senior and a starter for the Trojans, Datlan isn’t as much of a vocal leader, but he sets the example with his actions.

“He is never overly animated, there are more ways to lead, your actions need to speak louder than your words, and so far he has been doing that,” said Bachman.

Datlan has a few goals he has set for himself in his senior season, which is to reach 2,500 rushing yards and score 25 touchdowns, but there’s one goal he wants to fulfill more than anything.

“I would say going for a state championship, that is where everybody is headed,” said Cunningham. “So, that is where I am headed and the team. You always have to be on the same page.”

Football season is only a few weeks in, and Cunningham hopes to keep being explosive on offense and continue to strive for his goals during his senior season.

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