MURRAY, Ky. — Responsibility isn’t something Calloway County High School senior Nicholas Calhoon is getting used to.
It’s more like something he has mastered.
The 18-year-old is a varsity football captain, and won offensive line player of the year last year for his team.
A leader in Grace Baptist Church’s youth group, he maintains a 4.0 grade-point average and has been on the school’s honor roll each of his four years.
Last summer he spent two weeks at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in a program that introduces high-performing students to student life on campus. Calhoon used the time to determine he’d rather be in the Army ROTC program and enroll at Murray State University, where he was accepted this year.
“It was intense,” Calhoon said of the Naval Academy. “It helped me figure out a lot of what I want out of college.”
His visit indicated how entrenched in and responsible for his own decisions Calhoon tends to be.
And one reason he’s Teen of the Week.
Calhoon, son of Steven and Tabethia Calhoon, is the Murray State University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MSU Teen of the Week selected from nominees submitted by high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois. In May, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners, earning a $5,000 scholarship to Murray State. Teen of the Week is part of the Sun’s Newspapers in Education program.
Eddie Morris, one of Calhoon’s football coaches, said Calhoon’s responsibility comes from his family life.
Calhoon’s mother died in 2006 after a lifelong battle with drug and alcohol addiction. Morris said Calhoon lived with a coach briefly while Calhoon’s father had to be away on business for extended periods.
“Despite the situations that he has endured, it is my opinion that Nick Calhoon is one of the most outstanding young men that we have here at Calloway County High School,” Morris said. “Nick has a genuine desire to work with and serve others.”
Family experiences have taught and supported him, Calhoon said. “No matter what, you still always learn from your parent’s example.”
He said he’s been influenced to serve with groups like the Haven of Grace Shelter for Women in St. Louis last summer — even missing football camp to do so.
Calhoon said he’s learned a balance in life evident in his leadership roles in Future Business Leaders of America each of his four years in high school, along with being voted Class Favorite his sophomore year and Most Likely to Succeed this year.
He’s held jobs the past three summers and been sports editor of the school paper. Calhoon plans to study business at MSU in the fall. No matter where his education takes him, he’ll more than likely take responsibility for it.
Contact Adam Shull, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.