The year 2019 has been kind to Westgate senior athlete Keydrain Calligan.
Although Calligan was disappointed that the Tigers didn’t reach the Top 28 in basketball again, he was named honorable-mention all-state on the hardwood and won the triple jump at the Class 4A state track meet in May.
Moreover, he recently picked up his first four football scholarship offers after a stellar spring performance.
Louisiana Tech was first to extend an offer, followed by ULM, Southeastern Louisiana and South Alabama.
“We were doing one-on-one drills in practice,” Calligan said. “We lined up and I made an interception on the first play. The Louisiana Tech coach looked at Coach (Ryan) Antoine and was like, ‘We gotta have him.’
“I was excited to get that first offer. It was also motivation to keep working hard.”
Calligan, who was named honorable-mention Best of the Teche Defense last year, has honed his craft by going head-to-head in practice against blue-chip teammates Kayshon Boutte and Makholven Sonn, as well as up-and-coming prospect Jordan Doucet.
“They’re the best receivers around here,” Calligan said. “It helps me get ready for the next level, checking guys in coverage who are good and have been doing it.”
Going into the state track meet, Calligan was not considered a favorite to unseat defending champion Seth Alexander of Breaux Bridge.
“I was seeded seventh,” he said. “I told myself the day before the meet that I wasn’t going to be too stressed about it. I wasn’t going to think about it at all. I was just going to show up, and that’s what I did.”
Calligan shattered his previous personal record in Baton Rouge.
“It was a crazy day,” he said. “I felt normal in that environment because I’m used to being in packed places with everybody making noise.
“I was feeling it. I ran and jumped, and the other competitors asked how far I’d jumped. When I told them 44-6, I saw their heads go down and I got the feeling that I had won it. It was a personal record for me by two feet.”
The state title provided some closure for Calligan after Breaux Bridge and Alexander eliminated Westgate from the basketball playoffs in the quarterfinals.
“It was good because it would have felt like (Alexander) stole two rings from me,” he said. “It felt good to get my first ring in high school. I just want to keep them coming now.”
Calligan is moving to strong safety this year for Antoine, whose team reached the second round of the playoffs in 2018.
“He’s just a helluva athlete,” Antoine said. “He came in last year as a guy who was kind of under the radar. He had a pretty good year for us at the cornerback spot.
“He’s always been a basketball player, but he’s starting to understand that his ticket now will be in football. He’s a 6-0 all-state point guard and the way basketball is — it would be hard to him to play Division 1 at that size.”