TURNER — Just like the New England Patriots, the Leavitt football team has twin brothers in the secondary. And like Devin and Jason McCourty of the Patriots, one is a returning starter, the other a newcomer to the unit, but both have played big roles in the defensive backfield.
Unlike the Patriots, Leavitt’s twins have also played a part on offense.
Juniors DaSean and Damion Calder are just two of the reasons the Hornets went 7-1 in the regular season, captured Class C South’s top seed and now host Fryeburg in the regional final for a chance to play in the state championship game.
“It’s real nice. I mean, we got a lot of skill guys that we can spread the ball around to. But it’s nice to have a couple of guys who, they can get it to the house in a hurry,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “When you have that home-run threat coming out of the backfield, and when you got a couple guys that can do that, that’s a nice thing to have as a play-caller.”
DaSean was a starting cornerback for the Hornets last year, when they were also C South’s top seed before an upset loss in the playoffs. Playing opposite senior Caleb Bowen, everybody threw Calder’s way, Hathaway said, and “he handled it pretty well.” This year, DaSean became the veteran corner and Damion slotted in as the newcomer.
“It’s awesome because last year I didn’t have Damion. I had someone else,” DaSean said. “He was really good, too, but knowing that my twin brother is out there with me makes it a whole lot better.”
“Me and Sean have been looking forward to playing on varsity, starting with each other,” Damion said. “It’s a big dream come true.”
That dream took a hit after just one game when DaSean suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the season opener. He missed the next two games, then could only play defense for two games after that.
Both Calders said it hurt to have DaSean miss time.
“I mean, I had (Mark Herman) filling in for me. He did a great job. But I just really want to be out there with my team and have a good time,” DaSean said.
“He was a big impact on our defense, and it was just a big role. Just upsetting that he was hurt for those two games we had,” Damion said.
The loss of DaSean migh have been even bigger on offense.
“He missed about a month of offense, and didn’t get a lot of reps. So he’s kind of coming back to offense a little bit,” Hathaway said.
DaSean’s first game back to the Hornets’ offense was a shutout loss to Fryeburg, which Leavitt will host in Saturday’s regional final. His role in the attack has grown and changed since then, playing more at tailback than his traditional role as one of Leavitt’s “slot” backs — which Damion also plays.
“He had always been a slot growing up, but lately we’ve been running him some at slot and some at (tailback). So it’s given us a nice kind of mix-up with a speed guy in that tailback rotation to go with (Bradley) Moreau and (Allen) Peabody,” Hathaway said. “So, you know, we look forward to — you know, each week we’ve kind of put more on him offensively. You know, hopefully this week and next week — if we get to next week — we can use him a little more.”
DaSean said he likes playing tailback more than slot.
“I can’t really catch, so it’s just easier for me,” DaSean said.
Damion has made an impact all season on offense from the slot position, either running jet sweeps or catching passes from sophomore quarterback Wyatt Hathaway.
“His yards-per-touch are over 20. I think he was right around 10 touchdowns,” Coach Hathaway said. “And, you know, he’s a threat down the field. He can catch a short one, he can get it to the house. And on jet sweep, he just seems like sometimes he just needs a sliver and he can get through there, and, you know, when he gets out in the secondary he can turn into another gear that a lot of guys can’t catch.”
Those big-yardage plays will come in handy against the Raiders, who Hathaway said are “tough to move the chains against.”
“So if you’ve got a couple of guys that can hit that 30- or 40-yard play for you against a good team, then that cuts the plays down that you have to execute,” Hathaway said. “And you’re less likely to get a penalty, less likely to have a turnover, and more likely to put it in the end zone.”
The twins hope to see some instances of those plays Saturday.
“I’m always so pumped seeing Damion score because he’s just really fast,” DaSean said. “It’s just amazing watching him do that.”
“I just like hearing another Calder being called out there,” Damion said. “It’s a great feeling.”
They said they’re not that competitive with each other, but there is some disagreement on just how much faster Damion is than DaSean (who admits his brother is, in fact, the faster one).
DaSean said his brother is faster “by a little bit,” but Damion countered with “by a lot.”
That brought a sarcastic “OK” out of DaSean.
In either case, the twins are hoping their postseason run doesn’t end too fast, like last year’s did. Hathaway, meanwhile, called it “awesome” that he has the Calder brothers back for another season next year.
“It’s going to be nice having those guys back,” Hathaway said.
Leavitt football teammates and twins, DeSean, left and Damion Calder are a big part of the Hornet team’s success this year. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Leavitt football teammates and twins, Damion, left and DeSean Calder are a big part of the Hornet team’s success this year. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)