PREP FOOTBALL

Bloom's Coleman plays for something bigger than himself

2013-11-05T18:00:00Z 2014-05-23T20:54:14Z Bloom's Coleman plays for something bigger than himselfJason Vignone Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 05, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Back in August, Bloom Township football Coach Tony Palombi wasn’t sure if he’d have one of his biggest weapons for the upcoming season.

Blazing Trojans defensive end James Coleman had a decision to make: should he come back and play football or focus on playing basketball.

“He’s a basketball player as well,” Palombi said. “He’d been playing AAU basketball all summer and we weren’t sure if he was coming out or not.”

Palombi wasn’t the only person in the Bloom Township program that wasn’t sure what Coleman would do once football season started.

“I’ve gotten some looks for basketball so I was focusing on that,” Coleman said. “But when the season was about to start I just couldn’t see myself not out here and not being with the guys. I’m glad I came back. It’s all about the team.”

Although every coach wants players with Coleman’s size (6-4, 235) and raw athleticism there is more to Colman than just the physical tools he brings.

“He’s got great character,” Palombi said. “Since double sessions started he’s impressed us with his work ethic and his dedication. He’s been improving every week. He’s legit.”

Palombi wasn’t the only member of the coaching staff that has been impressed with Coleman since his return.

“James is so athletic he can play any position on the field,” defensive coordinator Kendrick Hall said. “A guy with that kind of size shouldn’t be able to move like that.”

With Coleman on the field, responsibilities get a lot lighter for the rest of the defense.

“Having James out here makes my job easier,” middle linebacker Kyle Pugh said. “That’s one side of the field that I don’t have to worry about because I know that he can get his job done.”

Since returning to the team Coleman has been the cornerstone of an athletic defense that has led the Blazing Trojans to the state playoffs for the second consecutive year and has held five opponents to 14 points or fewer along the way.

The season for Coleman and the Blazing Trojans ended with a 48-12 loss to Bolingbrook in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs.

It would be easy for the Blazing Trojans to get caught up in all the hype of the playoffs, and no one would blame them if they did, facing one of the best programs in the state in the first round, but that isn’t the Blazing Trojans style.

Bloom Township’s five losses have come against teams with a combined record of 43-3.

Regardless of what happened Saturday, Coleman has no regrets about his decision to return to the gridiron for his senior season.

“I’m really glad I did it,” Coleman said. “It just wouldn’t have felt right not being out here and not finishing things. We worked hard the last couple years to turn things around and I needed to be out here and be a part of the team.”

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News