GARY | You gotta admire this Darius Mahome kid.
The Lew Wallace senior plays football at a school with 17 consecutive losing seasons, 17 straight sectional losses, and only one title -- in 1989.
Its last winning season was a 6-4 mark in 1995.
Yet, Mahome is a four-year letterman who can play everywhere but the line and never thought of quitting, never even wished he could display his talents at a Valparaiso, Merrillville or Lake Central.
"No, I don't," Mahome said of wanting a change of scenery. "In the end, talent will get seen somehow by somebody. I just try to leave it to talent.
"If I was over there (Duneland Conference), I'd probably have one position. Over here, I can do anything. This is the right place for me."
The 6-foot, 175-pound Mahome stars at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and free safety -- picking off seven passes this season and eight as a junior.
"It's really all mental," Mahome said. "I'm physically able to do anything, so I try to do as much as I can to help my team."
We repeat. You gotta admire this kid.
"I like being active. I love just knowing I can make a play and save the day like Superman," Mahome said. "I attack and give it my all."
Wallace (3-4) plays host to Calumet (2-7) in its Class 3A Sectional 25 opener Friday and you can bet Darius Mahome will be doing everything but sending in plays.
Calling him the team leader is an understatement.
"They look up to me but I'm more of a poster boy," Mahome said. "I try to do my best but I'm only human. I mess up, too, so I'm open to any constructive criticism.
"I always listen."
Mahome also is a sprint star on the Hornets' track team but loves football and hopes to play free safety in college if a scholarship is offered.
Coach Al Williams believes that time will come.
"He has the speed and the talent and he's a good student," Williams said. "He's a player."
Mahome has rushed for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns, passed for 607 yards and five TDs, caught eight passes for 112 yards and one TD and has two kick-return TDs.
"He has the ability to take over a game. We got beat up pretty bad by West Side (82-20) but he scored a couple of touchdowns," Williams noted.
"I'm glad he plays for us."