His perseverance became synonymous with the Eagles’ style of play this year, and was key to his being named the inaugural recipient of the Corey Melebeck Memorial Award, given to the top male and female athletes in Vermilion Parish and sponsored by the Bank of Erath.
Corey Melebeck was a three-sport student-athlete at Vermilion Catholic (a 2008 graduate) who bravely fought a battle with cancer. Though he lost that fight in January of 2012, Melebeck never quit.
“I knew Corey really well,” said David, who coincidentally wore number 14 for the Eagles in football and baseball, just like Melebeck. “He fought till the end and he’d give the shirt off his back to anybody. I’m truly honored to get an award that is named in his honor.”
A three-sport letterman for VC, David quarterbacked the football team to a quarterfinal playoff berth as the number-two seed. Though they lost 54-42 to sixth-ranked W. St. John to end their season, David said he would not change the Eagles’ season.
“It was so exciting how anybody could make a play on either side of the ball,” he said. “It was the best thing I could have asked for. I have no regrets. It was the most fun I’ve had in my life. We had a special bond.”
In the regular season as QB, David completed 114 of 194 passes for 2,222 yards. He had 35 touchdown passes versus eight interceptions.
David, 18, is the son of Danielle and Lance David of Abbeville. His father is also a former VC athlete.
He said his dad has been the biggest influence on his athletics.
“I always strived to be as good as him or better,” he said. “He wanted me to succeed almost as much as I wanted to succeed. I’ve only seen him cry a couple of times in my life, but when we went undefeated in football, I saw a tear run down my dad’s face. It was amazing to see how happy he was.”
In basketball, David’s scrappy play helped lead his team to a home playoff game, which they lost. Still, he said he regretted nothing there either.
“All of my teammates were like my brothers,” he said. “I’m going to miss them a lot... I’m not a basketball guy, but we tried as hard as we could and we had fun.”
In baseball, David made first-team, All-District as the Eagles’ catcher. His .327 average with eight doubles and 21 RBIs helped lead VC to their second quarterfinal playoff appearance in 2011-12. VC lost on the road to Central Catholic to end its run, but David said that was OK.
“We had a lot of expected heights and we lived up to it except for the last game,” he said. “We just came out flat. But, I’ve got no regrets there either. It was really exciting.”
David plans to attend UL and may pursue a career in coaching.
Despite having offers from four colleges in football, and still two others in baseball, David is hanging up his cleats.
“Going to college is about getting a degree,” he said. “I just want to focus on my studies.”