By DOUG KAPPLIN
To be able to coach and teach young men the game of football is a tremendous blessing. To be able to coach one player that makes it to the NFL is rare and to be able to coach two young men from the same high school and watch them both get the opportunity to play professional football is less than 1%.
The chances that Patrick Henry football now has two young men playing for the same NFL team — Indianapolis Colts — is even less than half of a percent. Patrick Henry High School and the community get to celebrate that this program has molded great young men on and off the field.
When I first started coaching football at Henry it was apparent that we had special young men that really enjoyed playing the game of football. These young men have had a remarkably close circle of brotherhood from 2016 to today. From the first practice we held in fall camp, it was obvious that Dezmond Patmon and Kameron Cline were special athletes, blessed with the size, determination, work ethic and drive that could allow them to excel in the game of football.
Dezmond and Kameron are not only very gifted athletes, they are also great young men that have developed into men of moral and character. I can remember them both staying after practice consistently, no matter how hot, how late, how they felt, they always put in extra work to improve the skills that made them great high school players.
Dezmond and I would throw about 100 balls a day after practice, working on different types of catching skills and extra conditioning. Dezmond would always ask for more work, knowing that is what it takes to be the 1%. We had great talks about life and what to expect at the college level. I remember those talks the most. Dezmond played the best football of his life that post season against La Jolla High School. He had a total of four touchdowns and three interceptions. This was the first time he ever played defense, and he excelled.
Kameron was always bigger and stronger than most of the players we played against. His size and relentless attitude alone set him apart from the other high school players. Kameron was determined to play college football and always responded very well to coaching and his academics. He knew that athletics get him to the door and his academics get him through the door. Kameron has always had the biggest smile on his face and always made everyone better around him. He demanded that his teammates play to their best ability and that is exactly what Kameron did himself throughout his career at South Dakota. He deserves every blessing that comes his way and has the hardest work ethic I have ever seen in 12 years of coaching and 22 years in football.
The relationship that I have with them both still to this day is what I appreciate the most. Even though they are both on the path for great professional careers, they both remain humble and kind. I am proud of them and always will be their coach.
— Doug Kapplin is a former football coach at Patrick Henry High School.