DRACUT — David Choate is a breathtakingly fast back with game-breaking moves that make him nearly impossible to contain.
This multi-talented Dracut High senior has emerged as an elite playmaker. Whenever the football is in Choate’s hands something electrifying tends to happen. More importantly, Choate has a Middie club that didn’t win a game in 2015 in the running for a winning season.
Heading into Friday’s home game against Greater Lowell Tech, Choate is averaging 6.7 yards per carry while rushing for 734 yards and six touchdowns. But this rush to glory wouldn’t mean nearly as much to Choate were it not for the remarkable strides Dracut, which has won three of its last four games to even its record at 4-4, has made as a team.
“It’s tough to go out and play 11 games like we did last season, and give it your all, without ever winning,” said Choate, a Middie co-captain. “It was demoralizing. But this year we’ve turned it around completely. We’re really playing well.
“My confidence has grown with the team’s success. My goal at the beginning of the year was just to win a couple of games. I didn’t expect it to be like this, upsetting a couple of teams we weren’t expected to beat. Now we’ve got our sights set on a winning season. That would mean a lot to me.”
At 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, Choate is deceptively powerful. He can move the pile when needed, but Choate is at his best when it comes to reading his blocks, exploding into the hole and breaking into the clear.
“He’s hard to tackle and he’s very shifty,” said Dracut coach Jay Rivers. “Once he gets his shoulders square, he has this ability that can’t be coached, it’s just an instinct to run to daylight. He has that little shake move. And when he shakes free of a defender, and makes them miss, it’s fun to watch. It’s nothing I’ve taught him, believe me, it’s his instincts as a runner taking over.”
Choate relies on his eyes as much as his legs when it comes to running with the football.
“I will run downhill sometimes but that’s not usually how I run,” said Choate. “Our line has been playing great. My last five touchdowns, honestly, I haven’t been touched. I read the holes they open and try to hit them quick. My vision is probably my best attribute. I run where my eyes take me.”
Choate has rushed for over 100 yards in three games. He ran for 202 yards and three TD’s in a win over North Andover. In last week’s win over Belmont, Choate finished with 185 yards rushing and two TD’s, including an 84-yard scoring run.
“Once he sees the seam and hits it, he’s a threat to break it all the way,” said Rivers. “When he gets the edge, he has the speed to run away from the defense.”
Not only is Choate a fearless runner, he’s selfless, putting the team before any personal accomplishments. The Middies’ potent backfield also includes quarterback Mike Levasseur (662 yards rushing, 9 TDs) and Allyn French (203 yards rushing, 1 TD). When Choate’s number isn’t called, he isn’t shy when it comes to driving his shoulder into a defender as a lead blocker.
“David is our feature back,” said Rivers. “But when it’s time for him to block, it’s not like the typical feature back who’s just going to try to get in the way. He gets right up in there and throws a block.”
Choate’s parents, David Choate Sr. (who wrestled at Lowell High) and Jennifer Kenney, along with his sisters, Kelsie and Shelbie, have provided Choate with the support to succeed as a student-athlete.
More than anything, Choate enjoys giving back to a program that means so much to him.
“I definitely feel Dracut football has come back,” said Choate. “It’s been a rewarding season. And I’m so happy to be part of it.”
Rivers believes Choate, who starts at safety on defense, can be an impact player at the Division 3 college level.
“He’s humble, quiet and unselfish,” said Rivers. “He’s just a great person to be around. It’s great having him around our younger kids. I just can’t say enough good things about him.”
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