Dashaun Santiago will be a busy fellow next school year.
Santiago was already a standout on the Ashley Ridge football and track and field teams and for his senior year he has decided to play basketball as well.
“They like my size and speed so I came out,” Santiago said.
Trying out new things worked out for the athlete in the past, so why not? “When I was 10 or 11 everyone in my neighborhood played football and I wasn’t sure I wanted to because they were so big but they made me,” he said. “Now I realize it made me a better player. They were better than me so I was forced to catch up.”
That led to Sertoma Youth Football and middle school football. From there, Santiago joined the Ashley Ridge B-team. By his sophomore year, the wide receiver was splitting time between the Swamp Fox JV and varsity squads.
Last season, he came into his own and was a starter the entire season. Santiago led the Ashley Ridge varsity in receiving with 28 catches for more than 500 yards and five touchdowns. He also had long kick returns, including some for TDs.
He would like to top his marks this season and says he is up for playing cornerback if the coaches let him. However, he plans to do it in a classy manner.
“I try to stay humble and focus on doing my work on the field because that’s going to get you further than talking about it,” he said. “I’d rather go out there and compete than talk trash or whatever.”
Santiago, who joined the AR track team as a freshman, holds the school 110 hurdles record and 400 hurdles record, but he says the thing he is most proud of is the improvement he has made in his 40-yard dash time. His best time is 4.38 seconds. “Running track has helped me get it down,” he said. “I couldn’t really choose between football and track because I love them both.”
He is hoping he will be able to continue with both sports after high school. “My goal is to keep my grades up and earn an athletic scholarship,” he said. “Once I’m done with football and track I would like to be an engineer so I’ll need that college degree.”
Some colleges have shown an interest in him.