Wallace embodying genuinity, enjoying brotherhood on the field

Varshitha Korrapolu, Communications Manager

Hustling on the football field during the fall. Defending the Coppell lacrosse team during the spring. As a dual sport athlete, Coppell junior long stick midfielder Malkam Wallace never has a moment to waste. 

Wallace’s pivotal moment in lacrosse was during the Texas High School Lacrosse League (THSLL) state championship against Vandergrift at Houston last year. Wallace played in place of an injured senior. Coppell defeated Vandergrift 5-4. 

“Winning state was a good feeling, being out there, playing with the seniors, it was their last hurrah,” Wallace said. “In both games that we played, it was a two game trip. In both games, we started down and it was a two game trip. At halftime we were down in both games. We had to come together, dig ourselves out of the hole, and win the game.”

As Wallace’s mother, Sharonda Wallace, watched her son’s performance in the state championship, she saw the result of Malkam’s years of work that he put into lacrosse. 

“I felt incredible pride, excitement and nervousness,” Mrs. Wallace said. “It was a nail biter of a game. I was nervous for the team, but at the same time proud of everything that they have endured to get to that point. They were state champions last year. The game was on Mother’s Day of 2021. It was the best Mother’s Day gift ever.” 

According to Coppell lacrosse coach Matt Mueller, Malkam’s excellent performance in games is due to his work ethic and mindset during practices. 

“Malkam is a very hard working young man, very coachable,” Mueller said. “He’s like a sponge. I only have to tell him things a couple times and he soaks them up and applies what we tell him. On top of that, he’s also a phenomenal teammate. He leads by example and does everything the right way on and off the field which spreads.” 

As lacrosse is a team sport, Malkam’s familiarity with his teammates as he was friends with them since fourth grade. 

“I love the camaraderie,” Malkam said. “I love the fast pace aspect of it. I love being around teammates that like to play as much as I do.”

The close connections that Malkam has established allows him and his teammates to push each other beyond their abilities. 

“He’s a guy that never complains, shows up with a great attitude and a smile on his face, working as hard as he possibly can,” Mueller said. “Doing things to the best of his ability. It’s contagious among his teammates. They see Malkam working his tail off and his teammates are inclined to do the same.” 

Malkam’s charisma shines not only in sports, but off the field as well. 

“Malkam is ambitious,” Mrs. Wallace said. “Sometimes I look at him and I won’t understand how he’s accomplishing everything he’s accomplishing. He’s playing football, lacrosse, running, powerlifting, he is taking two honors and three AP courses and is preparing for the SAT and he is trying to work. I think he’s so ambitious to his detriment because he stretches himself too much and he needs to rest. But that’s the mom’s side.”

Malkam looks up to NFL legendary running back Jim Brown who was a football and lacrosse All-American  at Syracuse in the 1950s before becoming a Hall of Fame running back for the Cleveland Browns. Furthermore, Malkam has started the recruiting process to potentially play Division I or II lacrosse at the collegiate level. He has spoken to Johns Hopkins University lacrosse coach Peter Milliman. 

“A big inspiration is actually Jim Brown,” Malkam said. “He played lacrosse and football both at a professional level. His jersey number is 32 as well, which is the number I’ve been wearing since I started playing. He inspires me because he is able to do both. You don’t see a lot of African-Americans that play lacrosse in general so it’s inspiring that someone is playing lacrosse and football. It’s kind of like paving a path and making it known that kids can do that.” 

Contrary to the fast paced style of lacrosse, Malkam’s personality is relaxed and mature which helps him stay committed to his goals.

“I would say Malkam is kind,” Malkam’s father Frederick Wallce said. “He’s calm and from the time he has been an infant, Malkam has been a very calm person. People talk about the terrible twos and things like that, but we never experienced that with him. He’s always a calm kid. There are times I would like to see him be more aggressive on the field. Mostly, I think it’s a benefit because he doesn’t go through these dramatic swings.” 

Despite not playing on the varsity team his freshman year, Malkam has demonstrated growth as observed by his coach. 

“As a freshman, he played JV and was bumped up to varsity sophomore year,” Mueller said. “The pace of the game is much much faster at the varsity level. The fact that he was able to quickly adjust to the pace of the game at the varsity level. It didn’t take him long to shift gears and get used to the physical play and he’s excelled every time since then.” 

Whether Malkam is playing lacrosse or football, volunteering or studying, he does the activity with his whole heart. 

“Genuine is the best word to describe Malkam,” Mueller said. “He’s a very nice young man. He’s very respectful. A great teammate. He does things for the right reasons. Not only on the field but off the field. He’s very serious with his academics. Across the board, he’s just a very genuine human being in all areas of his life.”  

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