Vidalia High School senior strong safety Kyle Coley extends his body in an attempt to bat down a pass to coach Fred Marsalis during practice Wednesday afternoon. Coley has a 3.5 grade-point average and scored 23 on the ACT. (Brittney Lohmiller \ The Natchez Democrat)
Vidalia High School senior strong safety Kyle Coley extends his body in an attempt to bat down a pass to coach Fred Marsalis during practice Wednesday afternoon. Coley has a 3.5 grade-point average and scored 23 on the ACT. (Brittney Lohmiller \ The Natchez Democrat)

Scholar athlete: Vidalia’s Coley lets his actions do the talking

Published 12:04am Thursday, October 31, 2013

VIDALIA — Kyle Coley doesn’t say much — his actions speak louder than words.

And his 3.5 grade-point average and 23 ACT score speak for themselves.

Coley, a senior, said he firmly believes in showing instead of telling.

“I like to be quiet so people won’t think I’m bragging,” he said. “I want to show them what I can do.”

As a strong safety for Vidalia High School, Coley said it takes a lot of time management to achieve the academic accolades he has.

“I realized how to manage my time,” Coley said. “That is to not watch as much TV or hang with my friends as much.”

Coley is all business, and Vidalia head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said he admires that about Coley.

“It’s been a pleasure coaching him for four years,” Parnham said. “He’s a very quiet kid, but he does what you ask of him on and off the field. You don’t hear very much out of him, but he goes to work.”

Coley’s favorite subject is history, and he credits that to his “Paw Paw.”

“I’ve always been fascinated with the past,” Coley said. “Me and grandfather watched a lot of old western movies and Word War II movies, and I was always interested in it.”

Coley said he would like to attend the University of Louisiana-Monroe next year and double major in Wildlife Sciences and Kinesiology.

There are two things Coley loves — the outdoors and sports, and majoring in both fields will give him the choice to work in either field.

“I like being outside with hunting and fishing, but I also like sports,” he said. “I want to be a Game Warden, so I can be in the woods all the time. And I also want to be an athletic trainer, so I can be around sports. If one fails, I can fall back on the other.”

Double majoring can be tough for the average student, but Coley said he may play baseball on the collegiate level as well, and he said he knows it will take a lot of prioritizing.

Parnham said he believes Coley has the will to achieve his goals.

“He’s the definition of a student athlete,” Parnham said. “His accomplishments in the classroom speaks for themselves. He makes sure to maintain his grades, and he never misses practice.”

Coley said if he had any advice for young student athletes, it would be to be a student first.

“If you have free time, expect to do school work,” Coley said. “If you’re that lazy person that gets behind with school, you won’t be able to play sports.”

Coley said he has retaken the ACT in hopes of a higher score, and he is patiently waiting for the results. He is the son of Kevin and Lisa Coley.