What’s in a name? For Courage Keihn, it’s a daily reminder that he is special.
He said his name came from him being the first child from his mother to survive past an early age. He said she experienced several miscarriages and had a son who died after about a year, who would today be Courage’s older brother.
“I think about that all the time. It makes me realize how special I am,” the Euless Trinity senior running back said. “I do a lot of what I do because of that.”
What he loves to do most is run with the football, something he wasn’t able to do in the early part of the season. Since returning from an ankle sprain, however, he is back where he was last season, when he rushed for 1,557 yards and 15 touchdowns.
In his first game, he rushed for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 27 carries in a 21-20 victory against Southlake Carroll.
“It felt great to get back, but it was really the offensive line that made that possible,” Keihn said. “It was really frustrating. I don’t like sitting on the sideline, but I stayed in training, and Coach (Chris Jensen) kept me cool.”
Jensen said Keihn was “running angry” against Carroll after being an onlooker.
“Now I need to find a way to keep him angry,” Jensen said with a laugh.
Though his size is 5-7 and 170 pounds, Keihn said he’s always known he was meant to play running back. It started when he was in fourth grade.
“I knew from the beginning what I wanted to be. It felt good scoring, and I think I’m pretty good at it,” he said with a smile. “All of my coaches said, ‘You look like a running back.’ I liked it, so I kept on doing it.”
Another thing special about him is he is the first in his immediate family to play football. He does have a cousin, Melvin Keihn, who is a defensive end for the University of Maryland Terrapins.
“It just comes natural, and everybody likes scoring — and getting the ball a lot,” he said.
In fact, not for selfish reasons, but just because he wants to be involved as much as possible, Keihn said it would be okay with him if he were to get the ball on every play.
“I’d be happy with it, but I’m not sure the rest of the team would be,” he said with a laugh.
Jensen said he knew when Kiehn was a sophomore that he could be a special varsity back.
“We could tell what kind of runner he was. We felt he was strong enough to be a starter,” Jensen said.
“He made himself into a feature guy. He’s gone from making himself good to great. He’s a little guy, but he runs big.”
Jensen said Courage’s name is also appropriate for the way he gets through opposing defenses at the 6A level.
“It does take courage to run through that wood chipper he has to run through,” Jensen said.
He has a little brother and sister, and he realizes just how equally special they are. James, in fact, is playing peewee football just like Courage did.
“He tells me all the time, ‘I want to be like you,’” Courage said.
He is also hoping he can help pass along to James the benefits he received when he was that same age.
“I’m helping coach him up, that helped me a lot,” he said. “Those little things stick with you as you grow up if you pay attention, I know.
“He’ll be better than I am.”