All Grown Up

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"My mom died when I was young and my dad, he was in jail a lot of his life. My older brothers told me they used to go to jail, some of them. So, it's like you got to pick the pace up, you don't want to do that. I don't want to be like you all, so I picked it up."
D'raun Manning will admit that life isn't always easy, but it might be hard to get him to say that life has held him back.

Manning is on the championship varsity football team, JV basketball, Varsity track, and he's the defending JV champion for the Northern nevada weightlifting championship in his weight class.
"In middle school, I didn't think I was going to play because I was hard-headed. Then I got to high school and I was like, they're right because I don't want to ruin my life. So, I started playing sports, getting good grades."

Besides athletics, Manning maintains a 3.4 grade point average and also loves music.
He is at school at 7:15 for a 0 period jazz band class, in addition to his other band classes where he says he can really have fun.

His teachers and coaches say Manning's positive attitude and constant drive to succeed rub off on other students.
His varsity football coach, Rollins Stallworth, says Manning ends up encouraging all of the players to work even harder.
"I think a lot of our students respect him immensely because they know where he comes from. They know his personal background a little bit, some of the trials and tribulations that he's gone through."

Manning says he realizes that making the right decisions don't only affect him, he wants others to know that life can always get better.
"If I do that, then there's somebody out there who says, 'if he can do that, then I can probably do that. If he can make it, I can make it. If he went through that, then I can go through that and make it."