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Chavez Cheatham is Freshman of the Year at Shippensburg

Aberdeen High School 2012 graduate and former two-sport athlete Chavez Cheatham was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division Freshman of the Year last week for his play as an defensive back for the Shippensburg University Red Raiders football team.

"It was pretty good, I was real excited," Cheatham said by phone Monday night. "I got a message on twitter, letting me know I was freshman of the year."

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Cheatham, a red-shirt freshman, played in all 11 games as a rookie defensive back for the Red Raiders. He finished third on the team with 68 tackles (41 unassisted). Cheatham led the team with 11 passes defended and had an interception in each of the final two games of the season. Cheatham also tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles, recovering one, while starting the final eight games of the year.

Cheatham says his coaches told him that if he worked hard, he could be all conference.

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"I never actually thought I could be freshman of the year," Cheatham said.

While the freshman award is hard to top, Cheatham says his highlight came in the Red Raiders next to last game. Cheatham made his first career interception with his team trailing Kutztown University, 26-23, with 10:38 to play.

Shippensburg took possession and marched 70 yards for an go-ahead score. Cheatham says he was credited for turning around the game. He also had a diving knockdown of Kutztown's second-down pass play with less than 10 seconds remaining. Shippensburg went on to win, 37-32.

Cheatham, a sophomore in class, in majoring in business management with a minor in exercise science and coaching.

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Cheatham is the son of Jermile Cheatham Sr. and Claudette Cheatham.

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