STAFF OF THE ISSUE: DARNERIEN MCCANTS
February 26, 2022
Westfield gained another bulldog recently: ISS Supervisor Darnerien McCants.
Although McCants, 43, has only been in education for the last three years, he’d always planned to be an educator. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was twelve years old,” he explained.
But for McCants, life had other plans.
From a young age, McCants had an interest in sports, his favorite being basketball. “I’m a basketball player, all day, every day,” McCants commented. Although McCants preferred basketball, he also enjoyed playing football. “I started playing with my friends in the neighborhood. My friends said they were going to play in high school, so I played in high school,” he reflected.
When playing football at Arundel High School in Maryland, McCants led his team to county and regional championships, but he still wasn’t strongly attracted to football. “I was not necessarily interested in football, I just liked playing sports; I was a competitor,” he said.
McCants continued to play football at Delaware State University. His touchdown total set records for Delaware State, which garnered interest from the NFL. “I lead the nations in touchdowns, so generally when you’re the best, they pick you up,” McCants said.
Shortly after graduating from Delaware State with a degree in education, McCants was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2001. McCants played as a wide receiver for the team until 2004, when he was released at the end of the season. McCants attributes this release to issues with the new coaching staff.
After being released from the Redskins, McCants signed with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the 2005 season. He played mostly on special teams, eventually being released before the 2006 season.
In 2007, McCants signed with Canadian team the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and played 3 games. Thefollowing year he signed with the Baltimore Ravens, his home team, but was let go a little over a month later. Later that year, McCants joinedthe Montreal Alouettes and was released in the beginning of 2009. This was the end of his professional football career.
Although McCants never expected this career path, he shared some insight on why he was able to make it to a professional level. “I wanted to be the best, I don’t like losing, and I’m competitive, so with that mindset, my body, and my work ethic, I went to a pro level,” McCants explained.
After retiring from football, McCants became a personal trainer and coach. He coached at Wilde Lake High School in Maryland, and Briar Woods High and Rock Ridge High in Virginia.
Outside of athletics, McCants has a passion for art and music. He has sold over 100 art pieces, and has released two R&B albums inspired by the works of Michael Jackson and other artists. “I’m a natural artist, I’m a natural singer, I’m a natural dancer, so that is what I do naturally,” McCants stated. He recently performed for the Black Student Union showcase, singing an original song of his.
McCants is also a family man. “I am a married man with a wife and two kids. My son is in middle school, and my daughter is in elementary school,” McCants stated.
McCants is hopeful for the future. “I’m looking forward to what life is going to show me, for the next phase of my life, he said.”
When asked to share a message to his fellow bulldogs, McCants said: “It’s a great day to be alive.”