Full of energy, spunky, competitive, a desire to be great, those are ways you can describe Serra’s rising junior Lavon “LV” Bunkley-Shelton. At 5-11 170 pounds, he overcomes his slight frame with toughness as a slot receiver. He is not afraid to catch passes over the middle as he knows linebackers and safeties are licking their chops to come get him. LV outruns linebackers and when a defensive back tries to cover him he runs more technically sound routes. He has speed to burn and is only getting faster as a member of the track team at Serra. That is why schools like Arizona, Oregon, Notre Dame, and Florida have offered him along with over 10 more. Bunkley-Shelton talked about what it would mean to play Division 1 football.
“Oregon, Utah, U of A [Arizona], ASU, TCU, and Florida I would say are recruiting me the most. It would mean the world to me to be able to play D1 ball. It would mean that not only I get to continue to compete versus the very best, but I also get to further my education for FREE. I don’t see it getting much better than that,” remarked LV.
The speedy wideout has work to be done in high school before it is all said and done. He got the chance to play under guys like Kobe Smith, John Jackson III, and Bryan Addison as he learned a lot from the upperclassmen last year. LV said they taught him what it means to be a Cavalier, how to conduct himself on and off the field, and how to follow before he could become a leader. He expressed a lot of love and compassion for those guys and he even took time to write a letter for them and posted it on Twitter.
Immersed heavily in the rich tradition of wideouts, Bunkley-Shelton talked about making a name for himself as he aims to stake claim as the GOAT at receiver.
“When I graduate I want to be in that argument of who the best receiver is to come out of Serra. It’s definitely an advantage to be able to have conversations with Woody [Robert Woods], Farmer [George Farmer], Lee [Marqise Lee], PRich [Paul Richardson], JLas [Jordan Lasley], and Deontay [Deontay Burnett] learning from the GOATs of SFG. In fact, I was just working out with JLas earlier this week in moving DBs versus press man. The time I get to spend with them and the knowledge they give us is invaluable. I’m very blessed to have those guys around,” stated Bunkley-Shelton.
That love for his brothers spreads to his coaches as well as he is grateful for the lessons learned. LV has been taught to manage his body language even when he is frustrated. Also, he has been taught “trust your process” as his journey differs from the guys around him. Lastly, he is taught that the quality of his touches matters more than the quantity.
Sports is a big part of the speed merchant’s life because his family is littered with athletes. His uncle played for Air Force while his dad passed up the chance to play Big Ten or Mountain West football to play basketball at CSULB. Another uncle and cousin of his played football at Oregon. His father was his first trainer, but now he just takes a backseat with his mother as they support him unconditionally. LV now spends Tuesdays and Thursdays at a park in Gardena training with his uncle James “JFin” Finley.
LV’s trainings are paying off as at camps, like the one he attended for Rivals, he is dominating the competition against some of the best in southern California. He relishes those moments because he has gone up against guys like Merlin Robertson, Max Williams, and Addison in practice. Another reason why he chose to go to Serra.
This offseason Bunkley-Shelton is working on getting faster even though he was already fast to begin with. He is hoping more speed will lead to bigger plays on the field with the idea of making his touches count. LV is looking to add weight as well as his trainer and nutritionist Aaron Berry figure out his calorie intake. Above all, he just wants to be better for the guys around him, win games, and become a leader. LV also has an alter ego that comes to life on the field as he is infatuated with The Joker.
The 2020 athlete exclaimed, “I kill off my opponents and smile while I do it because it’s regular for me to get open versus DBs. When you see that smile, it’s going to be a long day for whoever lines up versus me.”
As for being the best receiver in 2020, LV knows there are a lot of talented players out wide in his graduating class, but he knows he can perform. He feasts off of competing as applying pressure only makes him rise to the challenge.