DeSoto High School Graduate Racing to Spread Awareness of Diabetes

Sevin and Al Unser Jr
Sevin and Al Unser Jr (2 time Indy 500 Winner) at the Future star racing headquarters in Brownsburg, Indiana Courtesy photo

Sevin Harmanus Cleo James Christian was a senior at DeSoto High School with big dreams. The former high school football star explains his large name: “A name came from each side of the family. Harmanus is from my mom’s side. It’s a name from my uncle, my mom’s brother. Cleo is from my father. His name is Cleoma. James is from my uncle, who is my dad’s brother. Christian is my father’s last name.” And Sevin originated from a friend of his father’s he knew in school.


Sevin played every Wide Receiver position on the DeSoto football team.


“The offense we ran normally consisted of four receivers. I learned every position just in case a backup was needed due to an injury or lack of players.”


His senior year, Sevin says, “We beat every opponent we faced to become a state champion. Our record was 16-0. We played Cedar Hill twice, during the regular season and playoffs.” He remembers the hardest games were against Abilene and Klein Collins. “We started trailing behind the teams in points but managed to overcome the adversity and surpassed them for the win. Very thankful to share a winning season and memories with that group of guys. They’ll forever be my brothers!”


Racing down the football field on Friday nights has morphed into racing around a track in a car. Sevin’s career is all about speed.


Growing Up In DeSoto


Born in Dallas, Sevin grew up in DeSoto with one brother and three sisters: Shawanna Brown late 30’s; Xavier Christian, 29; Christina Christian 25; and Elizabeth Christian 22. And there’s one more member of the family: the family dog Dallas, a poodle-terrier mix.


His parents met in high school in the late 80’s. “The story I’ve heard was that they met at a local mall in the parking lot. My father was with his cousin and my mom was with her friends. My dad approached my mother and started a conversation. After they exchanged information, the rest is history.”



Sevin attended Moates Elementary and Cockrell Hill Elementary. During elementary school he played for multiple pop warner teams. At McCowan Middle School where he played football in 7th and 8th grade.


As a child football was his first love. “My favorite player was priest Holmes and I wanted to be just like him.” But he also wanted to ‘go fast’ – racing. “I never knew I could race cars for a living until I grew older and did research.” He attributes his love for it thanks to his father. “My dad taking me in one of his fully built mustangs brought my addiction for speed at an early age.”


His favorite classes were math and automotives. “I’ve always loved math to get a bunch of numbers and problems and solve them.” Automotive class was another favorite, because “I grew up around cars and always loved to learn about and work on them. The class was the one I would definitely go to early and leave late consistently.”


Speeding Awareness


Sevin’s beloved grandmother who died in 2010 had diabetes. He has other Family members that have it also. Now he can do something about it.


“I have an opportunity in the works to be a spokesperson for a diabetes awareness
program, which also happens to be a sponsorship. It goes hand in hand with my career and my family.” Sevin says, “I want to be able to use my name and image to help save a life with knowledgeable information. Someone could have it and may not have a clue or idea.”


Two slogans that he feels work to help are: “Check don’t guess, it may not be the Flu,” and “Education is Knowledge and knowledge is the power to help save lives.” He refers people to the website

Race car driver getting wrist taped
Sevin and his father Taping his wrist at Watkins Glen international in Watkins Glen, New York.

His Dream

As he helps to promote Diabetes awareness, he dreams of finding a cure for the disease. And he has other dreams too.


He’d love to own a 1997 Ferrari F50 or a 2009 pagani zonda cinque, or even a 2017 Dodge Viper ACR. “But my utmost Favorite car is the 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago SV. I fell in love with the car from my childhood video game “Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2.” The game featured an early model Murcielago, but it became Sevin’s dream car once the SV model came out. “I knew it was the one. I had the privilege to work around and even work on a couple of murcielagos so now I just need to own one!”

Sevin in a race car
Sevin in the JS Motorsport LLC race car at Nelson Ledges road course Garrettsville, Ohio
(photographer – Ray Christian)

He’s been working on automobiles since he was four years old. “My dad taught me growing up.” He currently works full time at Freedom Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram as a Technician and works on a variety of vehicles daily. He rebuilds and replaces engines for the dealership.


He’s met and been inspired by a few famous people from rappers to athletes. “The two people I cherished meeting were priest Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson. Growing up I looked up to these two. I would mimic their workout regimens to their meal plans.” One famous person he’d like to meet is his idol, Lewis Hamilton. “He’s one of the main reasons I’m pushing to make it in Motorsports. He changed the history of Formula one.” Hamilton is also an advocate for diversity, promoting change to Motor sports. Sevin says, “His humbleness and ambition to win inspires me.”


Future Racing


Sevin is preparing to drive for future star racing for the Formula 4 2023 Season. He’s a member of the SCCA as a Race Car Driver within the club.


“My dream job is to be a professional racer and car driver. That’s my focus and goal now. Later down the road I’ll love to open a performance shop in my hometown.”


And as he’s journeying toward these future goals, he’ll be serving the community teaching others to be aware of the causes and affects of diabetes.


A young man helping others as much as he can – as fast as he can.