“At this age, being able to be so versatile, I don’t think it’s natural. I think it was a worked effort. He’s always worked on football stuff, and he still does.
By the time Caden was senior, Jason – who was the defensive coordinator for the past two seasons – said his son was almost like a coach on the pitch because of his versatility.
“He knew everything that was going on with the offense,” Jason said. “He knew everything that was going on in defense. He made such a good zoning he knew it. Because he was confident, they knew he knew him and listened to him. His energy and communication skills with the team brought people together.
What made him special for Jason was seeing how the team gravitated to Caden each season.
“There are some people you just want to be with,” Jason said. “I think it was him because he was such a big encouragement to everyone – coaches, students, adults and other classmates. People loved being around him because he was genuinely there for them. He wants everyone to be okay.
Caden said he felt added pressure as a freshman to be a leader, as leadership within the program had yet to be defined.
“I went to high school in my freshman year and not many people were speaking out or trying to encourage the younger ones to put them to work or study,” Caden said. “I didn’t like it. I wouldn’t consider myself one of the more chatty people out there, but I made it a point to be that guy to reach out to kids, whether they’re younger than me or even older guys. . I tried to make it my duty to be a leader. You can tell I felt compelled to do this because I didn’t really see much leadership. “