Victoria Advocate: Another underdog story

Posted: May 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

Memorial’s Brandon Cady more than makes up for not being the biggest, tallest or fastest player on the field.

“He has a great motor that never slows down,” said Memorial defensive coordinator Clint Finley of his sophomore linebacker. “Even when he’s confused, he can correct mistakes because he’s going so hard. I wish every kid had his intensity and motor.”

Cady has played at the weak-side, strong-side and middle linebacker positions this season. He leads Memorial with nine tackles for loss and has 13 solo tackles in his first year at the varsity level. Cady, a 5-foot-6, 175-pound defender, was on the freshman team last year but has caught on quickly to make an impact for the Vipers who would make the playoffs with a win against San Antonio East Central on Friday.

“I’ve had to work on wrapping up and holding on,” said Cady of the challenges of playing Class 5A varsity football as a sophomore. “I like to hit them as hard as I can, but when they’re a lot bigger than me I have to just hang on sometimes. I may not make the tackle, but I try to get to the ball every single play.”

The Memorial defense will be tested on Friday against East Central’s Chris Johnson. The Hornets’ senior running back has run for 1,416 yards and 14 touchdowns, but the Vipers’ defense has been strong this season against the rush. A big part of their success can be attributed to Cady, according to head coach Mickey Finley.

“He just very physically tough,” Finley said. “I don’t think he’s afraid of anything out there on the football field. He’s young and makes mistakes, but we can put up with mistakes as long as our guys are going all out. His biggest problem is over-pursuing because he’s in such a hurry to get there and hit someone.”

Along with drawing praise from his coaches, Cady has won over the support of his defensive captain, Preston Turner.

“He’s going to become a great player by the time that he’s a senior,” said Turner, who is a three-year starter and one of the most intense Vipers. “He’s going to have to work on his reads and keys, but that’s just part of being a smart football player. He’s been great for our defense.”

Cady is alone as the only Memorial sophomore getting substantial playing time this season. Freshman Brandon Salazar has been playing at receiver, but Cady has had the biggest impact of the underclassmen on defense.

“It singles me out a little because I’m the only sophomore, but I’m used to it now,” Cady said. “The seniors used to pick on me a little, but they don’t any more.”

What they are doing is enjoying having a teammate like Cady, regardless of height, size or classification.

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