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If one wants to get physical with a member of the Buford High School football team, then look no further than senior two-way starter Scott Catledge.
Catledge, a 5-10, 195-pounder, will tell you he relishes the hits.
“I like physical contact,” said Catledge, a starter in the BHS backfield and the defensive line. “I like to show my power.
“I like getting after it,” he said. “Once I get hit, I keep on going and don’t want people to bring me down.”
To date, Catledge, a power runner, has rushed for 428 yards and four scores for the 2-2 Jackets.
“I owe a lot of my success in football to Jareth Bailey,” said Catledge of the former Buford High standout running back. “He was like my mentor when I first joined the varsity last year.
“He helped me out so much, especially in the weight room where he helped me get stronger,” Catledge said. “His conditioning helped me and he taught me a better form and technique in lifting weights to help build strength.”
Catledge noted he benches 265 pounds and squats 415.
He added he’s followed Bailey’s tough running style.
“Jareth bulldozed people and wouldn’t stop until he was down,” Catledge said.
Ironically, it was a breakaway run – a 74-yard dash in the Jackets’ 49-8 road win over Class A foe McBee High that Catledge savors the most to date.
“It was exciting,” said Catledge of his longest run of the season. “It was a dive play and I had two or three good blocks on the play and I just went the distance. Those blocks gave me the running room I needed.”
Catledge said teamwork, much like what was displayed on his long scoring run, is the key to the Jackets’ success this season.
“We need to come together,” Catledge said. “We need to be one on the football field. Be like brothers and play together.”
Play like Catledge, according to BHS coach Mike Wells.
“Scott has grown up a lot from last year,” Wells said. “The key to it is his hard work on and off the field. He’s worked hard in the weight room and that has translated to a tough running back. He ran hard last season, but it seems he’s taking on more hits this season.”
Catledge’s physical play has also helped him make a smooth transition from linebacker to the Jackets’ defensive line.
“I like it better there,” Catledge said. “I like that instant contact when you come off the football.”
BHS defensive line coach Jeff Moyer said Catledge has made an impact.
“We utilize his strength and I like his quickness and conditioning he brings as a back. Scott has made the adjustment and he’s a valuable part of our defense.
“In addition to his physical tools, he has a football IQ of knowing where the ball is, getting there and making plays,” Moyer said. “When you look at our film on defense, he’s in or around the ball on about every play.”
Tonight the Jackets cap non-region play, facing Great Falls High School, a team it fell to in the Founders Kickoff Classic, 15-0 a month ago in the preseason scrimmage at AJ.
“At that time, we had just lost our quarterback (Tripp Wright) with an injury, and our new quarterback, C.J. Blackmon, hadn’t taken many snaps,” Catledge said. “He has more experience now. I feel we’re a different team.
“We need to play hard and stick together,” he said. “I’m going to run with all my heart.”
Wells expects nothing less.
“Scott’s going to work hard and play hard,” he said. “When you get that kind of effort from the team, you have a good shot at success each Friday night. Our guys give good effort and Scott’s a true reflection of that."