published Monday, October 28th, 2013

Greater Chattanooga area prep football player of the week Blake Cates carries the load for Sequatchie

Sequatchie County's Blake Cates (22) tries to get past Notre Dame's Robert Murphy (63) in this file photo.
Sequatchie County's Blake Cates (22) tries to get past Notre Dame's Robert Murphy (63) in this file photo.
Photo by C. B. Schmelter.
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    Sequatchie County's Blake Cates is player of the week after a strong game against Boyd-Buchanan.
    Photo by Allison Love.
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13 for '13 -- Week 10

Jim Cardwell, Boyd-Buchanan: 265 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2-point conversion pass.

Blake Cates, Sequatchie County: 102 rushing yards, 12 solo tackles, seven assists.

Rafael Gaglianone, Baylor: 3 field goals including 57-yarder.

Jacob Gilbert, Lakeview-F.O.: 5 TDs including 92-yard kickoff return.

Austin Herink, Cleveland: 2 TD passes, completed 18 of 25 pass.

Blake Lynn, Dade County: 3 TDs, 200 rushing yards.

James McClellan, Signal Mountain: 191 rushing yards, TD.

Drake McCowan, North Murray: 5 TDs, 159 rushing yards.

Clay McHone, Whitwell: 5 TDs, 223 rushing yards.

Haasan Miller, Tyner: 2 TD passes, rushing TD.

Kareem Orr, Notre Dame: 169 receiving yards, 2 TDs.

Corbin Powers, McMinn County: 4 TD passes.

Will Slack, Grace Academy: 4 TDs, 166 rushing yards.

They call Blake Cates "water-boy."

He arrived at a passing league scrimmage and realized he had forgotten his helmet so Sequatchie County coach Ken Colquette made him the team's water boy.

"He did a good job as far as I know. His mom brought him his helmet but I remember telling him he had a future there, to just keep it up," Colquette said.

As water boys go, Cates has proven himself as a running back, linebacker and leader.

Cates earned Times Free Press player of the week honors for a two-sided performance against Boyd-Buchanan -- 102 rushing yards and 19 tackles (12 solo).

"Yeah, the water boy is a heck of a football player," Colquette said. "He's also a great kid and a really good student."

Colquette rarely lets Cates off the field when Sequatchie is on defense. He knows Cates' value but doesn't often cut the senior any slack.

"I praised him after one game. He'd had 18 tackles. Then I told him there were probably 18 more he had missed," the coach said.

When Cates does get a breather, it's when the Indians are on offense, but he still leads the team in scoring and rushing yards. He also leads the team in total tackles, solo hits and tackles for loss.

"If I left him in there every play on offense he'd be up among the [area] leaders in touchdowns and rushing yards, but we play a lot of running backs. That's just the way I have always been," Colquette said. "I told the staff the other day that they had done a really good job with Blake. He's a senior and I know he'll be missed next year. It's something I'm not looking forward to."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Cates is the smallest of his family but Colquette considers him to be the complete package, a package that has drawn looks from MTSU, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as well as some of the military academies.

"He's playing alongside his brother, who's a freshman, on defense. His brother's big for his age and his dad's a big man so Blake is small comparatively," Colquette said. "If he was bigger there'd be a lot more people looking at him. As it is he does pretty well with what he has. Any parent or coach would be proud to have him."

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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