Athens High football is off to a 5-1 start overall and 3-0 start in the region. The three wins have it tied with Muscle Shoals (7-0, 3-0) for the top spot in Class 6A, Region 7. Athens and Muscle Shoals play on Oct. 18. First, the Golden Eagles will face Columbia on Friday.
A main part of Athens’ success has been its rushing attack led by quarterback Jordan Scott and running backs Jaelen Cates and Braden Gross.
Athens’ offensive line has been getting a good enough push to open up running lanes for those three. One of the leaders of that unit is 6-foot-6, 340-pound right guard Caden Shoulders. Shoulders earned a starting spot his sophomore year and has held onto it since then.
Shoulders sat down with Decatur Daily sports writer Matthew Speakman to answer five questions:
Question: What’s been your assessment of the team this season?
Answer: “We’ve played together. That’s one thing I can say. We’ve played together. We’ve all been there for each other. We’ve been playing great.”
Question: Do you feel like your team has lived up to your own expectations thus far?
Answer: “I feel like we’ve met my expectations so far. I had high hopes for the team. I had great hopes for everybody. We’ve had a great group of guys out there all around.”
Question: What’s the feeling like when you pancake block someone?
Answer: “It’s great. You get that adrenaline rush and it feels amazing. You get back up and you want to do it again. You want to keep doing it because you keep getting that rush. You know you’re doing your job.”
Question: What are your future plans after high school?
Answer: ‘I’m hoping to go to South Alabama. That’s one college I’m interested in. I would like to go there. They have a mechanical engineering program on campus for all four years. That’s what I want to major in. That’s what really drives me academically. They also have a great football team with a great coaching staff. It’s similar to (Athens)”
Question: What has you interested in mechanical engineering?
Answer: “I love design. I love working on vehicles all the time. That’s one of my main hobbies just working on stuff. My grandad got me interested in it. He had the most influence on me. We would work on cars. We built a truck together, and that was pretty big for me.”