AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Canadian High School Senior quarterback Camren Cavalier excelled in the Wildcats bi-district playoff win. Cavalier was responsible for nine touchdowns in only the first half and a total of 412 yards.
“None of that would be possible without any my other teammates, and it’s just real special that I get to play with those guys,” said Senior Quarterback Camren Cavalier. “They make me look good and that’s great that they have my back and I have theirs out there. Just being able to make the playoffs first of all, that’s special and not a lot of teams get to do that. Just to go out there and show him what we have. That’s really great.”
Against Littlefield, Camren was 14 of 18, for 332 yards and six touchdown passes. He also ran for 80 yards on nine carries and three running touchdowns.
“Cameron’s had a great year for us, really efficient with the football, really limited his turnovers,” said Canadian Head Football Coach Andy Cavalier. “Then been a really dynamic player had lots of big plays throughout the year, both running the ball and, and throwing the ball. So of course, a lot of that has to do with the guys he’s distributed to and the guys who are blocking and catching and that he’s surrounded with. But I’m certainly thankful Cameron’s our quarterback and love watching him make plays out there.”
Camrens’ leadership on offense has helped the Wildcats to a season of success as their attempt to make it back to the state championship and have their names mentioned with some of Canadians’ best.
“It’s really special growing up in Canadian and seeing older guys do it and just knowing that one day we’ll finally be up there and get to show we have and that’s just always been a dream to go and do our best, make it deep into the playoffs and to do it with my brothers that’s awesome,” said Camren.
Over his high school career, Camren has grown accustomed to the pressure that comes with being the quarterback and knowing the responsibility that comes with being a leader on the team.
“When you’re in that quarterback position, it kind of puts you in the spotlight a little bit,” said Andy. “So I think the first thing is just to understand that the position comes with that responsibility. Also, understand that you’re not going to be able to do any of the things everybody likes watching you do without all your teammates out there.”
“Andy continued, “Cameron does a really good job of just taking on that role and not letting it get to his head or anything like that, and just trying to do his best for his team and really work hard, to honor those guys and the work that they put in.”
From the beginning of the season to now the Wildcats have spent time perfecting the craft spending as much time as possible together in the weight room, on the field and attending camps, to develop team chemistry.
“I think probably the biggest place of growth has been upfront with our offensive and defensive lines, we came in into the year with a whole new group up there,” said Andy. “We graduated a really good group last year, and these guys came in with very little experience, but we knew we had a lot of potential, but just didn’t know what it was going to exactly show up as.”
“Andy continued, “so I feel like as we progress through the year, they just got better and better. We’ve also had to plug in different places as we’ve had different injuries throughout the year. So, to see guys step into those spots and come up big right when we need it is a really neat thing to watch.”
The Wildcats have not had to come from behind much this season. However, in each game the team is focused on being present in the moment, supporting each other, and knowing their individual roles.
“We always try to talk a lot about staying into the game all game long,” said Andy. “Knowing exactly what the situation is not getting caught up in what the score is just focusing on our team and in the next play and paying attention. It’s certainly human nature to relax and things are going good and you’re feeling good about what’s happening. So, it’s something we talk a lot about and try to stay focused on.”
With Canadian advancing to the next round of the playoffs there was a short amount of time to celebrate the win before having to prepare for this week’s opponent.
“We try to spend just a little bit of time savoring the victory,” said Andy. “You never want to take those for granted and definitely want to enjoy it. But it’s almost immediately on the to the next opponent. We’ll start right off the bat trying to become an expert on what Early does and what our plan is for Early.”
“We show up every day in the weight room, in the film room on the practice field,” said Camren. We just give our all every day and just work together to for the greater good.”
The Cavaliers became a part of the Canadian family when Camren was in the third grade and both Andy and Camren shared the community and welcomed them with open arms.
“Growing up with these guys, since we were wee little and just getting to spend all the goods and all the bad with them, it’s just really special get to learn from each other’s mistakes grow from them and just help each other throughout the way which is really special. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“Camren was in third grade when we moved here and you know, just as these kids just took him man right off the bat,” said Andy. “We just watched their relationships, developing and their friendships. Then of course, as they grow up watching the success we’ve had in the past, you know, I just feel like it’s a really neat opportunity for kids to get to experience growing up in a community where the expectations are high.”
Andy shared he’s loved watching how everything works in Canadian and is thankful it’s where his family landed.
Balancing the father-son dynamic on the field can be tough, but with Coach Cavalier growing up as a coach’s kid himself he understands the pressures his son faces.
“It’s a neat way to grow up, I’ll just say that I’ve really enjoyed it and I hope he does too,” said Andy. “It’s not really easy to balance sometimes you go home and you got things on your mind as the coach so you feel like you want to tell the quarterback you know but you also there’s times on the sideline where you are the coach and you feel those dad emotions come up in you.
Andy continued, “we try to do our best and make it make it work. I think we do a good job and thankfully Cameron does a does a really good job of the things we ask him to do and so I get to enjoy it as a dad and a coach coaching him.”
For Camren, growing up as the coach’s son has helped him develop as an athlete and person.
“I feel like one it’s helped me be able to understand the game, understand what’s going on. Also just gives me a good work ethic and helps me to understand and be able to push through adversity.”
Camren continued, “on the weekends after big games and just being able to get to talk about what I did good and what I did bad and that’s just sort of a special and helps me really understand everything. Coaches will always be there. But it’s I mean, it’s a whole different thing when it’s your dad and it’s just really special.
With this being their final season on the sidelines as player and coach, they’ve soaked up every moment.
“There’s times when it hits me and it’s kind of overwhelming a little bit,” said Andy. Most of the time you’re just head down working and thinking about the next game, the next play the next practice. It’s kind of out of sight out of mind. But every once in a while, things slow down a little bit and that kind of hits you.”
Andy continued, “I don’t think it’s as hard on me as it is, his mama and thinking about that little boy leaving and going out into the real world, but it’s very special. I’m extremely thankful that this is the way our life is led.
“For him to be there on the field off the field at home, wherever I’m at that’s just really special and makes for good connection,” said Camren. “We’re able to talk about things whenever and it’s really special. Definitely when we’re out there winning, and he’s there by my side and when we’re losing and he’s still right there by my side. It’s awesome to know that he’s always there for me on and off the field.