Catawba football: Cauble flying high

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009

By Bret Strelow
bstrelow@salisburypost.comEast Rowan graduate Aaron Cauble wants to become a pilot. He’s currently part of an operation that prevents footballs from taking flight.
Cauble, a Catawba junior who contributes primarily on special teams, scored his first collegiate touchdown after teammate Jaspen Gray blocked a punt against Livingstone on Sept. 12.
Cauble blocked a punt against Carson-Newman last season, and Tyon Bennett scored on a 15-yard return.
“The coaches tell us, with special teams, that’s where the ball travels the farthest on one play,” Cauble said. “If you can create plays on that one play, that’s going to have a big effect on the outcome of the game.”
Cauble has signed a contract to join the Marine Corps ó his commitment is 8 years ó and he will spend 10 weeks next summer at Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va. He plans to return for his senior season and complete work toward his degree in the first semester.
As a young boy, Cauble traveled to nearby air shows with his mother, Kristan. She was in the National Guard, and Cauble fondly recalls taking helicopter rides.
“Ever since then I thought flying was something I’d really want to do,” he said. “I’m really excited about this. A lot of people ask me why I want to do it because they don’t see themselves doing it, but to me it’s an opportunity. To be able to do something like that, I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s pretty awesome.”
A tough start at Catawba forced Cauble to focus more on his academics.
He redshirted as a freshman in 2006 and was ineligible the next season. Two years away from football were difficult to handle.
“Life isn’t going to be given to you; you’re going to have to go out and work for it,” Cauble said. “The concept of not being on the football team came along and actually happened, and I had to take a step back and look at what my priorities were and see what I really wanted for my life.
“From going to playing your whole life to sitting out two years and not playing at all, you can ask anybody who’s done it, it’s pretty tough. I was really ready to get back out there and play.”
The block against Carson-Newman gave the Indians an early lead in a 21-14 loss to their rival, and Cauble estimated that six or seven Catawba players ó notably Brandon Weedon ó had a shot at the end-zone recovery against Livingstone.
Cauble joked about the heat he took from teammates for not celebrating after the score. It was his first touchdown since a 25-yard run against Lake Norman as an East Rowan junior in 2004.
David Dowd playfully referred to himself, Cauble and Charles Draper as “The Three Musketeers” during their time at East, and Cauble made noise as a senior by intercepting eight passes. Now he’s making an impact at Catawba.
“He’s one of the guys on the football team that everybody respects and everybody likes,” Catawba coach Chip Hester said. “He’s quiet and unassuming, but he’s one of the guys who does whatever he’s asked to do. He wants to compete in everything he does, but he truly buys into the team-first concept.”