CANFIELD – Canfield senior Scottie Eaton has been used all over the place.
Defensive back, slot receiver, running back, wherever he’s needed, Eaton just lines up and wins. That approach has been instrumental in the Cardinals’ success this season – doing what it takes.
Last season, Eaton was primarily a slot receiver on offense. Now, he has moved back to his natural running back position.
“It’s hard to explain, but honestly, I’m a player who does what the team wants,” Eaton said. “A lot of people know this, but obviously I play a lot of roles. The only reason I do this is to help the team. Wherever the team wants me to be, I play. Whatever makes the team better, I play. What drives me is to help the team better and if that’s the case, I will do it 100%.
The Cardinals have been in doubt this season. Fresh from winning the state title, Canfield lost former quarterback Broc Lowry to graduation. Although neither player made the team, Lowry was a vital part of the system the past few seasons.
Then, the Cardinals started the season 1-3, including a loss to their Polish counterpart. This problem would have confused other groups, but the leadership of the main group that wanted to prove it was difficult.
“Obviously losing Broc and the rest of the team, we were skeptical from the start and obviously the 1-3 start didn’t look too good,” Eaton said. But the guys in the locker room, the seniors, the whole team, the coaches, everyone believed in getting us back, and I think that was the key to finishing the season 6-3 and having a good shot at the playoffs. “
That trust in each other is the way to go up and down. Everyone has faith in everyone else to do their job. When asked about his success this year, without hesitation, Eaton gave credit to his predecessors who shielded him.
“A lot of credit goes to my offensive line,” he said. “They help me. I help them, and together I feel like we’re a team that’s done well. We work together as a team. I’m nothing without them, nothing without me and that’s how we work. One whole unit together.”
That’s why Eaton has turned into a “Swiss Army Knife” piece for the Cardinals and why he’s getting so much attention in college.
The Canfield senior has received looks from many prestigious colleges for his work on the field and especially in the classroom.
“He’s just a smart guy on and off the field,” Cardinals coach Mike Pavlansky said. “He’s good at heavy workloads during the game, and a very good player. His work ethic and ability to be part of a good team has come through this year for us.”
The Cardinals begin their postseason run with a road contest against Akron East.
“We have to be on top of our game to have a chance, Akron East is a big, big team,” Pavlansky said. “They are coming in disappointed, so they will be ready to play. They remind us a lot of Mansfield, who we lost to in the second week. We will look at how we have grown and improved from the second week.”