Moore County’s Kaden White has been named the Defensive Player of the Year of the Lakeway Publishers Southern Middle Tennessee Football Team.
The senior, who played strong safety for father Kris’ defense, led Class 1A with 152 total tackles. He had 101 solo stops and 51 assisted tackles and three tackles for loss. He also intercepted two passes, forced four fumbles and recovered two, and blocked a punt.
He made 22 tackles, 15 unassisted, in a win over Huntland. “I was questionable for that game,” said White, who battled an ankle injury for the last half of the season. “I didn’t even know if I was going to play that game.”
Teammate Donavin Pearson was second in the state with 148 stops from his linebacker post. Pearson was a second team selection for the Lakeway team.
“I wouldn’t have been Defensive Player of the Year without those other 10 guys on the field,” White said. “It’s not all on myself. It’s more of a team honor than just me.”
White led a defense that posted three shutouts and limited the opponent to just one score two other times on the way to an 11-2 record and a trip to the state quarterfinals. The Raiders gave up just 188 points in 13 games.
“I think I was just around the ball,” he said of his state-best tackles. “My dad’s game plan was to put me more on the run side of the ball and my brother (Dawson) on the passing strength. Most teams in 1A run the ball, so I feel like me being on the run side helped me out a little bit on just being around the ball more.”
Offensively, he caught 44 passes for 616 yards and eight touchdowns. He also scored a TD rushing, returned kicks and averaged 35.8 yards per kick as the team’s punter – he completed 2-of-2 passes on fake punts.
But it’s defense he enjoys most.
“My dad’s a defensive-minded coach and I’ve always been more of a defensive-minded player. Defense is hitting someone. It’s what football is all about.”
The senior hasn’t decided if he wants to commit to playing football in college. “I feel like I could do it if I wanted to make that commitment, I definitely think I have the work ethic to play college football.
“It’s all up in the air right now.”
Coaching is a possibility someday. Both of his parents are coaches and he’s been around the game all his life. “It’s definitely something I could look forward to doing some time in the future,” he said.