Hardworking and unselfish, Harlan County standout Aaron Caldwell is a prime example of what has made the Black Bears so successful.
“Aaron is a likable person, and a real coachable player,” added Harlan County coach Tom Larkey. “He plays with a lot of effort and intensity. He wants to be in on everything, and doesn’t shy away from anything.”
The son of a football coach, it is no surprise that Caldwell is a player than any coach would love to have on their team.
“I just try to help out the team the best I can in any way I can,” Caldwell said. “Work ethic is one of the most important things in football. If you don’t work hard you probably wont be that good. I guess it was my dad (Scott Caldwell) that really taught me that.”
From his tight end position, Caldwell is one of the best and most aggressive blockers on the Harlan County roster, and a big reason the Bears have the state’s top rushing attack.
“He is a good blocker. He knows how to double-team on the tackles and keep his head up and get the linebackers,” Larkey added. “Once he locks up with you he don’t lose y0u. He blocks people all over the field. Aaron takes a lot of pride in what he does.”
While the Bears rarely have to move the ball through the air, Caldwell is also a reliable option in the passing game.
“If coach calls on me, I like to make sure he knows he can trust me. I like to catch the ball too, and hopefully get some yards after the catch,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell has played primarily on the offensive side of the ball during his career at Harlan County, but his impact has been felt on the defensive side of the ball in 2012. This season, Caldwell has recorded recorded 40 tackles.
“He has played 50 percent of the time, or more, at defensive end and does an outstanding job there,” Larkey said. “He gets his reads down real well. He shuts off the power game and knows when to get the outside.”
Caldwell and the Black Bears will continue their path through the 5A playoffs today as they host Madison Southern in the second round.
“Going to the state championship has been my life dream. I have always wanted to go there and play in Bowling Green,” Caldwell said.