Jack Cataldo has had an interesting high school football journey. It all paid off when he helped the Bulldogs get to their first state final in school history and now he gets to continue his football career at the college level at Alma.
Cataldo says that the season didn’t get off to a good start, but says that that having the support of his teammates made him a better player and improved every single week of the season. “I think I struggled in week one a little, but all my teammates had my back and helped me overcome the adversity in a strong manner. Overall, I think I had a very good year considering this being my first and the only year starting on varsity football. I think I did a good job of understanding all I needed to do on Friday nights,” Cataldo said.
Cataldo is a center for the Bulldogs this season and says that the position is harder than it looks. He says, “It’s really easy to blame the center when the snap is bad, but when you’re doing it and you have to snap the ball, remember your assignment, and block while there’s a 250 pound plus defensive tackle coming at you, it’s tough. The best part of playing center is the play starts with you every single time.”
Brighton’s run to the state finals meant a lot to a lot of people and Cataldo says it was a dream come true. “It was very special to go to the state finals. I have dreamed of that forever and being able to go that far showed how close our team was. We played a lot of talented teams this season, but I think when it came to how tight the team was, we were a lot better than most teams at that,” Cataldo said.
Cataldo will be continuing his football career at Alma and says he fell in love with the campus the minute he first visited. “The school aspect is great, I love the campus but the part I love the most is the coaches. I looked at a couple of different schools and Alma stood out to me by far because of how great the coaches are. They all connected with me on a personal level and in general, they are all just great people and you can tell how passionate they are about the sport,” Cataldo said.
Football has taught Cataldo a lot about himself and they are lessons that he will keep for the rest of his life. “Football taught me how difficult it is to hold your composure when a teammate messes up, its easy to be mad, but it’s a lot better to motivate them rather than put them down. It also taught me to stay positive on the football field. Normally, when a teammate messes up you just want to tell them everything they did wrong, but it makes a huge difference giving them encouragement. It’s harder to do, but it improves the team at the end of the day,” Cataldo said.
Cataldo says he will miss a lot of things about high school football, but he says the biggest thing that he will miss is his teammates. “I’ll miss Friday nights and hearing the roar of the student section as well as running out of the “Fog Dawg” and the teammates I grew up playing with,” Cataldo said.