Driven to succeed
If you ever needed to find Cade Naughton, it was likely that the 2018 St. Edmond graduate was in the school’s weight room.
Naughton’s hard work and dedication to being a student-athlete resulted in him being honored as this year’s Terry Griffey Award winner, handed out annually to the top male athlete at SEHS.
A multi-sport standout, Naughton worked closely over the past four years with his father, assistant football coach Cory Naughton.
“My biggest influence would have to be my dad,” Cade said. “He always brought me in early in the morning so I could lift weights because that’s the only time I could fit it in with my schedule.
“Athletics were extremely important to me and my development at St. Edmond. It gave me the opportunity to work toward something and put my best foot forward.
“It also taught me to work hard and that, eventually, everything pays off in the end.”
Naughton was a four-year letterwinner on the gridiron, running over 1,070 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns during his career. He also was a two-way started his last three seasons, recording 95.5 tackles and five sacks.
During his freshman season, Naughton was there as the Gaels reached the state semifinals. He would go on to lead the team in rushing his junior and senior seasons, earning second team all-district status.
Naughton competed for the St. Edmond wrestling team his freshman and sophomore seasons, and was a four-year letterwinner in track. He ran on five events at the state meet over his track career.
“Coach Don Larson always gave me and the other track athletes the inspiration we needed so we would perform our best whether it be in our track meets or just regular practice,” Naughton said. “Also, Jack Rasmussen was a huge influence. Anytime I needed someone to workout with, Jack would never turn down an opportunity to get better and work toward his goal of playing college football, which he will be doing at Grand View University in the fall.”
Naughton plans to attend the University of Iowa in the fall, majoring in psychology with a minor in Spanish.
“If there is one thing I could pass on it would be to be happy with having the opportunity to be where you are and to thank God for that opportunity,” Naughton said. “There are so many people who don’t have gifts and talents that we do. It would be a shame to waste the talents we have been given or to spend a second feeling like you can’t do something because you aren’t smart enough, strong enough or fast enough to work towards your goals.
“I’m glad everything has turned out the way it has.”
The criteria for the Terry Griffey Award is being a male student-athlete, earning a varsity letter in at least two sports by the end of the winter season of his senior year, demonstrates academic excellence, good citizenship and provides service to the school and community.
Named for Lt. Terrence Griffey, a graduate of 1958 graduate of St. Edmond, the award was first handed out in 1968. Griffey was killed in action over Vietnam in 1966.
“It was an honor to be nominated in the first place, but to actually be chosen was amazing,” he said. “What (being named the Griffey winner) means to me is that everyone on the committee and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today has done such a great job and I couldn’t ask for more.”
The other finalists for the award were Jake Szalat, Will Woodruff, Sean Flaherty and Rasmussen.