WACO, TX — The Connally Cadets finished the regular season in second place in the district in 4A DII, after beating China Spring in overtime, with a gutsy two-point conversion.

Connally senior Kavian Gaither has played a monumental part in the Cadets success, as he plays every snap on both sides of the ball.

“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been playing both sides of the ball,” Kavian Gaither said. “All the way from Pee Wee, all the way to junior high, all the way to now, you know,? So it’s always been….I don’t want to say it’s been easy for me, because it’s definitely a hard thing to do. But I’m used to it now. You just have to learn when to use your energy, and when not to use your energy.”

“He’s got a lot of God-given talent,” Shane Anderson said. “But he’s always getting extra workouts in. He’s always doing the little things it takes to be that kind of player. And so, we’ve been blessed with a lot of talented kids and a lot of committed kids, but he’ll go down in the record books as one of the best.”

Gaither started the 2020 season at running back, but when transfer quarterback and DI commit Tyler Webb got hurt, it was a no-brainer for Shane Anderson to move Gaither back under center.

“You know the kid started 13 games for us last year and won 12 of them at quarterback,” Shane Anderson said. “Once Tyler was injured, I shot KG a text and said, ‘Hey man, you did it for 13 weeks last year. I need you to do it again.’ ‘Yes, sir.’ And then he showed up on Monday and went to work.”

“As long as I’m on the field, that’s all that matters,” Kavian Gaither said. “And just making a difference for the team, and just putting the team before me, that’s a big thing and that’s from my upbringing also.”

Gaither is a team captain and strives for excellence in the classroom – the same way he does in football.

“KG is a guy that’s worked for everything that he gets, you know? He makes straight A’s in the classroom,” Shane Anderson said.

“From your freshman year, if you don’t get your GPA right then, then it’s gonna end up messing you up on your senior year GPA,” Kavian Gaither said.

Gaither will play in college, but is waiting a few more weeks to make a final decision.

“I’m looking to sign in December,” Kavian Gaither said. “I’m being patient, you know? Just being patient with the process.”

“Whoever ends up with him is gonna get a steal,” Shane Anderson said. “The sky is the limit, and I think wherever he ends up, I think he’s gonna be a heck of a player and make a big time contribution to that program.”

“A lot of the coaches, they like to look at the numbers, see what you do, what’s your 40, what’s your vertical, how tall are you and all that stuff,” Kavian Gaither said. “I have God-given abilities of course. But God didn’t bless me with that. But I’ll put it as a chip on my shoulder, you know? I’m not the fastest player on the field. I’m not the biggest player on the field. But I will play smarter than you. I will play harder than you.”

On Thursday, Connally faces the Center Roughriders at Madisonville with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.