Caden Story continues the legacy

Published 8:27 am Thursday, March 12, 2020

Since the end of the 2015 football season, the Lanett Panthers have had a flurry of success, winning 60 games the last four years and two state championships. The Storys have been a catalyst for that success. Head Coach Clifford Story has led the Panthers on the sideline every year, while his three sons dominated on the field.

The oldest brother, Tre, led the Panthers to the fourth round of the playoffs in 2016, capping his senior year with a first-team all-state selection. The middle son, Kristian, won two state championships and accounted for the most yards and touchdowns in Alabama state history. He capped his career with a state championship and was selected as Mr. Football, the best player in the state of Alabama.

The youngest son, Caden, is a sophomore and is already a force for the Panthers.

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“Seeing my brothers do what they did, and with me following their footsteps, I’m very thankful for them putting me in the right position to be where I am today. I just appreciate them for that,” Caden said.

Unlike his older brothers, both of which were defensive backs and quarterbacks, Caden is in the trenches, playing defensive end and tight end. He moved to defensive end this past year as a sophomore and thrived, finishing with 68 tackles, including 14 for loss, and eight sacks.

“I really enjoy playing defensive end,” Caden said. “That’s where I can see my future possibly being. [I like] the physicality.”

Caden has already made coaches and recruiters notice his talent on the defensive line. So far, he has received a scholarship offer from Maryland and Tennessee. He has also received invites to the Under Armour All-American camp, the Future 150 camp and the ESPN Elite Underclassmen camp.

“I’m very appreciative of it, and I’m ready to get there and showcase my talent against those people that are known as the four or five stars,” Caden said.

While his position is set on the defensive side of the ball, his offensive spot is still up in the air. With Kristian graduating, the Panthers are having their first quarterback contest in years. Caden is one of the team’s candidates.

“He understands that he may be called upon in a lot of games and a lot of series to play some quarterback because who wants to hit a 6-foot-4 240-pound power-running quarterback?” Clifford said. “We’re gonna have some things in place for him to do it, let us be able to take over because he can spin it.”

“Talking to recruiters, they say, ‘let [the Lanett coaching staff] figure out what he does, and you use him how you need to use him, so I’m not going to really focus on a certain position. I need to win and he gonna be a vital part of all that.”

Caden still has two more years to receive more offers and choose where he wants to end up, but he already knows he wants to get a chance to have a full college experience.

“I’m not trying to stay too close to home, because I want to get the real college experience. I also don’t want to go this way too far off. I want to go with the best fit for me,” Caden said.