Jalen Catalon: Following a Legacy’s Footsteps

Jalen Catalon, 10, runs out with his team at a football game.

Chyna Moore

Jalen Catalon, 10, runs out with his team at a football game.

Kendra Washington, Staff Writer

Sophomore Jalen Catalon gets back into position for the next play as the varsity football announcer credits him for the beneficial defensive play. While the crowd screams his name, his number and face flash across the big screen. The referee blows his whistle, and Jalen starts focusing on the next play.

“Football is everything to me,” Jalen said. “It is what I want to pursue in the future.”

Jalen plays as a varsity free safety. Just within his first couple of games, he’s already averaging 13.5 tackles per games and has made 149 total this season. Jalen also holds the school record of 24 tackles in one game and has made four interceptions. Jalen has the opportunity to play alongside the starting varsity quarterback — his older brother, senior Kendall Catalon.

“[My brother is] most definitely a good role model,” Jalen said. “He’s taught me what hard work looks like.”

This is the first season that Jalen and Kendall have gotten to play together on varsity. Jalen and Kendall both currently hold starting positions and served as team leaders for district 10 during district play. Now in playoffs, both players are serving as team captains. Kendall said that he has high hopes for his younger brother and all the he has yet to accomplish.

“As a sophomore he’s doing things that no one else can do,” Kendall said. “We’ve always been close, but we’ve got even closer being not just brothers, but teammates on the field. [We] just have a bond that no brothers have had before.”

Jalen looks up to his older brother and aspires to work just as hard as him. Jalen mentioned that despite his admiration, he does not feel pressured to fill his older brothers shoes.

“He’s just another player to come through the football program,” Jalen said. “ I definitely try to prove to him that I can do what he can.”

Jalen claimed he has been playing football since he was 4 years old when his dad introduced him to the sport. Jalen said through the years playing football has always been a positive influence on his relationship with his older brother.

“Playing together has made us express our emotions more,” Jalen said.

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