FOXBURG, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Don’t let the knee brace fool you.
Caden Rainey is ready to go.
The senior, who can do it all for the Union/A-C Valley football team, had a scare this summer when he sprained the ACL in his left knee. But the injury hasn’t slowed him down.
Not one bit.
“Caden is Caden. He always looks good,” said Falcon Knights’ coach Brad Dittman. “I haven’t seen any difference with him yet. I know we’ve been on air, we’ll see how (the knee) progresses and go from there. It’s something we’re going to have to monitor all year round with him. It’s something we’re going to have to keep an eye on.”
Rainey isn’t too concerned.
Then again, nothing much fazes the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Swiss Army knife for Union/A-C Valley.
“The doctors were worried about it, but it’s just a sprain,” Rainey said. “No worries at all here.”
The worries when it comes to Rainey are solely in the domain of opponents trying to stop him as his role in the offense will increase this season for the Falcon Knights.
Rainey lined up at running back and wide receiver last season. This year, he may play a little quarterback, too, as just another wrinkle teams will have to prepare for.
“If Rainey is running quarterback, we can run some read-option,” Dittman said. “That gives us lots of options. It’s still a work in progress.”
On defense, Rainey is also a weapon.
Last year, Rainey rushed for 178 yards, caught 24 passes for 285 yards and also had 29 tackles, a sack and four interceptions on defense for Union/A-C Valley.
“Caden gives us a ton of options,” Dittman said. “We can move him around to all different kinds of positions. Not only moving him around, but it allows us to move other guys around as well. We only have 22, 25 kids on our roster, but we have a lot of athletes. We’re excited about that.”
So is Rainey.
His elusiveness is one of his strengths.
“I’m just a shifty guy,” Rainey said. “I’m not the tallest. I’m not the fastest, but I can make a move in the open field. It’s fun, especially when you make a couple of people miss and your teammates are behind you, hyping you up.”
None of it matters to Rainey, though, if Union/A-C Valley falls short of its lofty goals.
Last year, the Knight Falcons went 5-2, but those two losses were by a combined five points to Redbank Valley and Smethport — teams that combined to go 13-2 and played each other for the District 9 Class A title.
“We want to go undefeated. We want to win football games,” Rainey said. “I don’t have any personal goals. As long as there’s a W in that column, I don’t care.”