Adjusting To The Challenges

By Jeremy McDonald

DAYTON, Ore.– There was something special about the community of Dayton for Kaden Fergus ever since he was growing up in Salem.

“I love it.  I love it a lot.  I played a little bit in Salem and I didn’t really enjoy it very much because it didn’t feel like…there wasn’t a lot of community support.  Here, the whole community is involved,” starts Fergus.  “When I was little, I grew up in Salem and we would still come back here and watch the football team just because the crowds were massive.  Everyone was involved.

“Everyone backs us up.  If we ever need fundraisers, the community always helps.  It was kind of nice.”

Quarterbacking has run deep in Fergus’ family.  His dad was a quarterback.  Fergus’ older brother Tristan was the Pirates quarterback, playing at the school between 2014 and 2018 where Dayton made the postseason the four-years Tristan Fergus was in the program.

For the younger Fergus, his brother was an inspiration for him.  Kaden was always at the games as a ball boy, learning the plays his older brother was running.  Emulating his willingness to be a leader and the willingness in helping others, but it’s been a challenge for sure with changes in systems over the past few years.

Fergus (far left) re-adjusting his mask in between sprints at the start of Tuesday’s practice at Dayton High School (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

But for some reason, the little bit of time around first-year Head Coach Jacob Peterson, it feels different.

“He has a bond with us, he says something and it just kind of clicks with us a little easier for us,” said Fergus of Peterson.  “It’s been a little bit difficult, but this year has been really easier because the way our coaches are coaching us.  It makes it really easy.”

Peterson spoke towards not just Fergus’ leadership, his willingness to raise his voice to focus then up when it’s time to focus and joking when it’s needed, but also his attention to detail through the coaching.  Wanting to see his team succeed as they all learn his system this year.

“You can talk to (Scott) Klug, he’s talking to me all the time about how well he’s been.  Klug and him are on the same page all the time constantly.  They’re laughing and joking, living it up together and when they’re on the same page together, it’s awesome,” Peterson said of Fergus.

Don’t worry about the double knee braces that Fergus has sported through the last few practices, it’s to save his knees.  Being a catcher on the baseball team, Fergus is using them as support to save them for the long-haul as they went into 40-yard sprints to start their Tuesday session on her home turf.  Waiting to slowly put on the pads for the season ahead.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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