LEXINGTON, Ohio - Lexington senior Cade Stover never usually signs his name with a prefix.
Now he can. Call him: Mr. Football Cade Stover.
On Wednesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association in coordination with the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association announced Stover as Ohio’s 32nd Mr. Football for the 2018 high school football season.
“I couldn’t even tell you what it is like right now,” Stover said. “Just to be mention with all those guys who have won it, that is a sweet feeling. I don’t know what else to say.”
Stover may not have the words to describe why he is Mr. Football, but his play on the field this season did the talking for him. The linebacker led Lexington to a 7-4 record which included a playoff win over Tiffin Columbian. He led his team with 175 tackles including 11 for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles, four interceptions and nine pass break ups He finishes his career at Lexington with 592 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, four sacks, eight interceptions, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 24 pass breakups as he lined up all over the field in his safety-hybrid position.
“You never want to take away anything from all the kids you coached in the past, but to have a kid the caliber of Cade Stover and winning Mr. Football, that is certainly something special,” Lexington coach Taylor Gerhardt said. “All the accolades go to Cade. My defensive coordinator, Tim Scheid, has had a tremendous amount of influence on Cade’s development. Cade is a special player and I have said it over and over again how special he really is.”
Stover didn’t just do it all on defense, he was an offensive force in 2018 as well tallying 1,497 rushing yards on 205 carries going for 18 touchdowns. He also had 21 catches for 238 yards and a score.
During just his senior season, Stover was named 2018 Mansfield News Journal Defensive Player of the Year, Division III All-Ohio Defensive Player of the Year, Ohio Prep Sports Writers Division III Northwest District Defensive Player of the Year, North Central Ohio Football Coaches Association Defensive Skill Player of the Year and Ohio Cardinal Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
“When he was being recruited and these big-time schools come in to talk to me, they wanted to know if he was the kind of kid they wanted on their team. I always told them they wanted a player who is a complete package. Cade Stover is the complete package. He can play defense or offense. He can play at the blue-chip level. He has a strong family background and before he comes to practice in the summer, he already has a few hours of work on the farm and goes back after practice to finish up his work. He wants to choose a school because of the academics. They want to know what kind of kid Cade is? He is the true definition of Mr. Football.”
With the 2018 Mr. Football award at home in Lexington belonging to Cade Stover, the kid with a long list of awards admits this one is sweetest.
“This is absolute top of the list,” Stover said. “It doesn’t get any bigger than this.”
Other finalists for the award included CJ Charleston of Gates Mills Gilmour Academy, Brady Blattner of Byesville Meadowbrook, KJ Price of London, Ethan Heller of Thornville Sheridan, Miyan Williams of Cincinnati Winton Woods, Jamir Thomas of Massillon Washington and Mark Waid of Girard.