Kavanaugh ready to make name for himself
Trey Kavanaugh is very aware that a spotlight, whether he likes it or not, shines on him when he takes the football field.
Kavanaugh, a receiver at Watauga who entered his junior season, has a family connection that no other Pioneer has ever had. His grandfather is Appalachian State football coach Jerry Moore.
Kavanaugh, whose mother Elizabeth is Moore's daughter, takes his place with the rest of the Pioneers' offense. He has a year of varsity experience already after being one of the backup receivers last year.
He's already made a major mark on the season when he was on the receiving end of a fake punt that went for a 74-yard touchdown against Shelby last Friday. Kavanaugh adjusted to punter Mo Gore's pass, got a key block from Logan Smith, and outraced the Shelby defense to the end zone.
This year, he goes into the season as a starter with expectations that go with being the product of a football family. Not only is his grandfather the head football coach of the local university, but his uncle, Chris, is the running backs coach at ASU.
"I've been raised around (football)," Kavanaugh said. "I went to my first game when I was three weeks old."
It didn't stop there for Kavanaugh. He was often seen at Appalachian State practices watching the Mountaineers work out. The advice he got from his grandfather was to watch what the players did right.
"It was neat and special to have him on the sidelines," Moore said. "I was at a NASCAR deal and Joe Gibbs was there. I go down to the track and his grandkids are out with him at the track. It's the same thing with Trey. It's been a real privilege to be around him and watch him play."
Moore knows that his grandson may be judged differently than other players because of his lineage. He just wants Kavanaugh to give his best effort while on the field.
"I'm more interested in how hard he plays," Moore said. "You're going to drop a ball and you're going to catch a ball. I'm more interested in seeing him play hard every play."
The two have one thing in common as far as football goes: both are receivers. Moore was a standout receiver at Baylor before he began coaching prep football in Texas.
Both also get excited when football season approaches.
"I get excited like my grandpa too," Kavanaugh said. "I went to Michigan and I remember talking to him before games."
Kavanaugh caught six passes for 49 yards last season, but the 6-foot-2 receiver has already seen that production increase during the 2009 season. In two games, Kavanaugh leads the Pioneers in receiving with seven catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
The Pioneers plan to use more power running in their attack, which could open the passing lanes if successful.
Kavanaugh said quarterback Devan Corum and fellow receiver Travis Oliver have been working over the summer to improve.
"During the summer we've been getting out timing down," Kavanaugh said. "We've worked on that and on routes and we've been catching the ball well. I think this year's going to be pretty promising."
Kavanaugh said it helped to see the game on the varsity level, even if it was as a backup.
"I got a feel for it as a sophomore," Kavanaugh said. "I got a good grip as to how Friday night is going to be."
He didn't get called up to the varsity during his freshman year when the Pioneers reached the state 4-A Western Regional finals. Instead, he had to settle for the role as spectator.
Getting back to the playoffs is certainly on Kavanaugh's mind as the season approaches.
"I definitely want to get back to that place," he said. "We got a taste of it at Crest last year and I definitely want to make it farther in the playoffs. "
Helping the team win is first on Kavanaugh's mind. Making people recognize him as an outstanding prep receiver, and then secondly as Moore's grandson, would be an added bonus.
"I'm trying to break out and all," Kavanaugh said. "Hear about me first and then find out about me later instead of the other way around."