PREP SPORTS: ‘Play with intensity day in and day out’: West Point’s Cade Welborn recaps sophomore season

West Point’s Cade Welborn. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – In this interview, I talked to West Point’s Cade Welborn about his sophomore seasons on the basketball court and on the baseball field.

“I felt like at the JV level, we were a pretty solid squad. Losing in the county finals hurt a lot, but it made us better and gave us more motivation to work harder. I learned to be a leader last year on the team. Being on varsity and getting minutes was helpful to get an understanding of what to expect and how to play at that level,” Welborn said. “Coach Lee is a great coach and an even better person. I loved playing for him. He’s very basketball-minded and has a great knowledge of the game. He’s taught me to have more confidence when I’m playing. I feel like he’s showed me how to become a much better offensive player than I was before.”

He added,

“Coach Voce wants to win games and he’s going to put us in the right direction to win. I’ve known him for a while. He married into my family and he’s a great guy. He’s a very energetic and passionate coach who wants the best for us. He’s taught me how to be successful in basketball and in life. He’s pushed me in practice to be a better player and have confidence in taking shots. He has also taught me how to be a smarter player as well.”

Cade took away so much from last year’s seniors and will deeply miss playing with them. He has enjoyed his time with this year’s seniors and has learned some things from them as well.

“Last year’s seniors laid the foundation for us coming up. They showed up every day to practice and showed us how to be the best we could be. I loved the senior group and I’m going to miss playing with them. They were all great teammates. They taught me how to play with intensity day in and day out,” Welborn said. “This year’s seniors have a great work ethic and they push themselves in practice. They’ve showed me how to be a great teammate and they’ve helped me with my basketball knowledge on the court. I’ve always had a close relationship with these seniors, so the transition was easy for me. I feel like we have good chemistry.”

Cade talked about what he worked on in the offseason and what he will continue to work on to get ready for next season, plus the goals for this upcoming season.

“I’ve worked on my shot and being able to handle the ball with pressure. Going into this season, I need to continue to shoot the ball well and keep working with the team to play to our ability,” he said. “The team goals are to win a county championship, area championship, and go as far as possible. Two of my individual goals are to make it to Regionals and play at Wallace. Growing up and going to Regionals at Wallace, I’ve always wanted to play there in that atmosphere.”

Cade thinks this year’s team will be one to watch this upcoming season.

“This team has great chemistry and we all get along great. We got a lot of length on our team, which makes us a defensive threat. We have some shooters on this team too. Jay Lamar can shoot it really well and Kolten Perry can score pretty much all over the court. This team has a lot of depth as well.”

Cade learned so much from being on the JV and varsity baseball team last season and feels blessed to get to play alongside a great group of teammates.

“I learned to push myself in and day out. Everyone in the program works to be successful. Our coaches push us to be the best we can be and that’s why we’ve had success,” he said. “The guys all work for the same goal. Every single one of the guys push themselves and work hard. Seeing the guys’ work ethic at practice and in their own time shows what kind of person and player that they are. Being a great program and having success comes from the coaches and the guys buying in. We’re all working toward the same goals.”

Cade has soaked up as much as he can from coach Drew Bryson and the other coaches as well.

“Coach Bryson is a great coach. He’s developed a great program at his time at West Point. He was a great player and now coach. He shares his knowledge of the game with us and pushes us to be our best. Whether it’s the practices or the morning workouts, he points us to success. Our infield coach, Tyler Morgan, he gives up countless hours in the field to make us better. Some of the other coaches also give up a lot of time to make us the best players we can be,” he said. “The baseball things they’ve taught me are countless. They’ve taught me many life lessons and how to be mentally tough. They’ve taught me to not give up and always give 100% of what I have on the field.”

Cade played with some great seniors last season and learned some things from them. He will continue to put in the work in the offseason as he is preparing for next season. He has some goals set for next season.

“The senior class was great, and they taught me a lot being around them. They taught me how to be a great teammate and to have success on the field,” he said. ” I need to continue to hit the baseball well and put in the work defensively going into the season. The team goal is to win state. It’s something we’ve all worked for and we’re wanting to make that deep playoff run. I think we’re very capable of making that run. Individually, I want to play at the next level.”

Cade thinks this will be a very special season for the Warriors.

“This team is working toward the same goals. Ever since middle school, when we first started playing for coach Bryson, we’ve all had the same goal. This team has lots of talent. Offensively, I’ve seen every single one of these guys be a threat in the box. Defensively, we make the routine plays. This team has a special bond, because we’ve played together all our lives. Whether it was little league, travel ball, or school ball, part of this team has always been together. I think that us playing together all our lives, having that bond, and the same goals, makes us a dangerous team.”

Cade talked about some role models that he looked up to and the best advice that he was ever given.

“For basketball, it was Ashton Rodgers. He had a good work ethic in practice and was a pretty good point guard. For baseball, it was Kanaan Sutter. He always had a great attitude about everything and gave everything he had on the field,” he said. “The best advice that someone ever gave me was don’t let other people ruin your love for the game.”

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