Kelley Shows Extreme Class in Defeat, He Recognizes What's Important

Robert Allen

STILLWATER -- A tremendous story that we read in The Oklahoman from Jacob Unruh confirmed what we found when we went to Thomas and visited with standout Oklahoma State commitment and tremendously talented defensive tackle Aden Kelley.

I found Kelley was not only a very talented and powerful presence on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense. He was always thanking, hugging, and praising teammates that were working hard in practice and especially those that went against him only to get knocked on their butt, but were working to help make him and the strong Thomas team better.

Last week in Cashion, Thomas lost to Cashion 28-7. Losses aren't taken lightly in Thomas, a top-ranked program that annually battles for state championships. At halftime, trailing, Kelley thinking about something other than himself, something other than football, something more important and sees Cashion Assistant coach Cale Cochran.

He had read about how Cochran had lost his wife, Jacie, when she died during childbirth this past summer. The Cashion football assistant has been the object of many prayers, well wishes, and thoughtful gestures. Kelley, a Friday night football warrior and a future Oklahoma State Cowboy felt the need to give Coach Cochran one more.

He spotted Cochran ahead of him at halftime and Kelley made his move.

“Coach, Coach, hold up,” Kelley said and told Unruh of what happened. Cochran stopped and turned around. Kelley ran up to Cochran and delivered a bear hug. Kelley told Unruh that Cochran has a beautiful baby boy. He said he prays for Cale and his son, Jaxon, every day.

“It’s just something that the man’s hurting,” Kelley said to The Oklahoman. “He lost a very close loved one. I just can’t imagine what he’s going through. It’s a tough deal. “You’re kinda at a loss for words what to say about it. But at the same time a little pat on the back can go a long way. That’s just what I tried to offer.”

Cale wrote about the experience over the weekend on Twitter. “Although it hit me pretty hard where I was reminded yet again that I’ll never see her again … I was absolutely impressed with this young kid’s actions,” Cale wrote. “I have always heard how great of a kid he is, but I sure am thankful he came up and said those nice words.

Kelley said he wasn't looking for notice and didn't do it for the publicity. He didn't seek that out. This just happens to be a very good football player that gets it, understands the things in life that are important.

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Wow! What a class act! That one got to me. About time I read something beautiful about the better side of the human race. This kid will be a great addition to our University.