Rural Missouri - November 2019 - 37
Ultimately, Cale's uncanny instincts bore out and have all those big-city opportunities but still have
he was celebrating the score with his teammates. the small-town feel back home," he says. "I grew up
"It was pretty cool," the senior from Kearney and was able to go out and play in the woods. But
says. "I was conﬁdent that it should be a touch- then we were close enough to the city or Olathe,
down. That was probably one of the easier touch- Kansas to go down and play basketball tournaments or something. It was a really good balance."
downs to ever happen, but I'll take it."
He was far from a one-sport athlete growing up.
While the score may have seemed easy on the
ﬁeld, the years of hard work, meticulous ﬁlm study, At different times in Kearney he was on the basepreparation and attention to detail that fueled ball, basketball, track and wrestling teams. But
Cale's career were anything but. The former Kear- football was - and still is - "the No. 1 passion."
So good was he early on, he made the Kearney
ney High School standout excelled at Mizzou, takHigh School varsity team as a freshman. He
ing over as a starter his sophomore
played both ways for the Bulldogs and helped
season and team captain the past
lead them to a Class 4A State Championship
two years. His season was abruptly
his senior year of high school.
cut short this year when he suffered
"It's crazy to think back on it all," Cale
a torn pectoral muscle against Troy -
says. "I remember all of it, but it feels so
a game where he had two interceptions
long ago. It's ﬂown by."
in the ﬁrst half - on Oct. 5.
His hard work and preparation were
Cale's preparation put him in the
instilled in him starting in Kearney.
best position possible multiple times
"I've had a lot of great people in my
early in the Tigers' 2019 campaign. His
life that have been great examples for
touchdown against South Carolina was
me, starting with my mom and stephis second of three consecutive games
dad," he says. "People have helped me
ﬁnding paydirt. Not too shabby for a player on the
understand that to get to where you want to go, you
defensive side of the ball.
He picked up football while he was growing up obtain results by putting in the work. I can't just go
in Kearney. "I grew to love it at a very young age," out there and be better than someone at what I do.
he says. "As a little kid I dreamed of playing in front I have to work. That's the only way I'll ever have a
of thousands of people in big time stages or in the shot at anything I feel like."
For Cale, the dream he had of playing in front of
NFL. That was the dream and obviously still is. I
just remember from a very young age having a pas- thousands of people was always in Columbia. His
offer from Mizzou didn't come immediately, but it
sion for it."
Growing up in Kearney gave Cale opportunities came nonetheless. "It's cool to be a true son, represent the state I'm from on the ﬁeld," he says.
to have a wide array of experiences.
"We were so close to Kansas City that we could
Cale moved to mid-Missouri the day after sign-
ing day to take part in spring football, stopping at
Walmart along the way to "make my dorm somewhat
It was a big change for the 18 year old. He went
from being the team standout and Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year in high school to low man on
the totem pole.
"It was crazy how different it was here," he recalls. "I'm 18 and there's incredible athletes everywhere. Everyone is bigger, faster, stronger than me.
I'm like there's no way I'm going to ﬁt in here. I felt
so out of place."
It didn't take long for Cale to ﬁnd his place. He
got playing time starting that ﬁrst fall in Columbia
and grew into the quarterback of the Tigers' defense. He's picked up plenty of personal accolades
- including being named SEC Defensive Player of
the Week twice in his 2019 season - but quickly
deﬂects those as "really team awards."
While football encompassed most of his time in
Missouri, he enjoys more outside of the Show-Me
State. Cale has the travel and adventure bug, hiking Pikes Peak three times - the last in just 11
hours - visiting the Grand Canyon and whitewater
rafting with his mom, Lindi, twice. One of his favorite cities in the world? Manchester, England.
With his Mizzou playing career winding down, he
hopes to be playing on Sundays instead of Saturdays in the future. His trajectory will be determined
not just by what he's done on the ﬁeld, but also off.
"Since the ﬁrst day I got here, the biggest thing
I'll take away is all of my personal growth outside of
football," he says. "It's tough to fathom how quickly it's gone by. It's been an incredible journey and
something I won't take for granted."
Above left: Cale Garrett warms up before a game earlier this season. Above right: Cale was the leader of the Missouri
defense, scoring touchdowns in three consecutive games. Below left: Cale took over as a starter as a sophomore and was
elevated to a captain the following year. Below right: Cale celebrates the Tigers' win over South Carolina earlier this season.
photo courtesy University of Missouri Athletic Department
NOVEMBER 2019 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP
Rural Missouri - November 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2019
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Contents
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Rural Missouri - November 2019 - 5
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Rural Missouri - November 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - 8
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Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2019 - Cover4