Malone set to be key leader for East on both sides of the ball

For any football team to succeed, they have to have a leader they can count on no matter the game, down, time or circumstance.

Morristown East has had those leaders the past three years that Trevor Malone has been able to look up to and learn from.

And now, it’s Malone’s time to fill that role.

A starter on both sides of the ball, Malone has played varsity since his freshman year. Because of that, Malone knows what it’s like to be the young guy and what he needs to do as a leader to get his team to respond.

“I was new my freshman year and was fortunate enough to play with older guys and learn from them,” Malone said. “I’ve gotten to play with all the seniors the past three years and now to be here and play with my senior class, I am just fortunate we have made it this far and are still together and can lead this team together.”

Malone is not the only one who feels that he has what it takes to be a leader for this East team either. Morristown East head coach Caleb Slover has seen Malone grow ever since he took over as coach when Malone was just a sophomore.

“Trevor is one of the best athletes that I have coached and been around,” Slover said. “There are just so many things he can do. He is just so sneaky good. He’s a kid that is going to go in the middle and catch the ball when needed and then go cover the best guy every night (defensively). He’s just a guy we can count on and plays hard and always has a smile on his face no matter what. He’s everything you want as a coach.”

Malone has been a staple for Morristown East ever since he stepped on the field as a freshman when he recorded five interceptions.

After a successful sophomore season, Malone continued his impressive run on the defensive side of the ball and earned All-Conference honors. Against Morristown West last season, Malone had 109 receiving yards.

Now with his senior season approaching, it will already mean a lot to Malone. However, it could mean even more for him as he is two interceptions away from breaking the school record. While that would be a special moment for him, he also noted that it wouldn’t be possible without the help of secondary coach Derrick Folsom.

“It would mean a lot to me and coach D,” Malone said. “He’s helped me a lot over the past three years, and so to be able to do it with him with me would mean a lot to me.”

Offensively, there will be a change for Malone when he lines up at wideout this season. For the past three years, Malone has had Cole Henson to throw him the ball. Now, it’ll be Eli Seals under center, someone with not a lot of game reps but a lot of potential.

For Slover, having Malone out there with his young quarterback gives him a lot of confidence.

“I think that is going to be key for Eli early on,” Slover said. “We have talked to Trevor and he knows he is going to have to make some plays early on to take the pressure off Eli and take some pressure off Micah. He’s going to have every opportunity to shine. We have talked to him about needing to be that guy to step up and lead, and I think he is going to rise to the challenge and be ready to go.”

As the season gets closer to starting, the talk about the East and West game has started to ramp up. Last year, Malone saw the excitement and joy the seniors got defeating their cross-town rival.

Now, Malone wants to have that same feeling about 11 p.m. on August 20.

“It would definitely be great going out with a win against them,” Malone said. “I wouldn’t have to hear about us losing for basically the rest of eternity so a win would be really nice.”