By Keenan Lo
The Sewanee Purple Athlete of the Week is John Cleveland (C’18). Cleveland, who is a member of the Sewanee Tigers football team, plays and starts both the safety and punter position, excelling at both. Cleveland has led the team in tackles for the last two weeks, and is the second- ranked punter in Division lll football. When asked about the focus necessary to be successful at both positions, Cleveland states that “Starting as both a Safety and Punter does make football more of a challenge; however, I feel that I still focus the same amount as I would playing just Safety or just Punter, I just have to allocate my time and focus to each position at a different proportion rather than having all my time and energy to focus on one or the other.” The Sewanee Tigers have high hopes for this season, and Cleveland’s hard work echoes that sentiment.
The team has enjoyed a fresh start. With new offensive coaches and last year’s season as motivation, the Tigers look to improve immensely from last season. Cleveland echoes these sentiments, saying, “Now that we have a few games under our belts, I am hoping that we can get a win against our big state rival Rhodes, bring the Orgill Cup back to Sewanee, and turn our season around. I am expecting to play as well as possible at both Safety and Punter and do as much as possible to help our team to win and perform at peak shape.” Although the Tigers have had a rough past few years, this year they hope to take a step in the right direction.
This year, Cleveland is one of many upperclassmen on the team. As the years wind down for their college careers, many start to consider their legacy for their team.
With such a storied history, the current Tigers hope to be among the many names that make up our hall of fame, as well as gain many other possible accolades. When asked about the legacy he would like to leave, Cleveland remarks, “I would hope to leave Sewanee and have my legacy be that my class of football teammates (class of 2018) helped to turn around a struggling program and reinstall a winning attitude and culture to Sewanee Football.” Expectations are high for both Cleveland and the Sewanee Football Team.
All stats, unless otherwise noted, were provided by Sewanee Athletics and the NCAA.