PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s no secret: Clackamas football is doing something right.
The Cavaliers are the only remaining undefeated team in the Mt. Hood Conference, beating teams by an average of 42 points per game.
What may be a secret, though — and a key to their success — is tight end Chad Bletko, a staple for a Cavaliers offense averaging 50.9 points per game. Without Bletko, head coach Joe Bushman said Clackamas wouldn’t be the team it is today.
“He’s huge, you know, he epitomizes what we’re trying to have all our kids kind of buy into,” Bushman said.
Bletko may not grab the headlines for fill the stat sheet, but the 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior can block with the best of them.
“He’s super unselfish,” Bushman said. “He doesn’t — you know — complain about getting the ball and he’s really turned himself into a good passing tight end, too.”
Football is a numbers game, and with Bletko’s ability to block, the Cavaliers have turned the odds in their favor.
“So when we really start running the ball they really have to start stacking the box instead of just having seven guys in there or maybe eight,” Bletko said. “They’ll have to start playing a lot more guys in there and it just really, I don’t know what to say, just really helps us get open because we’re one on one instead of having to play two on one or having coverage over the top of us.”
Bletko’s ability to block a catch has also earned himself a nickname — an homage to his favorite player.
“He just started making these amazing catches, and someone called him Chakowski and it just kinda stuck,” Bushman said. “It’s a good nickname, it’s a fitting nickname cause you know he really is athletic for how big and strong he is.”
Bletko isn’t looking to make it quite as far as Rob Gronkowski just yet, but he does hop to play at the collegiate level. Bushman thinks it’s a no-brainer that he should.
“He’s very physical, blocker, he’s a good athlete, you know I think he could play some 1AA, D2 football,” Bushman said. “If not, you know, a Division III school is gonna get a steal. “He’s a kid I think could go in and play right away.”
Watch KOIN 6’s Athlete of the Week every Friday at 5:30