Caleb Gaston was a legend at Central High School. Rumor has it the News Sentinel had to buy an extra tub of ink to print Gaston’s exploits on the football field.
Mr. Gaston, 39, died May 27 following an extended illness. And the Bobcat community mourned.
Assistant principal J.D. Lambert posted some of Gaston’s clippings on Facebook. During the 1998 season, his senior year, Gaston rushed for 1,600 yards as the team went 11-2 and advanced to the state quarterfinals.
In the first round of the playoffs that year, the ’Cats beat Rhea County 28-23 with Gaston rushing for 242 yards on 24 carries. He had two long touchdown runs, each for 71 yards, according to reporting by Mark Burgess in the News Sentinel. When given his stats after the game, he smiled and said, “That’s sweet.”
He made all-state as a defensive back that year for Class 4A and was the Knoxville Football League’s leading rusher.
On Lambert’s Facebook page, Zack Helton wrote, “He was a bad dude,” and Ronnie Helton added, “With a tender smile.”
Kimball’s Jewelers, where Gaston worked as sales manager, posted: “Caleb lived his life to the fullest, loved his family fiercely and was a loyal friend.”
Patton Funeral Home is handling arrangements for the family. The obituary made no mention of services.
Mr. Gaston leaves his wife, Jennifer Gaston; children Caleb, Bryson, Jaylen, Maleah and Braden; and a host of other family members and friends.