CHS FOOTBALL: Wildcat stands tall despite size

By Greg Price CNJ sports writer

Shortie. Short stuff. Little man. Name the short joke and Clovis senior cornerback and wide receiver Keaton Howell has heard them all.

At 5-foot-4 and 155 pounds, Howell is the smallest player on state-playoff-bound Clovis Wildcats. However, what Howell lacks in size, he makes up for in brains, Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said.

“The good thing about Keaton is he’s smart,” Kelley said. “He’s one of those kids who you can ask to do something and he’s usually going to get it done. He’s going to listen to you and execute.”

Clovis (7-3) was seeded fourth in the Class 5A playoff pairings announced Saturday. The Wildcats will host a quarterfinal game in two weeks.

A starter at wide receiver, Howell also plays in Clovis’ nickel and dime pass coverage packages.

“If you know corner, than you know free safety,” Howell said. “And basically, I know how to do everything. Whenever I make a mistake, I just learn from it and I listen and try to do what (my coaches) want me to do.”

Howell wasn’t always the shortest player on the field.

“In the seventh grade I was actually one of the biggest kids,” Howell said. “I used play center. I know that doesn’t sound believable, but I did.”
Howell is second on a run-oriented team with five receptions, good for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Kelley said when the time comes, Howell will be called on to make the big catch, as Clovis will have to make more pass plays in the playoffs.

“Offensively, Keaton does a great job catching the ball,” Kelley said. “He does everything as hard as he can.”

Away from the field, Howell enjoys hanging out with his friends and the occasional game of Madden football.

Howell said after graduation he plans to attend to Eastern new Mexico University and possibly transfer to University of Texas- San Antonio.