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Ram rookie plays like a seasoned vet
Athlete of the Week Rashard Cabane shines in first varsity start
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Rashard Cabane showed toughness in first start as a varsity Ram. He also showed enough to earn The Covington News Athlete of the Week

Cabane had 13 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double in helping the Rams to a 55-46 win over Walnut Grove in Newton’s season opener last week. Cabane also had , two assists, a steal, and one block in the win.   

“It feels good because I have the opportunity to be looked upon as a leader and contribute to our team’s success,” Cabane said. “I feel like this summer we worked very hard and prepared for the season, so our hard work is paying off.”

Cabane was Newton’s MVP on its JV team last year. He practiced with the varsity throughout last season and traveled with the team when not playing JV ball. But he had to wait for his opportunity until the offseason. So far, he’s made the most of that opportunity.

“He has always been successful in our program, whether it was on the ninth grade team or the JV team last year,” Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said. “He has developed his game and continued to progress, just like we hope our players do in our program. He is very coachable and is a very hard-working student-athlete. His actions speak volumes to how hustling and determination play a major role in a player’s success.”

Cabane’s success may have been eye opening to the outsider. But for Rasmussen and his coaching staff and fellow players, his performance really wasn’t unexpected.

“After he went for 15 points and 15 rebounds in our exhibition game at Monroe, I was hopeful that his great play would continue,” Rasmussen said. “He did a great job for us this summer, but he has stepped up his game even more now, so we are pleasantly surprised but not shocked.”

Shocked or not, for a varsity player to step in and notch a double-double in his first game is a statement. 

“I think he has surprised some people, perhaps even himself, with his success early on at the varsity level,” Rasmussen said. “I think he is such an active player and hustles so much, that really his success is just a product of how hard he works to be a game-changer.”

Cabane and the Rams are back at it tomorrow against a tough Alcovy team. Chances are the Rams will need similar efforts from its junior small forward in what’s expected to be a competitive game. Based on the way he’s started his varsity career, it’s probably a safe bet he’ll continue to deliver.

“I don’t plan on resting on my laurels,” Cabane said. “I have been committed to improving every year that I have been in our program. It is exciting to be playing at this level, knowing that a lot of people are watching us and pulling for us.”