Athlete of the Week: North Port High School’s Colton Eichten

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 3:36 PM EST
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NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - When you’re building something you have to have at least one solid building block. For the North Port Bobcats football program, that’s what Colton Eichten is.

Eichten is a standout junior for the Bobcats program who has seen the good, bad and ugly with the team. He’s been apart of the football program since he was a freshman and played on junior varsity, but even the JV team wasn’t doing much winning that year, much like varsity.

However, a new chapter may be being written for North Port on the gridiron, and Eichten credits much of this to the work that’s been happening off the field for two years now. “We really just had to keep our heads down and focus on the future, especially going into the off-season,” Eichten said. “It was focusing on spring and focusing on getting our offense down and getting our defense down.”

Colton has a unique case though. Hitting the books has never really been an issue, and he credits that to his mother.

“My mom always told me if I’m below a 3.0 she’s going to take my phone away or whatever it was when I was a kid,” Eichten said. “I’ve really tried to stay in the classroom. Colleges always look at grades. Obviously I’m trying to go to college so I’m trying to get that [grade point average} up as high as possible.”

It’s the work to improve as a football player where he saw most challenges. According to his head coach, Garon Belser, the journey hasn’t always been easy.

“Colton’s come a long way since his first year with us,” Belser said. “He’s been around the block for a minute. He’s had ups and downs his first couple of years, but this year he’s really bought into the team aspect of things.”

Part of those challenges may also be due to a tough transition. During his ninth grade year, Eichten and his family moved to the Suncoast from Minnesota.

Although he misses his friends up north, Eichten tells ABC7 that he loves North Port, has a better relationship with Coach Belser, and is ready for the next step in leadership.

“I think just leading by example. Doing the right thing, practicing hard and giving my all when I can. If some younger guy has a question, I’ll just help him out the best way that I can.”

Eichten and North Port’s season officially ends on Saturday when they travel to LaBelle High School to take on the Cowboys in what is being call a “bowl game.” The end result on the scoreboard will not reflect on the team’s 2023 record.