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Cloud's strong faith helps make him a favorite among his teammates and coaches


As an all-state candidate at shortstop, Caeden Cloud is showcasing his golden glove, rocket arm and productive bat, and along the way displaying his strong faith in God.

Cloud is sporting a bit of a new look this spring, as he proudly wears a headband emblazoned with the words, “God’s Plan.”

For the Nixa junior, it’s a succinct, yet all-encompassing proclamation and words for him to live by on and off the field.

“I trust what happens and trust He has His hand over me and His protection over my life,” Cloud said. “Whatever happens, I have to know there is a purpose behind it, see the bright side and continue pursuing Him and His kingdom. He can see everything. He knows what is better for me. So, whatever happens, it has to be better for me in some way.”

In addition to serving as a reminder to himself, Cloud hopes by wearing the headband he may help introduce or strengthen someone else’s love of God.

“The biggest thing to me, and the reason I play, is to serve and grow His community. That's all I look forward to,” Cloud said. “I don't necessarily try to show it off. But I think everybody should come to Christ. He's the creator of everything and He loves everybody.”

If there’s a player in Nixa’s dugout who is universally loved by the Eagles and their coaches, Cloud is that young man.

Other than the fact that the lifelong Phillies fan grew up idolizing Chase Utley and not Ozzie Smith in Cardinals Country, mind you, it’s impossible to find anyone who can say anything bad about Cloud.

Also a standout in soccer, he’s as grounded a star athlete as one will find.

“You would never hear someone say, 'Caeden, he's a bad guy.' You always say, 'Caeden is a great guy,’” Nixa center fielder Wyatt Vincent said. “He's a man of his faith, a man of God's word. He puts that first. He's a nice kid and a good athlete.

“He's one of a kind in our dugout,” Vincent added. “You don't find too many people like him who are happy all the time, no matter the circumstance. He's always willing to cheer on the team.”

Likewise, Cloud has made a very favorable impression on Nixa coach Logan Hughes.

“He's a great young man, always very first class,” Hughes said. “He’s one of those kids you love having in your program because you get the same kid every day. He always does the right thing. He's a very easy kid to respect. The guys love him and he loves the guys. He loves being part of the team. Everyone rallies around him.”

Cloud values being a consistently good teammate.

“Whenever you can't perform the results on the field that you want to, you have to help your team in some way, shape or form,” he said. “If that's bringing energy to the dugout when you're struggling, that's what you need to do.”

Cloud enjoyed a breakout sophomore season a year ago, leading to him receiving and accepting an offer to eventually continue his career at Kentucky.

Since Cloud and Vincent debuted on the varsity level as freshmen two years ago, Cloud hasn’t quite received the same kind of fanfare as Vincent, particularly outside of Nixa. But those in the know are now recognizing him as arguably the best shortstop in SWMO.

“He wants to be the best,” Hughes said. “He wants to be the best in the state and one of the best in the country. He'll keep working until he gets there.”

“I try to focus on myself and what I'm doing,” Cloud said. “At the end of the day, I want to make sure I'm working hard and doing everything I can to get better.”