Through eight games, Skaff (James Madison) leads the Bobcats (5-3, 5-3 Cardinal District) with 23 receptions and Whaley has collected a team-high four touchdowns.
Coach Mark Cox sees his two senior targets as “identical,” citing the pair’s size, experience (Whaley played as a freshman on Battlefield’s 2010 state title squad), and skill sets.
While it’s true that Skaff and Whaley are used almost interchangeably in Battlefield’s pro-style offense, each has developed a specialty.
“[Cameron’s] more of the motion tight end, the H-Back style,” Whaley said. “I’m more an on-the-line-of-scrimmage type of tight end, so we work out pretty well together.”
Despite the play of its tight ends, Battlefield’s offense has seen its share of missteps with a platoon of otherwise first-year pass catchers and a new starting quarterback in junior Matt Gallagher. In a 7-0 loss to Forest Park on Sept. 6, the Bobcats turned the ball over twice and failed to eclipse 50 yards rushing.
“After my junior year, we lost a whole lot of senior starters,” Whaley said. “This year we pretty much had to start from scratch, especially with a new quarterback.”
In recent weeks, Battlefield – and Gallagher – have found their stride. In his last three games, Gallagher has tossed seven touchdowns to zero interceptions, and the Bobcats went 2-1.
“It took some getting used to to work with [Gallagher],” Whaley said. “But throughout season and practice, we’ve finally made a good connection. He’s treating me well with some good passes and a couple touchdowns here and there.”
Battlefield has struggled to string more than two consecutive wins together so far this season – a trend it will try to buck this Friday when it hosts Osbourn Park.
Cox thinks his team needs a strong finish in order to control its own destiny in the 6A North playoff hunt.
“I think 6-4 teams will have a pretty good shot of making it into the playoffs,” Cox said. “We need to win one more to make sure.”