Everything about Coldwater High School football is team first. That’s a worn-out cliché that is more easily suggested than played out, but not at this football-induced community.
Everyone sacrifices for the good of the common goal. That’s how it is when a majority of your male student population in grades 9-12 plays football in rural Ohio.
And for every great team there must be a leader. Hello, Brody Hoying.
“This means the world to me,” said Hoying, who played the difference maker in a 35-10 defeat of West Jefferson in Saturday night’s Division V state football semifinal at Piqua. “It’s truly an indescribable feeling.”
The win propels the Cavs (12-2) into this week’s state championship rematch against Columbus Bishop Hartley (13-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Hartley beat Akron Manchester also on Saturday, 49-22.
Advancing this deep into the postseason is a common occurrence this time of year for the pride of Mercer County. It’ll mark Coldwater’s fifth straight state title game.
Coldwater popped Hartley 41-16 in a Week 2 regular-season mismatch.
Joining Coldwater in championship weekend will be Midwest Athletic Conference rival Marion Local. The Flyers KO’ed yet another MAC rival, Delphos St. John’s, 35-6 in a D-VII state semifinal at Wapakoneta on Saturday. The Flyers (14-0) will play Trimble (14-0) in the D-VII state final at 7 p.m. this coming Saturday also at Massillon.
Both Coldwater and Marion Local are defending state champs.
Hoying was better than advertised. He had 235 yards rushing on 15 carries and scored on runs of 84, 77 and 6 yards. West Jeff (12-2) couldn’t stop the elusive junior when it mattered most or any other time.
His best game? “I don’t really know,” Hoying said. “I haven’t seen my stats, so I couldn’t tell you.”
As good as Hoying is offensively, he’s just as effective as a strong safety. Plus, there’s his strong football bloodline — his cousins are Bobby Hoying (St. Henry) and brothers Adam and Ross Homan (Coldwater), all of whom had great football careers at Ohio State.
“Certainly we have enough good players who catch and run the ball,” Coldwater coach Chip Otten said. “He’s about as good as I’ve ever coached in 30 years as far as making plays. … He’s got some great genetics.”
Coldwater will be a heavy favorite to take out Hartley again, this time for a much grander prize.
“It’s a rematch that we’re looking forward to,” said Hoying.