CRESTON, Ohio – In the heart of a small farm community are teenagers filled with pride.
This week, Norwayne High School is gearing up for the second round in football playoffs, but the cherry on top of it all is being picked as Fox 8’s Cool School of the Week.
“We’re just kind of more like a family here,” said senior Cody Scruggs. “We all get along. I mean, we all know the freshmen and the freshmen know us, so it’s kind of really nice to grow up together, too.”
Scruggs is an offensive and defensive lineman for the Bobcats. For years, the squad was considered the underdog.
The team snagged a state championship title last year, and senior Jon Zimmerly hopes a victory over Youngstown’s Liberty High School on Friday will help them clench another.
“Everybody’s, you know, focused. You’re thinking about the opponent, you’re thinking about how you’re going to play,” said Zimmerly, a running back and defensive end on the team. “Everybody’s just so pumped up. Adrenaline’s flowing. It’s just a crazy atmosphere.”
Scruggs said students are supportive of one another, filling the stands every week.
“The feeling you get when you walk out and see the fans is something you can’t ever get again,” Scruggs said. “It’s really nice to cherish the moment.”
The school, however, many say is more than just football. The school excels in a number of other sports and with extracurricular activities, like FFA.
“I love FFA,” said senior Allison Mangun, who is vice president of the organization. “We do a community benefit. We have adopt-a-family, a canned food drive and we package meals to send to third-world countries. It’s just really neat to give back to a community that does so much for us as a school.”
Senior Herbert Cremeans says just about every student is actively involved in the community. Herbert is a member of student council, band, choir and a number of other groups. Among his favorite are band and choir. He hopes to become a band director someday.
“Everybody comes together to sing from their hearts when we do concerts and things like that,” Cremeans said. “I love it.”
The school strives to get its 400 students ahead of the curve, like with the North Central State College program, giving kids a college education right on the high school campus.
“After this year, I’ll have like seven classes under my belt, so hopefully I’ll have most of my freshman year of college out of the way by the end of the year,” said senior Heath Rohrbaugh.
It’s home of the red and grey – a tight-knit school coming together in perfect harmony.
“We’re a community. We’re a family,” said senior Clint Gasser. “I like the small school setting. Small school but still big opportunities. I love it here.”