MIDDLEFIELD, OH – The heroic actions of a Geauga County football team are being praised for the quick rescue of an elderly couple in distress on the Cuyahoga River.
In late July, a couple in their 70s were canoeing near Hiram when the man ended up in the water. The Cardinal High School Football team happened to be nearby wrapping up a ten-mile team building canoe trip.
“They were stuck in a situation they couldn’t handle,” said head coach Eric Cardinal. “The gentleman was in the water; he couldn’t stand up.”
Team members say the man was treading water for about 20 minutes before they arrived.
“He was holding onto the boat outside of the water,” said teammate, Parker Kosh. “She was in the boat holding onto a branch on a tree. They were stuck on the rocks.”
Kosh and several team members immediately jumped into the water to rescue the couple using oars to get the man to safety.
“Games, there are winners and losers, but these four guys are winners no matter what happens,” said Cardinal.
The woman rescued spoke to Fox 8 over the phone and says the young men saved their lives.
“It’s nothing special that we did. It’s just something that I feel we should do as humans, just look out for each other,” said Kosh.
The couple penned a letter to the school letting them know how grateful they are for the team’s rescue. Students and the couple are expected to attend the next school board meeting to be honored for their team work off the field.