The University Hawks have talent up and down the roster. You start with Jack Armstrong, the versatile play maker down the field. Then there's Tony Richardson, the physically imposing defensive lineman who rarely misses a tackle. But the unsung hero of the 2013 Hawks may be quarterback Travis Renner.
"He's scrappy. He's tough. He plays baseball the same way. I mean, he's going to get dirty for you. He's not going to be a physical presence out there. It's not like he's 6'4, 200 pounds or anything. But I mean, he's tough as nails," University Head Football Coach John Kelley said.
"Their quarterback. I was really impressed with their quarterback. He's just a real tough, gutty kids. That's the kind of kid you like to coach, not the type of kid you'd like to coach against," Capital Head Football Coach Jon Carpenter said.
"I've definitely developed it. I was never really a dual-threat quarterback ever. When I started out in pee-wee football I was a running back, then I went to quarterback and all I did was throw and then I'm running again. Now I'm doing better and it's just; I developed it," Hawks senior quarterback Travis Renner said.
Renner has been rock solid for the Hawks during the entire season. He put up nearly 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns through the air, while running for almost 750 yards and another eight touchdowns during the regular season. But don't mention stats around him. He's only interested in the players who make his life easier. The mark of a true leader on the field.
"Having Jack Armstrong out on the field. It's like, you can throw it right to him. You can throw it deep. You can do anything with him and he's going to make a play for you to make you look good. You can't leave Tony Richardson, John Moore and Andrew Frisco -- you can't leave those guys wide open," Renner added.
Renner admits Baseball will be the sport that takes him to the next level. But for right now, Football is on his mind, along with continuing the team's march through the playoffs, which they hope ends at Wheeling Island Stadium.
"We just love them. I don't really care at one way or the other at this point. They would never let me down if they lose. But I'd just hate to not be able to practice with them, and I think that's how the community is too," Kelley said.
"Winning this game and going to the semifinals would be great for the team and the school; everyone around it. Hopefully we have a chance at making it to the state championship and maybe winning the state championship. That would be awesome," Renner said.