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Tigers, Bombers talk team at Davidson
Tigers, Bombers talk team at Davidson
By TONY LANGE
When John Behm walked off the football field following his last game in a Kenston uniform in October 2007, he didn't know what he was going to do.
He remembered getting his first helmet with a Bombers blue star on it when he was in fourth grade and having to wait a whole year before his parents would allow him play in fifth grade.
"I had always wanted to play football since I could walk probably," he said.
During his final high school game, Behm caught five passes, scored a touchdown and his team beat Orange 48-13, but he still had an itch for more football. He and senior teammate Brett Tevepaugh were the last to walk off the field, he said.
"We both looked at each other and were like I don't know what I'm going to do," Behm said. "Football has been my whole life for so long and it was at that moment I decided that I'm going to try to play at the next level."
In 2008, Torry Treu, a former Kenston lineman experienced a similar feeling, he said.
In 2009, Chagrin Falls' quarterback Chris Trinetti and running back Chris Gorman, members of the 14-1 state runner-up team, also endured the emotions of a possible end.
All four players ended up together at Davidson College in North Carolina continuing their football careers with the Division I Wildcats.
John Behm just finished up his senior season at Davidson last month as a starting outside linebacker at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds.
Once again, he ended his career with a win. This time, it was a 30-22 triumph over Valparaiso in a Pioneer Football League contest.
And once again, Behm said he felt that football itch to continue his career.
"We played the fight song for the last time and before the song was over, I had to peel back and hide behind everyone because my emotions were just all over and I started to cry," he said. "It's really tough. I still think I have some left in me, so I'm going to try to pursue something at the next level."
Behm, who is a political science major with a concentration in communications, said he has been making football contacts overseas and teams in Germany and Austria are interested in his highlight film.
"Although it's not going to be the same as playing for your high school or college, I think I'm going to try to play at least one more year," he said.
While at Kenston, Behm said his most memorable moment was his senior year homecoming game against West Geauga.
Tom Grabram, a former Kenston football player who earned 2nd Team All-Ohio recognition in 1992, came into the locker room before the game, Behm said.
"He comes in before the game, turns the lights off and plays AC/DC Hells Bells and gives us this chilling pregame speech where you look around the room and everyone was just ready to go out and run through a wall for this guy," Behm said. "After that, we just went out there and beat up on West Geauga."
Kenston beat the Wolverines 27-7 and went on to finish with a 6-4 record that season.
Playing college ball with Treu, Gorman and Trinetti at Davidson was a great experience, Behm said.
"It was a cool experience to help recruit all of them and then play with all of them," he said.
Behm earned many conference and academic honors for playing football at Davidson, but perhaps his most prestigous was in 2010 when he was one of 22 student-athletes in the country named to the All-State AFCA Good Works Team, which honors a group of players each year who stand out for the positive influence they have in their communities.
When he was younger, he tried other sports, but it was football that he loved the most, Torry Treu said.
"I always had the idea since I became a starter my sophomore year at Kenston that I would want to continue to play college football," he said. "When I was younger I played basketball, I wrestled, I tried all that, but football was always something I thought I could be a leader in and try to excel at and it always made me feel good to be a part of that."
When he visited Davidson his senior year of high school, Treu said he was shown the best time of his life.
"These guys on the team were really what the difference was," he said. "People welcomed me with open arms. You could tell it wasn't one of those places where freshmen are going to get hazed or come in and not be a part of the team. And the coach showed me my name at the top of the recruitment list for d-linemen. It really meant a lot to be wanted."
While playing for Kenston, Treu said his most memorable game was beating Chagrin Falls 19-15 his junior year, but his most defining game was a 14-13 loss to Aurora that same season.
Kenston missed two field goals, an extra point and dropped an easy catch in the end zone during that week six loss to the Greenmen and it prevented the Bombers from making the playoffs that season, he said.
"Not that it's haunting or anything, but it is a really big driving force in my life," Treu said. "It's just the little things that you have to work for. That loss kept us out of the playoffs that year. It was a big defining moment in my football career in making me want to get better."
At Davidson, Treu is a 255-pound, 6-foot-2 defensive lineman who played as a freshman and made his first career start as a sophomore. He majors in philosophy and was named to the PFL Academic Honor Roll.
Although beating Chagrin Falls 19-15 was his most memorable game from high school, playing with former rivals Gorman and Trinetti at Davidson is pretty awesome, Treu said.
"Going through my years at Kenston, I remember hearing, 'Oh, you've got to watch out for Trinetti, he's fast,' or 'You have to watch out for Gorman, he's a powerful runner,' but I never knew who these guys were," Treu said. "Now John, Chris, Chris and I are teammates and fraternity brothers at Phi Delta Theta. We're all definitely really good friends now."
During Davidson's 30-22 victory over Valparaiso in this year's season finale, 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore running back and former Chagrin Falls player Chris Gorman rushed for 54 yards on 11 carries.
The 2009 Chagrin Valley Conference MVP said the transition to playing for a Division I college team was a tough one.
"At the same time you have to keep up with the academics at a school like Davidson College. I've definitely grown to appreciate the opportunity," he said. "It's so much more of a time commitment, so you really get to know the other football guys you are playing with."
His most memorable moment playing high school football was Chagrin Falls' 20-14 victory over Ottawa-Glandorf in the state semifinals, which improved the Tigers' record to 14-0 that season and catapulted them into the state finals for the first time in school history.
"We went into the locker room and coach gave a speech and then we went out onto the field and celebrated," Gorman said. "It must have been the whole town on the field and I look back on that and it definitely has to be one of my greatest memories just seeing how much of a following we had from the town. We just had so many people to celebrate our success with."
Gorman said he's been fortunate enough to be home for the past two Thanksgiving holidays and watch his younger teammates continue their success with their state semifinals performances.
"I couldn't be more proud of these younger guys who continue the traditions at Chagrin Falls," he said. "The program has made some great strides in recent years."
At Davidson, playing with Trinetti, John and Torry also has been a fortune, he said.
"That part has been great. I've been playing with Trinetti since I was 8 years old," Gorman said. "I don't know what football would be like without him. Torry and John, they were our rivals in high school and now they're our teammates. It's been nothing but a positive experience with them. They took us under their wing when we came in freshman year and have really helped us be a part of the team since day one."
Gorman is a double major in economics and math and was named to the PFL Academic Honor Roll.
With more than 20 receptions as a 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore at Davidson, Chris Trenetti has really come to appreciate the wide receiver position after playing quarterback at Chagrin Falls, he said.
He owns the Chagrin Falls school record for career passing yards (3,831), touchdown passes (44) and completions (277).
"It's definitely weird for me running routes because I don't like it as much as quarterback, but I've come to appreciate the position from a different perspective and how tough the job is," he said. "Playing Division I college football is for sure a bigger commitment. It's a lot more mental. We meet almost every day for film study and there's a lot more competition for your position."
While at Chagrin Falls, Trinetti said his most memorable experience was the Tigers' 58-28 regional finals victory against Woodridge his senior year.
The Tigers accumulated 618 yards of offense in that game. Trinetti scored the first four touchdowns for Chagrin Falls on quarterback carries. He tallied 130 yards on 15 carries and completed 9 of 11 passes for 198 yards including two touchdowns and no interceptions.
"It was my personal best game," he said. "We started down 14-7 and came back big."
Following the Chagrin Falls as an alumnus the past two seasons has been awesome, Trinetti said.
"Our coaches are just phenomenal and the younger kids, every year it's been a look at the grade below because so many seniors have been leaving and every year kids have stepped up whether it's been Bradley Munday, a junior, or any one of the seniors have stepped up," he said. "It's just been awesome."
After his senior year, Trinetti said he definitely knew he didn't want his football career to be over, not because of the state finals loss, but because he loves football.
"I had a hard time seeing my career end," said Trinetti who is an economics major. "When I visited Davidson, I loved the school. My first priority is academics, so my goal was to get into a good school academically and if it meant using football as a tool to do that then that's what I did."
Other than North Carolina, the majority of players on the Davidson football team are from Ohio, which Trinetti loves, he said.
"Obviously playing with Chris is awesome because he was my best friend in high school," he said. "Having kids from my home town like John, Torry and Chris is great because it feels like we have such a bond not only through football, but through where we grew up.
"When Chagrin plays Kenston we're always talking back and forth saying we're going to win," Trinetti said. "It's great having them here. It's something cool that we share that a lot of guys on our team don't have."
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