At the high school football level a team's most talented athlete is used at multiple positions on the field. This is because playmakers are hard to come by in the high school ranks. Northwestern's Ty Cunningham certainly fits the mold of a playmaker.
Cunningham serves as a "jack of all trades" for the Tigers who are off to a 3-0 start this season. The Northwestern senior rushed 17 times for 233 yards and three scores against Wilson last Friday night to earn this week's Player of the Week honors.
Cunningham not only ran for 233 yards but threw a pass for 19 yards and also caught a pass. Still not impressed? He serves as the Tigers' long snapper as well.
"It has become evident that Ty has become our leader," said Northwestern Lehigh head coach Tom Linette. "He is a natural leader for us at practice and on game day. Nobody works harder than Ty."
With only seven regular season games left in Cunningham's high school football career, the Northwestern captain believes he has to make the most of his time on the field.
"Knowing that I don't have a lot of time left with the team really makes me want to make the most out of what games are left," said Cunningham. "I knew I had to be a leader for us and so far this season we have been doing pretty well."
Cunningham certainly gets the job done on the offensive side of the football, but Coach Tom Linette doesn't want people to ignore what Ty does on defense.
"Ty is the boss on the defensive side for us," added Linette. "He runs that unit for us and leads our team in tackles so far this year. His play at inside and outside linebacker has been key with the success we've had on the defensive side of the football."
Cunningham and company have a tough test in week four playing at Southern Lehigh. The Spartans record (1-2) is deceiving having played solid competition in Northern Lehigh (3-0), Palmerton (2-1), and Bangor (3-0). All teams with winning records in the early part of the season. The Spartans pose a serious threat through the air with quarterback Tyler Edmund. Edmund has been lighting it up in the passing game this season with his latest outburst coming last week in a 28-26 loss to Bangor. Edmund went 16 for 26 with 200 yards and two touchdowns.
"This is by far the best quarterback we have seen this season," added Linette. "He (Edmund) can do it all. He does a great job in shotgun and running their wing-T offense. There is no doubt that he is a talented kid."
Cunningham also believes the Tiger defense needs to come ready to play Friday night.
"Our secondary needs to step up and make plays," added Cunningham. "They got a good quarterback over there who can make plays."
Friday night's match-up is shaping up to be a battle of the "Ty's" and Tiger faithful have to feel good knowing they have their own Ty Cunningham leading the charge to Southern Lehigh tomorrow night.