When Cody Remaley was a member of the junior high football team, his coaches tracked Northern Lehigh head coach Joe Tout down and told him that they thought they saw something special.
As the Bulldog junior made his way up to the JV and varsity level, it didn't take Tout long to see what they meant.
In week three of his freshman year, an injury left Tout with no choice but to get Remaley on the field. He rushed for 650 yards that season and has been the shining star on the team ever since.
It was his outstanding contributions on the field this season that enabled Northern Lehigh to march through the Colonial League with a 10-2 record and reach the District 11 Class 2A championship before losing to North Schuylkill.
That's why Remaley the area's leading rusher with 2,014 yards on 324 carries and leading scorer with 178 points has been named the 2009 TIMES NEWS Football Player of the Year.
"The thing that makes Cody special is what a humble kid he is," said Tout. "You don't see him in school as a kid with a big ego. You see him as kind of an 'Aw Shucks' kind of kid. In our locker room, he's just one of the guys.
"Every once in a while, you get that kid who is electric. That's the only word to describe him when you hand him the football.
"Towards the end of the year this year, I think you saw a different side of him. He didn't have those big runs in the playoff games. He became more of a chunking back, where he got us those four or five yards per carry."
It was safe to say, the way Remaley went on the field, that's the way the Bulldogs went.
But, he'll be the first to say that even though he put up the numbers, it was a team effort every Friday night.
There would have been no 100-yard rushing performance without the blocking of fullback Matt Gill and the guys up front in the trenches that gave Remaley the little seam to run through once he hit the line of scrimmage.
"This was a huge year," said Remaley. "Everything just seemed to click. Everything was building up and building up since my freshman year and this season we came together as a family.
"With my offensive line and with Matt (Gill), I never felt so comfortable with the way everyone blocked. The credit I get in the newspaper I don't even care about. They (the team) deserve the credit because they do all of the work. I'm just the one who runs the ball."
Even though Remaley averaged just around 30 carries a game, Tout didn't hesitate to give him the ball 40 times a game as the season wore on.
"We had the perspective of making him a one-way player," said Tout. "It was real nice to have that luxury this year so we didn't hesitate to give him the ball a lot. We were just so confident getting the ball into his hands.
"It's hard to get away from that when you're getting four yards a carry. People asked us in the middle of the year if our passing game was a concern. The thing is, no one stopped Cody. To have a kid that is that reliable, you feel pretty confident as a coach when you have a workhorse like him."
Remaley said this entire successful season started last year after the Bulldogs missed the district playoffs for the first time in a while with a 4-6 record. With that bad taste left in their mouths, he and his teammates hit the weight room and went to work to make sure this year was not a repeat.
"Some of the games, especially against Northwestern which was a good physical game, I was pretty beat up after that," said Remaley. "It doesn't matter how many times I get the ball, I just do my job."
Remaley also considers the Northwestern game, where he had 49 carries, as the one that he remembers the most about the season.
"That was the best game I had because gaining 246 yards was just a total team effort," he said. "Everyone just did their job. It was down, after down, after down. We were just chunking and chunking. It was a real fun game because it was rainy and just being in the mud was fun."
The Bulldogs lose a lot of their line next season, so Tout doesn't know what the future holds, but he expects to see another explosive season from Remaley.
"With his work ethic, every year he's worked to get better," said Tout. "That's what I'm excited about. He'll be in the weight room in the off-season and likes going to camps in the off-season, too. You may not see the numbers next season that he had this year, but I'll guarantee he's going to be better if these past three years were any indication."
That has to be a scary thought for the rest of the Colonial League.