Repeat special for Remaley
After his record setting junior season, Northern Lehigh's Cody Remaley knew it would be difficult for a repeat performance in 2010. His team graduated its entire offensive line and teammate Jake Kern was emerging as playmaker who would share the offensive load with Remaley.
Although he had fewer carries in his senior season, Remaley rushed for more yards and touchdowns than a year ago. He broke his own school record for yards in a single season. He shattered his school's touchdown record and finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in Colonial League history and the third-leading rusher in District 11 history.
"We didn't really know what to expect this year," Remaley said. "I was thinking we lost a lot of people, how are we going to come together?
"I give all the credit to my linemen and fullback. Without them I never would have done anything that I did. They truly believed if they got on one or two blocks it's going to be a touchdown. That's all it really took for me and Jake [Kern], one or two blocks, a little bit of an opening and we were in the end zone."
For all his accomplishments, Remaley earned his second straight TIMES NEWS Player of the Year selection.
When Remaley first joined the varsity football team as a freshman, Northern Lehigh head coach Joe Tout wasn't sure how much of an impact he could have. The Northern Lehigh football program usually doesn't have to call on ninth graders.
Remaley did get on the field back then and it didn't take long for him to prove he belonged. In the team's first game of the season be broke a reverse for a long touchdown.
"That's the first time I remember thinking 'We have something special on our hands,'" Tout said.
While he has had four remarkable seasons, 2010 is the one he's most proud of. But that has little to do with his individual accomplishments and everything to do with the team going 13-1 and winning Colonial League and District 11 titles.
Having Kern emerge as a playmaker also helped take some of the pressure and load off of Remaley. That's not to say Remaley couldn't have handled a larger load. One only has to look at his 49 carries against Northwestern as a junior to realize how tough and durable he could be.
"He's not just a big play kid, he's also a workhorse," Tout said.
As a senior, Remaley broke big plays one after the other. Against Catasauqua, his first three carries went for touchdowns. Against Salisbury, he needed just seven carries to gain 192 yards and score four rushing touchdowns.
"He could have had 500 yards in that game," Tout said.
Remaley didn't just break records, he shattered them. Dan Tavani's Colonial League rushing record was 4,460 yards. Remaley finished his career with 6,555, breaking Tavani's mark in Week 2 of this year.
After putting up 2,155 yards last year on 354 carries, he ran for more yards (2,322) on fewer carries (260) this season. He also ran for 39 touchdowns, breaking the old school record of 30.
His greatest memory from this season was beating North Schuylkill in this year's District 11 final. That win avenged last year's loss to the Spartans.
Remaley has special motivation for that game. His father wrote him a letter and told him to read it just before the game.
"It brought me through my whole football career," Remaley said. "It made me cry my eyes out. Seeing how much my dad cares about me and my football, it just made me want to go out and make him proud. That just went right to my heart and I was like 'Let's play football.'"
Remaley credits both his parents, Dean and Dawn, for making him the person he is today. Just like them, Cody is an avid hunter and fisherman.
"Ever since I could first start walking my mom and dad had me outdoors," Remaley said. "I can't thank them anymore or love them anymore for what they've done for me."
Dawn and Dean, who coached some of Cody's youth teams, also instilled a work ethic in their son.
"If anybody asks, my motto is you only get what you put into it," Remaley said. "You have to lift and you work hard in the offseason. You'll only be successful if you make the right choices."
Few football players or athletes have been as successful as Remaley.
He will surely be courted by some top colleges. He plans to major in biology and criminal justice with the hope of becoming a game commissioner. Of course, he also wants to play football. He plans to take his time finding the right school. He wants to play for a team with a family atmosphere, like the ones he's played on in Slatington since he was 5 years old.