Moyer caps standout career
photo courtesy of Lycoming athletics Lehighton High School graduate Cody Moyer (72) recently capped an outstanding career at Lycoming College. Moyer was a four-year starter and the only player in Lycoming history to be named to the D3 football.com All East Region team in back-to-back seasons.
From the classroom to the football field, Cody Moyer has carried a strong belief in the word, "no" all the way from Lehighton to Lycoming.
No excuses. No quit. No glory. No matter.
There were no excuses when he was labeled with a learning disability in the first grade and his parents placed him in a private elementary school for the next six years. Moyer had been diagnosed with dyslexia. In spite of his intelligence, he had an impaired ability to understand written language which kept him behind at the reading grade level. In smaller class settings, he improved enough to re-enter the public school system in the seventh grade. He has coped with his disorder through half of his senior year at Lycoming College where he has spent as much time in the library as he has in the weight room.
"Whenever I need extra help," said Moyer, "I have tutors help me with the readings." Moyer's perseverance has resulted in a B- average as he advances toward a degree in criminal justice. His professors, as well as his coaches, have loved his work ethic and his determination to succeed.
Outside of his academic achievements, Moyer leaves the Lycoming football program with the respect and adulation of his teammates and his coaches.
"Cody is the epitome of physical and mental toughness," remarked Warrior head coach, Mike Clark. "As a four year starter at left guard, he has helped our program improve from a 4-6 record to the last two years when we were a combined 16-4." Clark also attributes Moyer's contributions to helping Lycoming's offense average over 200 yards rushing per game throughout his four years and to attain a team school record of 616 total yards against FDU-Florham in 2011.
"He is a "no quit" kid, said Clark." In his sophomore year, Cody broke his hand on the first play of a game and he didn't tell us."
"My hand got smashed between two helmets," added Moyer. "When I took my glove off at half time, my one hand was twice the size of the other. I finished the game and I played the whole game the next week too before I told the coaches and then I had to get a soft cast so it could heal."
As the Warriors continued toward this year's run at the MAC title, Clark summed up how important Moyer was to his team.
"I told him he can't get hurt. He's the leader of our line and makes sure that everyone is on the same page on every play."
"His field work is incredible and he is a real student of the game. He leads by example. In fact, he was one of only two seniors on our O-line this year, and when our underclassmen saw how much time he spent in the weight room and in the film room, they followed his lead."
Moyer's improvement at his position was the reason for his success.
"When I played for Lehighton, (a first team MVC lineman), I was able to move defensive linemen with just my physical strength, but when I played for Lycoming, I needed to improve my footwork and my hand placement. I also learned to bend my knees more and to establish a better base for pass blocking."
According to Clark, Moyer also "leaned down" his physique and improved his quickness and athleticism.
"This year he allowed only one quarterback sack and he was our go-to guy on the goal line or whenever we needed short yardage."
Moyer added, "My favorite play was our "power." I pull from my left guard position to the right B gap and I get to clean out the play side linebacker. We beat a real good Delaware Valley team, 24-14 on their field this year. We controlled the line of scrimmage for most of the game and we scored on that power play."
Though Moyer is not a rah-rah guy, his voice was needed at times during this season.
"Whenever I thought we were not getting enough effort from some of our younger linemen, I would tell Cody to take care of it and he did. I realized that they would respond to his voice better than they would to mine. When Cody did speak, his teammates listened. He was an emotional player, but most of the time, you could see that in his actions rather than hear it in his voice."
It became obvious to Moyer, who was also recruited by Delaware Valley and Albright, what all offensive linemen must accept. There is no glory for them. They do not score touchdowns or make big noticeable plays during football games. Yet Moyer took great pride when he opened holes for a Warrior to rush for 100 yards in a game. He also developed a special relationship with running back, Parker Showers.
"Parker would finish his practice, but then he would come over to watch the line finish ours," said Moyer. "That gave me extra incentive to block for him." The end result for Showers was outstanding. The senior rushed for 1977 yards and 18 touchdowns during his and Moyer's four years at Lycoming.
Though Moyer's play would mostly go unnoticed by fans, his excellent performance was ultimately rewarded. He was named the team's Offensive Lineman of the Year as a freshman. In 2011, he earned first team Middle Atlantic Conference honors and third team D3 football.com's All East Region. This year he was an honorable mention D3 Senior Classic Pre-season All American and more significantly, Moyer became the first player in Lycoming's history to earn backto-back D3 football.com's All East Region honors.
When asked about his playing days at Lehighton, Moyer looks back with appreciation.
"I had a great experience there. We made the playoffs my sophomore and junior years. The best thing, however, was I got to play defense when I was a senior with my brother, Mitchell, who was a freshman linebacker. Mitchell has been a big inspiration to me. He tore his ACL playing football but now he is wrestling at Ursinus."
Besides his brother, Moyer believes his role models are his parents, Kathy and Scott, who have instilled upon him that he has to work through all his struggles in life.
"They have always been there for me," Moyer said.
After graduation in 2013, he is not certain what his future will be. He has an interest in coaching football at the college level and Coach Clark will try to accommodate him by locating schools in need of assistants.
Clark put his relationship with his all star player in perspective.
"I am disappointed for Cody because we fell one win short in each of the last two seasons of making the D-III playoffs. This year we were leading Widener, who ultimately finished undefeated, by a score of 23-14 with five minutes to go, and they came back to win in the final seconds of the game. We won three in a row after that, but only the MAC champion got the bid. Cody and our offense played exceptionally in that game as well as all season long."
The Widener loss was Moyer's biggest disappointment too, but he never let it keep him down.
"He's already a success story," said Clark. "He's just an awesome kid."