Buckeye’s Hoover Named Sophomore of the Year
QB Turned RB Ran For 1,245 Yards
RAYLAND — It’s been a year of adjusting for Buckeye Local sophomore running back Trey Hoover.
Not only has he had to deal with all of the social distancig changes and guidelines brought on by COVID but he also was learning to adapt to a new school and a new position.
He made all of those modifications flawlessly on his way to earning second team All-Ohio honors.
Now, he has been named the 2020 winner of The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register Sophomore of the Year after his exceptional campaign.
Others in the running for the honor were Linsly’s Luca DiLorenzo, Bellaire’s Jake Heatherington and Union Local’s Carter Blake.
After spending his freshman campaign at Martins Ferry, Hoover made the move to Buckeye Local where he quickly felt the chemistry with his teammates.
“The relationships that I built with the guys on the team in my first year back at Buckeye is what I’ll remember the most about this season,” Hoover said.
Hoover bagan the season under center for the Panthers but after a solid start and leading the team in rushing from the QB spot following several games, Buckeye Local coach Roger Herbert and his coaching staff decided to move him to running back. The move paid off.
“After one of our games we all kind of sat around in our coaches office and one of our coaches mentioned ‘hey let’s move him to tailback’ because we wanted to make sure he got the ball 25-35 times a game moving forward,” Herbert said. “So we felt moving him to tailback would be the best way to fit his style as a north to south runner.”
Hoover ran wild at his new position to the tune of 1,245 yards and 15 touchdowns on 185 carries. Before making the switch, he also fired for 444 yards and three scores through the air.
“It was different but I felt like it was a good move,” Hoover said. “I just kind of kept doing what I was doing and my vision got better with repetitions.”
His patience also improved with every snap of the football.
“As the year went on his patience in letting things develop really improved,” Herbert said. “He can run, too. He doesn’t get caught from behind.”
He certainly didn’t get caught in a victory over Steubenville Catholic, where he raced past Crusaders’ defenders all night, running for 288 yards and five touchdowns on only 11 touches.
“That game against Steubenville Catholic was probably my best game,” Hoover said.
Not only did Hoover impress on offense, but he had the ability to always hunt down the ball carrier on defense as he collected 114 tackles at middle linebacker.
“The biggest thing that impressed me was I don’t think he was fully healthy all year. He was a little banged up throughout the year,” Herbert said. “He was also our middle linebacker and he might be as good on defense as he is on offense. So, to be able to take that pounding as a sophomore is really something and I think he’s only going to get a lot better.”
The time Hoover spent in the weight room in the offseason and during the fall played a key role in his ability to withstand the physicality the game has to offer week in and week out.
“He’s a super strong kid and he doesn’t miss workouts,” Herbert said. “He does close to 400 pounds on the bench and 500 pounds on squats. He was by far our leader in the weight room and on the field. He’s dedicated his time and effort in the weight room and it’s definitely showed.”
Although Hoover’s production as a sophomore would be hard to top for anybody, the sky is the limit for the tailback and he is already aiming to get better for next year.
“My goals are just to improve and get bigger and faster,” Hoover said.