The Champ is Here

Hoover Vikings football wins Federal League title

Noah Lewis, Entertainment Editor

The varsity football team dominated the competition, and for the first time since 2008, they won the Federal League title outright. Ending the regular season to with a seven-game winning streak and a final 38-7 score against Jackson, the Vikings are champions.
This season’s success had Robby Smart breaking the school’s record for field goal length — twice, initially snapping the record with a 49-yard field goal; during the Jackson game, he broke his own record with a 50-yard field goal. The team also beat McKinley [24-0] for the first time in 11 years.
This season’s success can be attributed to multiple reasons, with one being the fans in the stands.
“It’s huge,” assistant varsity coach Mr. Larry Kinnard said. “Last year in a game, you could hear a pin drop. It’s great to see everybody out and having fun and sharing team success. It’s kind of like having a 12th man on the field.”
Then, there was the team itself and their amazing season. Vikings head coach Mr. Brian Baum spoke about the turning point in the season.
“Week Three — I would say I would pinpoint that as a turning point,” he said. “We lost to a good Mansfield Senior team, a team we should’ve beaten because we all played them very fast, except they got three big plays and touchdowns in the end.”
In regard to the Mansfield game, the team reflected.
“The guys had to look at themselves and get it — that game,” Baum said. “I think we figured out what we can and can’t do a little bit more.”
This success of a season will always be a benchmark for years to come.
“Going on is always difficult, because you have a senior class that is very motivated, you have a senior class that has played inspired football throughout the course of this year, and we’re going to miss them,” Hoover athletic director Mr. Tom Oakes said. “It depends on the players, the players moving ahead. This year’s juniors will be next year’s seniors. They need to have those leadership characteristics and those workmanlike traits that continue to carry the torch and to make sure Hoover football continues to stay a successful year in and year out.”
Junior Luke Roach spoke about what this year’s season means for next year’s team.
“This year’s success gives me a benchmark on what I have to accomplish next year,” he said. “It’s definitely given me some confidence in myself and it inspires me to keep working hard to improve for the next season.”
With this confidence, next year will bring another great season of Hoover football.
“Well, I think North Canton Hoover football speaks for itself not only in the Federal League and in Stark County, but I think throughout the entire Northeastern Ohio region,” Oakes said. “People don’t always want to come and play us, especially here in the North Canton Memorial Stadium going 6-0 to win an outright Federal League title this year.”
The 2021 Hoover Vikings football season will be monumental for years to come, something the school and community will remember for a long time.
“None of this could have been possible without our fans, coaches, my family and friends,” Roach said. “I’m very thankful to be able to play this sport — especially with the bonds I’ve made over the years.”