High school football: Bruins linebacker Hooey has knack for ball
Fargo South football coach Kevin Feeney likes to joke that senior linebacker Josh Hooey is an old man in a young man's body. Hooey always seems to be battling through pain or injury. He came into the season with a sprained joint in his right shou...
Fargo South football coach Kevin Feeney likes to joke that senior linebacker Josh Hooey is an old man in a young man's body.
Hooey always seems to be battling through pain or injury.
He came into the season with a sprained joint in his right shoulder, and aggravated the injury during the second day of fall camp.
Hooey's dealt with aches and pains ever since.
But it hasn't slowed him a bit.
"We play a very attacking defensive style of football," said South coach Kevin Feeney, whose team will host Bismarck Century at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in the North Dakota Class 3A semifinals at the Fargodome. "He just has a knack to get through that line of scrimmage. Whether it's on a blitz or a read, he's been at the right place at the right time."
Hooey entered the season with a lot of weight on his aching shoulders following the departures of several key defensive lineman and all-state linebacker Brandon Jemison.
He admits to trying to do too much early in the season to make up for the losses.
Now, Hooey is comfortable with the players around him. And his confidence in his teammates has grown with each game.
"We were trying to mold together," said Hooey, who is also a standout player on the Bruins hockey team. "We were trying to get used to each other and get used to how people are going to play certain types of plays. We've come together here at the end."
South doesn't keep defensive statistics.
If they did, however, Feeney said he's sure Hooey would lead the team in tackles and tackles for lost yardage.
Hooey credits much of his success on the football field to his brother, Alex, a former standout linebacker for South who signed in 2008 to play at Division II Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D.
Alex has attended most of South's games this season. He gives Josh pointers after every game for improving his performance.
"I've always just tried to model myself after him as a football player," Josh said.
Josh insists he's 100 percent healthy now.
That should help South as they face a strong Patriots offense this weekend.
"I feel pretty confident that if I do my job on my side that he can take care of it on his side," Bruins senior linebacker Tyler Kellen said. "He brings a lot of energy and he's another guy that can fly around and make big plays out there."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562