There were times during the summer when Laconia senior Cody Moon didn’t feel like working out in the withering heat or doing heavy lifting in the school’s weight room.
But there were always two motivating factors for him. His older brother Erik made sure he kept working hard at all times. The other factor according to Moon: “The success I’m having this season.”
Laconia coach Mark Madigan describes Moon’s work during the offseason as “ridiculous.” That could also be used to describe the way the senior running back has carried his team to a 7-1 record and a home playoff game on Friday.
Moon’s 1,726 yards are second on wissports.net’s unofficial state leaders list. He’s scored 25 of the team’s 38 touchdowns this season, and he has an average of 9.9 yards per attempt. Of course, a back’s average gets inflated when he has 12 touchdowns of 50 or more yards.
“It’s not the first guy that’s going to get him down,” Madigan said. “He never surrenders on a run. The big difference (between last year and this year) is his motivation. He refuses to be taken down by one guy.”
And there aren’t many high school defenders that can bring him down. The state tournament wrestler cuts a big figure and is listed on the program at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds. Just for good measure, he’s usually one of the fastest players on the field. That combination can lead to some jaw dropping plays.
Take for example his longest score of the season — a 93-yard run against Omro. The play was a simple draw play behind the left guard. The Omro defense had the hole plugged and had hands on him. Instead of going down, though, he cut to his right, ran through the arm tackles and outran the safety for a touchdown.
“He’s had numerous explosive plays like that,” Madigan said. “He’s not just a big dude, but when he’s in the open field nobody’s been able to catch him.”
After topping 1,000 rushing yards as a junior and with a chance to reach 2,000 if Laconia has postseason success, it would be easy for him to gloat. But whenever his success is discussed, Moon turns the attention to another group.
“Our line’s been great,” Moon said. “It’s easy when you have to run through a hole that’s huge.
“They were good last year and they all have experience,” he added about the group up front. “They’re just getting better, they’re experienced and they’re big and they’re strong.”
The starters, from right to left, Tyler Rickert, Dustin Perkins, Dan Degner, Matt Blechl and Nick Zimmerman average 225 pounds, and have an experience that was missing last season.
“Last year we were starting four sophomores,” Madigan said. “I think the success has to be the gelling of our offensive line; they’ve been through it before.”
Madigan added that fullback Jesse Tipton is a friend of Moon and an important bulldozer ahead of Moon in Laconia’s I-formation offense.
A big bruising back getting attention from Division I-AA and Division II schools and a strong offensive line have been getting, and will continue to get attention, but Moon doesn’t have any worries about that extra attention.
“Some other guys are going to have success if they’re going to be keying on me,” Moon said.