Clyde graduate Collin Rieman was always ready when called to the football field, basketball court or track.
Rieman, who is one of the athletes of the year in the Michael K. Bosi series, became the first boy to qualify to state all four years for Fliers coach Mike Martin in his final season. Rieman went from anticipating a major role as a freshman on St. Joseph Central Catholic’s varsity basketball team to junior varsity status as a transfer to Clyde.
Rieman, headed to Ohio State, was typically first off the bench for the Fliers’ varsity team as a sophomore. An injury pushed him into an open starting spot in the secondary for the football team’s final two games.
“Halfway through the first half of the first game, I was more comfortable than I expected,” Rieman said. “I adapted quickly and adjusted.”
Martin had already helped Rieman establish a foundation for success.
“Some of the most challenging times those four years came at the beginning,” Rieman said. “It was mentally and physically demanding, but pushing through paid off.
“I was able to peak when I needed to and perform under pressure thanks to those workouts.”
Rieman was average when competing in the 400 and 4×200 relay early in his freshman season before stepping up — starting with the Sandusky Bay Conference meet. He continued to rise to the occasion with a spot on a state-qualifying 4×400 team.
Ryan Carter quickly learned to trust Rieman as his basketball and football coach. Rieman played offense, defense and special teams for football.
“He was more special off the field,” Carter said. “I’d trust him with my own kids. He was like my own kid. Kids paying their dues is a lost art. Whatever we asked, he never blinked.”
Rieman enjoyed playing his senior basketball season for Lou Garcia. And it was one more campaign with younger brother, Zach.
“We’ll reflect on those memories together,” Rieman said of visits in the distant future. “The transition to a new coach was a big change. We had a blast playing for him and being part of his first season.”
Basketball is Rieman’s favorite sport.
“I love the fast pace,” he said. “You have to think quickly and react to the defense. You’re always thinking and using your brain and trying to get your body to follow. It’s awesome to push through a loss or a miss and come back where you feel you can’t miss.”
Rieman made six 3-pointers as Clyde topped Sandusky last season after a 0-3 start. Rieman, however, first remembers a sectional final setback to an athletic and physical Toledo Scott team his sophomore season.
“Some teams were intimidated by them but we stuck with them,” Rieman said. “We challenged them.”
Rieman helped the Fliers carry the attitude through the next two seasons. Carter was the head football coach Rieman’s last two years.
The Fliers’ football team eliminated unbeaten Norwalk from the playoffs in the second round last year. Clyde beat Toledo Central Catholic in the postseason Rieman’s junior season.
“I’ll remember playing alongside my friends,” he said. “We came off a successful season and controlled the expectations and made a great year of it.”
The way Rieman approaches sportsmanship — as well as people — comes from his faith and the way he was brought up.
“People are watching — and even if they’re not, I try to do the right thing,” he said. “That sets a foundation. It makes it easy to be true to who you are. If you respect opponents and teammates when you’re competing, it carries over to life after high school.
“That’s what I learned as a high school athlete.”
It’s a lesson Zach and Carson, who will be in the eighth grade this year, will no doubt continue to pass along. But Collin will be missed.
“He played to his strengths,” Carter said. “As a DB, you could put him on an island and not worry about it. He blossomed into a 20-point scorer. You talk about a quality kid on and off the field.
“In the community and the classroom. To be part of his life was something special.”