STRUTHERS - In the Mahoning Valley, where football is as much a part of the area's identity as the steel industry, it can be difficult for high school football standouts to stay out of the spotlight.
Fame, though, is not the name of the game for Struthers tight end and linebacker Cameron Suchora. He doesn't play the game to grab attention. He plays the game for the love of the sport.
"In society today, kids are often too worried about their stats or getting their name in the paper," Struthers coach Curt Kuntz said. "(Suchora's) a throwback player, an extremely tough kid. He can really play any of the 22 positions on the field on both sides of the ball."
It can be difficult for players not to get caught up in the hype, but Suchora manages to fly under the radar.
"I was just taught to be quiet and do my job," Suchora said.
Kuntz commends Suchora's for his attitude and on-field demeanor because he doesn't crave attention or the limelight on Friday nights. He shares any recognition he receives with his teammates and takes nothing he achieves for granted.
"He's going to do whatever he's needed to," Kuntz said. "Team means you do what the team needs to win, not what makes you look good on Friday night. He doesn't concern himself with looking good. He's willing to do whatever it takes for that practice, game or play to help the team win."
Some high school football headline grabbers like to use the hype surrounding them to their advantage, but not Suchora. Unlike other players, Suchora believes his collected reserve gives him an edge.
"You can't really do much when you're talking, so I'd rather go out and show it," Suchora said.
At linebacker last season, Suchora recorded 70 total tackles, 10 tackles for losses, four sacks and one interception. Switching gears to the offensive side of the ball, Suchora caught 10 balls and scored six touchdowns.
Suchora has led by example and set a certain standard of behavior - a code of conduct of sorts - for his teammates to follow. Because Struthers lost 18 seniors to graduation last year, Kuntz and the coaching staff will look to rely heavily on Suchora and his leadership.
"I want to set an example," Suchora said. "If they look at me and see me doing something, they're probably going to follow me and do what I do."
Suchora believes his humbleness has rubbed off on some of the other players in practice already, especially the young, impressionable underclassmen on the team. As these young players continue to develop, Suchora can only hope that they begin to emulate him as well as the senior class.
"You don't want to get too big-headed," Suchora said.
Even though Suchora does his best to lay low, because he is a captain and senior leader on the defensive side of the ball, he will also be responsible for relaying the coaches' signals and instructions from the sidelines to his teammates. He will direct the defense so that everyone stays on the same page.
"He's a special kid with how he handles himself and works hard for the team," Kuntz said.