Medina Highland’s Snook keeps football “All in the Family,” senior latest to impact program

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Medina Highland senior Chris Snook is headed to West Virginia on a football ride

The hit TV show “All in the Family” bit the dust in the early 1980s.
But a recurring “All in the Family” theme has been playing out on the
Medina Highland football field for more than two decades.

Rather than the Bunkers, we have the Snooks.


The hit TV show “All in the Family” bit the dust in the early 1980s. But a recurring “All in the Family” theme has been playing out on the Medina Highland football field for more than two decades.

Rather than the Bunkers, we have the Snooks. Tim Snook coached the Hornets for 20 years. Son Adam played fullback and middle linebacker for his dad in the late 1990s and is now the freshman coach at Highland. And these days his brother is running roughshod over the competition at those same positions.

Chris Snook is among the most talented backs in the state. He rumbled for 1,490 yards and 14 touchdowns in 253 carries as a junior in 2007. And he was averaging a ridiculous 11 yards a carry after three games this season.

Snook, who is headed to the University of West Virginia on a football scholarship, has moved from safety to inside linebacker in 2008. In those same three games, he registered 19 tackles, including eight solos.

The younger Snook caught football fever when his brother excelled for the Hornets. But he never felt as if he was pushed into playing. Rather, it seemed like a natural move in his family and in his life.

“We definitely have a family with a background in sports,” Snook concedes. “But I’ve always loved football. My brother was my hero when I was little. I loved to watch him play.”

Snook was quite unaware of just how talented he was throughout his youth football experience. But when he exceeded 1,000 yards rushing in just seven games in seventh grade, he gained confidence. After all, it was a single-season record at the middle school.

Participation in football, however, requires one to start over every year and at every level. Snook established himself again as a sophomore at Highland when he rushed for 600 yards. New coach Tom Lombardo, who took over for Snook’s father, became aware of Chris’s talent and intangibles very quickly.

“His power is his strength,” Lombardo explains. “He’s great in the weight room, but he also has the speed to go with it. When gets into the open field, he has great breakaway speed. He’s been timed at 4.63 in the 40.”

And that’s not all.

“It’s obvious that Chris has had a great upbringing,” Lombardo adds. “He’s very respectful and very coachable. He doesn’t have a big head at all. He’s not a vocal kid at all, but all the kids respect his work ethic. (Last spring) we had early morning workouts and he didn’t miss any of them even though he was running track at the time.”

Snook, who is indeed a sprinter for the Highland track team, wasted little time on making his college decision. Though he was sought after by other major Division I programs, he chose West Virginia. He committed to becoming a Mountaineer not only because he respects the coaches, but because of the atmosphere.

He considers West Virginia to have a tremendous football program without being a football factory.

“It doesn’t feel like an assembly line,” he says. “I felt at home at West Virginia. I also like that it’s away from home, but not too far. Plus I feel like I fit into the offensive scheme more than I do at other schools. That definitely affected by decision.”

Snook patterns his running style after that of talented Mountaineers running back Noel Devine despite the fact that he’s six inches taller and 45 pounds heavier than the West Virginia sophomore.

“He has a totally different body type, but I try to run like (Devine does),” Snook says. “He’s very quick and he runs very low to the ground. He has great balance. If I can run like he does, it gives me a real advantage.”

Snook praises the West Virginia coaches not only for what they achieve on the field, but for the relationships they forge with recruits like him.

“Every time I talk to them they ask me how my family is doing,” reports Snook, who is considering majoring in history and becoming an educator. “My sister-in-law just had a baby and they always ask about that. It’s a good thing to know that they care about your life and not just football.”

Of course, when it comes to the Snooks, family and football are never unrelated.

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