Rockwood Area senior Cody Kimmel to play football at Lycoming College

BERLIN, Pa. – Still young to the linebacking position, Rockwood Area High School senior Cody Kimmel caught the eye of many college football coaches as he patrolled sideline to sideline for the Berlin Brothersvalley team as part of a co-op over his career.

Armed with 269 career tackles and many accolades, Kimmel has officially committed to Lycoming College, an NCAA Division III program in Williamsport.

“Their coaches are very competitive up there,” he said. “They haven’t had a lot of coaches. They’re not like a lot of programs, where they had coaches come through over and over again. When I was up there for my visit, all they kept talking about was winning a championship. That would be cool to have that in the future.”

“I didn’t want to go somewhere big,” Kimmel said. “I wanted to stay at a small school.”

Kimmel will play for coach and Athletic Director Mike Clark, the Warriors’ mentor since 2008 with an 85-69 mark. He will major in early education and special education and follow in the footsteps of Berlin Brothersvalley defensive coordinator Dante Paul.

Lycoming went 5-6 overall and 4-2 in the Landmark Conference in 2023. Kimmel will play linebacker on a defense that is co-coordinated by Mark DeLucia and Steve Wiser.

“When they showed me their defense, they kind of did a lot of what our defense was this year, which is kind of cool,” Kimmel said.

Kimmel chose Lycoming over Seton Hill and Waynesburg. He was named The Tribune- Democrat 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, while being voted 2022 and 2023 Somerset County defensive most valuable player.

“I think it’s every kid’s dream to grow up and play football in college,” Kimmel said.

As a senior, Kimmel provided 126 tackles, including 18 for loss of yardage, and six sacks. He collected 172 rushing and 394 receiving yards, while scoring 11 total touchdowns.

Kimmel averaged 21.9 yards per catch as a senior and tallied 8 1/2 sacks and three interceptions over his career.

Berlin Brothersvalley football coach Doug Paul believes Kimmel’s ascension is only beginning.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever seen a kid transform in our football program from their freshman year to even their junior year as what he did,” Doug Paul said. “When he came up from junior high, he was a defensive back. It just wasn’t clicking his freshman year.

“It was about halfway through his sophomore year, we’re running scout-team defense and he jumps in at linebacker. He’s just running all over the place, making tackles. Going into his junior year, we moved him to linebacker, and then he just flourished from there.”

Kimmel possesses many traits to be an impact linebacker with plenty of upside.

“Lycoming is getting a kid that is a phenomenal linebacker, but has been playing the position for two years,” Paul said. “He still got so much room to grow at that level. He was a coach on the field. Just the total package at linebacker for us with speed. When he got there, he got there in a bad mood and was pretty aggressive. Just a great young man. We’re super-happy for him here.”

Kimmel helped the Mountaineers go a combined 37-7 over the past four seasons in football.

Also a member of the wrestling team, Future Farmers of America and the Rockwood Volunteer Fire Department, he was thankful for his time as part of the Berlin Brothersvalley co-op.

“For sports, it’s been awesome because we’ve had great coaches,” Kimmel said. “We succeed really well. Off the field, they’re some of my best friends. I’m in Berlin every day. A lot of my best friends I hang out with every weekend are from Berlin.”

Kimmel is the son of Irvin and Lisa Kimmel, of Somerset.