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'I can't take this much longer': La Salle's Cohen Kreidler opens up about family adversity

Senior RB reflects on a journey of perseverance and the family who adopted him
Posted at 8:56 AM, Sep 19, 2023

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — La Salle High School running back Cohen Kreidler carried the football into the Lancer Stadium end zone with euphoria on the opening week of high school football's 2023 regular season.

"It was awesome," Kreidler said. "It was like nothing I've ever experienced."

The moment illuminates Kreidler's face when he reflects on the moment. He broke about three tackles on his way to his first touchdown as a starting running back. That scoring play helped propel the Lancers to a 28-3 win over visiting Colerain.

And in some ways, Kreidler's memorable touchdown is emblematic of his perseverance in life.

"I don't know that we blocked it particularly well and he just refused to go down and that's his mentality," Lancers coach Pat McLaughlin said. "He's just a worker. He's a great kid. In terms of attitude and effort, he's a leader on this team. We wouldn't be where we are without him."

Kreidler, 17, doesn't know where he'd be without a life-changing decision in the summer of 2019 before his eighth-grade year.

He grew up encountering significant family adversity. But, he wouldn't let the difficulty define his future.

Instead, Kreidler chose to move in with his uncle, La Salle basketball coach Pat Goedde, along with Goedde's wife, Angela, and the couple's three younger children.

"I called up my uncle and I was like, 'Man, I can't really take this much longer. I want to put myself in a better position,'" Kreidler said. "They took me open arms and thank God they did because right now I don't know where I'd end up if I wasn't with them."

La Salle senior Cohen Kreidler is grateful for the support of his family in his life. La Salle basketball coach Pat Goedde and his wife, Angela, adopted their nephew in December 2019.

The blessings were twofold. When Pat and Angela adopted their nephew shortly before Christmas 2019, the family discovered additional joy and love.

"I call it a dream," Pat Goedde said. "It's been perfect for our family. He gave us a new little thing in our family even though he was a part of our family in the beginning. Just bringing him has just been such a wonderful opportunity for our family."

Kreidler said his aunt and uncle have taught him priceless life lessons. For that, he's eternally grateful.

"They've really helped me out as a person honestly," he said. "Where I came from I wasn't around very good people. And they've really just set the tone and showed me how to be, one, a father and two, a good person to everyone. And three, just a good brother."

So it comes as no surprise why Kreidler found La Salle a place to flourish, too.

Kreidler enjoys the brotherhood of La Salle and being around his friends and teammates. He's inspired by his older brother, Sebastian, who has helped Kreidler.

In school, Kreidler has a 3.9 grade-point average and plays basketball for his uncle who he sometimes refers to as 'Dad.'

Being a Lancer represents so much to him throughout the year.

"La Salle always preaches on doing service and being helpful and called to serve," Kreidler said. "It really kind of brought me to the point where I should be called here to help people and just do the best I can. I want them to feel accepted and everyone to have a chance really at life and be themselves."

Goedde is the first to admit that family life often revolves around La Salle. Concession food is often the dining option on Friday nights at the home venues whether the family is watching football or basketball games.

A win or loss can dictate whether it's a good night. This season, the Lancers (4-1) are excelling as the team prepares to play on the road against Moeller (2-3) in a game at Mount St. Joseph University Friday night.

Despite the importance of sports, Goedde is most proud of the fact that his nephew has excelled in the classroom.

"He's a 3.9 student; he's really bought into education and that's been key for us trying to preach because at a certain point the sports is going to end," said Goedde, a 1991 La Salle graduate. "This is just the vehicle to bring each other together. The football and the camaraderie and being around coaches. Life skills are learned here on this football field."

And those skills will continue to be learned this season and beyond. Kreidler wants to continue start every Friday night. He also wants to earn a 4.0 GPA throughout the school year and eventually become a college graduate.

No one at La Salle is doubting Kreidler's resolve for his senior year and his life beyond high school.

"He understands the expectations that we have for him and Pat has for him," McLaughlin said. "He lives up to them. And I expect him to be successful when he graduates here for the next 30, 40, 50 years of his life."

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