DEFIANCE — One of the oldest high school football rivalries in the state of Ohio existed between Bryan and Montpelier, dating back to 1926 when the two schools were adopted into the inauguration of the Northwest Ohio Athletic League.For generations, Montpelier and Bryan youths have been pitted against each other in sports leagues starting at an early age, creating an evident natural grudge which still resonates to many on both sides. It wasn’t that big of a deal as a little kid, but the older you got — like when you starting playing junior high football — that’s when it started getting important.” Bryan was superior over Montpelier in the NWOAL, winning 16 conference titles to Montpelier’s five.We were both going through the same struggles and just built a friendship out of it.” Both agreed that the pace and structure of college football was definitely an eye-opener at first.In high school, each was a standout on their respective teams and starting over as freshmen and not getting the notoriety each was used to was a little discouraging.He said since everybody is good it was hard to adjust at first.“Physicality-wise I was ready but I wasn’t prepared for the speed of college football,” he said. I was just thinking it was a bunch of guys running around hitting each other, but there’s a lot more speed in college football than there was in northwest Ohio (high school) football.” Another aspect that Nye said was much different was the different coaching styles between the high school and college game.
In high school if I had a bad day I can come back the next day, but in college if you have a bad day somebody else will get more reps and coach might like that.” For Nye, it was the speed of the game at the next level that surprised him most.It makes me feel humble for the way I was raised.” Both admit that the college experience is different from what they expected, but they are enjoying the change and also the opportunity to play football after high school.They are both proud to be a Yellow Jacket, especially Nye who enjoys donning the purple and gold as he did in his years as a Golden Bear.“We were both from the area and were pretty much the only ones who knew each other on the team,” Nye said. “You always have somebody you can hang out with, especially for the first time not living at home.He has siblings and I have a sibling and not being around them a whole lot and being here on your own, it’s important to have someone else around.” Cooley said when they arrived on campus it was tough at first not knowing anyone else.