ASTON, PA – It was in his time as a high school football player that 2016 Clearfield Area High School graduate Christian Rumery discovered his own unique way he wanted to stay connected to athletics after his playing career wrapped up.
Fortunately for the former Bison linebacker who racked up over 100 tackles as a senior, he did not have to give up sports at the high school level as he earned a chance to play Division II football for the Lock Haven University Bald Eagles of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
“I had a few Division II and Division III offers, but I wanted to go somewhere that had a pre-physical therapy track. Once I went around the college and saw the facilities and new weight room, something clicked. The tour and visit ended with an overlook of the stadium and field, which I still think is one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. From there, I knew I was supposed to be there, and I really loved everything about my time there.”
At Clearfield, Rumery was an important part of the Bison linebacking corps in his junior and senior years, while also adding primary fullback duties in his senior season. These positions require athletes to be fearless and help do the “dirty work” on the gridiron by either helping to open a gap for the tailback or filling the open gaps to stop a ball carrier. While he did so at a high level, it was not always easy to earn a spot as the Bison featured a large, talented team.
“I just had the mentality that I was going to play and that I was going to earn my spot my junior season,” Rumery said. “I wanted to be a part of that winning tradition and I went hard every single day and kept the same mentality in my senior year.”
As a youngster, Rumery can recall being involved in spirit lines and high-fiving the Clearfield football players when they came onto the field, which were moments that helped shape his desire to one day be in their shoes.
“It was awesome going to games when I was growing up and watching them dominate teams,” said the former Bison standout. “Those varsity players growing up were so influential on me, and I wanted to represent Clearfield when I got to be their age.”
Rumery’s football career with the Bald Eagles of Lock Haven ended up being a unique one as an underclassman, as he accepted a redshirt as a freshman before deciding to take some time away from football in the fall of 2017. It did not take him long to figure out that he needed football in his life as he rejoined the program in the spring of 2018 and would finish out his college career in the fall of 2019.
While he graduated in May 2020, he considered using his last year of eligibility while starting his Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. After thinking deeper into the time commitment he would need to give each endeavor, he decided it was the correct time to walk away from football as a player.
Physical therapy today continues to take up a good amount of his time as he is working in the industry at a physical therapy clinic and studying for his classes during the week while going to classes on Saturday and Sunday for 10 hours each. The program he is in is called a “weekend program” which is the delivery and approach that works best for Neumann University, a small private Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Aston, Pennsylvania, with a total enrollment of around 2,500 people.
What sold him on Neumann was the opportunity he would have to experience a new city, work and study through the week, and then end his week with only two days of coursework each week. He also was sold on the program because of how they treated him throughout his application and interview process.
“The people I have met and worked with all have been such genuine people who have wanted me to succeed. I also got accepted from Neumann from the start and felt that I was going to get a great education there and would get to experience some place new for a while, which is something that I believe is important.”
Earlier in December, Rumery finished his fourth semester and will begin his first clinical rotation in January at a NovaCare Rehabilitation facility in Aston. After this 11 week rotation, he will get some additional experience by rotating to a hospital setting and eventually a setting that he is passionate and excited about working in. Most of all, he hopes he can work with athletes and get them back onto the playing field.
“I have wanted to work in sports since the beginning, but I may end up getting into a clinical rotation and realize I like something else more. I am excited for clinical to help to give me a better grip on what I would like to do.”
When asking the Woodland native who inspired him most to go into the health care and physical therapy field in particular, he talked about the bond he was able to build with Clearfield athletic trainer Samantha Morgan.
“She really pushed me in this direction and how to do it,” said Rumery. “She always answered my questions when I had them and has just become a great friend.”
As for his football career, he talked about longtime Clearfield Head Football Coach Tim Janocko and the opportunities he and his fellow coaches helped open for him to become a college football player.
“They have all been so helpful in me becoming the player I was and me becoming the person I am today. Coach Janocko really pushed me to go to the next level and helped me connect with schools and them connect with me.”
“I think what makes Clearfield football so successful is a combination of things. It takes dedicated coaches who want to win and develop individual game plans every week, and also it takes athletes who want to be a part of that ancestry of winning. My class of players grew really close and worked really well together on the field.”
Rumery also mentioned the impact his parents Cynthia and Brian have made on his life as being the ones who first got him involved in sports and continued to be the ones there to support him over the years.
“I can remember putting football on TV on Saturdays and Sundays and going outside to play with my brothers. Watching those games as a kid drove me to want to do that someday. My parents also pushed me and allowed me to make that one of my goals, and I am really glad I could accomplish it.”
Now, as he is around the halfway point of finishing up his Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Christian Rumery may soon find his way back in that competitive environment he once sought to be in. Only this time, his role will be to help those who share the same drive and love for football as he does get back onto the gridiron.