Penn's trip to state finals would make Yeoman patriarch proud

When the Penn football team makes a big play, no one shows more emotion than head coach Cory Yeoman.

"He's over there fired up and he's jumping around," says Penn senior quarterback Chad Gindelberger. "I almost laugh on the field sometimes because it's cool seeing our coach going crazy because he's so excited for us and I love that."

Cory is usually hugging one of his brothers. Trent and Todd Yeoman are two of his assistants.

"Penn football is the Yeoman's," Kingsmen senior linebacker Sam Laidig says. "They built this program. They mean everything to it and they love Penn football and they'd do anything for it."

Former players love them too. The Kingsmen practiced at Notre Dame on Wednesday. Current Irish center and Penn alum Braxston Cave paid coach a visit.

"Proud of you," Yeoman said to Cave as the two shared a big hug.

The bond is mutual.

"he means a lot to me," Cave says. "He's a very inspiration guy. He's a leader. i wouldn't be where I'm at today without him."

Many Penn football players wouldn't be where they are at without the Yeomans. It started with Cory's Dad Wally--who was a long time assistant under Kingsmen legend Chris Geesman.

This past summer, Wally passed away.

Wednesday, Cory couldn't put into words what this run to the state finals means to his family.

"It's neat---you know what i mean," Cory explains as he begins to choke up thinking of his father. He couldn't continue.

"I can't talk about that."

Cory asked for some water from a student assistant and then tried again to express what this week means to his family after Wally's passing five months ago.

"It was tough. Football is....," Cory says again unable to finish. I can't do it sorry."

And that says it all.

Now all that's left---one more win for his team and his dad.

Penn (14-0) will face Carmel (13-1) in the 5A State Finals Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. It's Penn's first trip to the state finals since Cory Yeoman's 1st year as the Kingsmen coach in 2003. Penn lost that game.

The Kingsmen last won the state championship in 2000. Saturday night, they shoot for their 6th in school history.

Wally would be proud.

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