ONA — Cabell Midland High School basketball coach J.J. Martin, track coach Chris Parsons and baseball coach Tracy Brumfield might want to sign up Cameron Grobe.
The kicker on the Knights’ undefeated football team will play in his second state championship game in less than a month when No. 2 Cabell Midland (13-0) takes on top-seeded Martinsburg (13-0) at noon Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Grobe was the goalkeeper for the Knights’ boys soccer team, which finished as Class AAA state runner-up to George Washington after the state championship game Nov. 9.
“My freshman year, if you’d told me I’d play for a state championship in soccer and in football, I’d have laughed,” Grobe said.
Let the guffaws begin. Grobe has been an integral component of Cabell Midland’s drive to title game appearances. His defense in goal was stellar all soccer season as he made 47 saves. Off the gridiron, Grobe has been just as good, booting kickoffs deep, often into the end zone, and making 66 of 69 extra points and two field goals.
“He’s done really well,” Knights coach Luke Salmons said of Grobe. “He’s kicking really well for us. He’s a good player.”
That Grobe played soccer or football at Cabell Midland is a wild story. The grandson of former Ohio University, Wake Forest and Baylor head football coach Jim Grobe, a Marshall University assistant from 1979 through 1983, Cameron Grobe suffered a seizure at the Huntington Mall while visiting family when he was 5. Doctors diagnosed him with epilepsy, which prevented him from playing football because head-to-head contact was dangerous.
“The doctors tried something like 50 combinations of medications and some made it worse,” Grobe said. “Finally, they found something that worked.”
Undeterred, Grobe turned to soccer, but couldn’t play the field because of the risk of his head making contact with the ball or another player. The young athlete became a goalkeeper.
“My family was supportive,” Grobe said. “None of them knew anything about soccer, but they wanted me to be happy and to play something I could play.”
When Cameron’s dad and Jim’s son Matt Grobe was hired as Marshall’s men’s golf coach, they relocated from the Las Vegas area to eastern Cabell County. As a freshman, Cameron Grobe walked into the Cabell Midland gym, found Salmons and told him he wanted to kick for the football team.
“He walked in wearing a Baylor shirt and I asked him if he was any good,” Salmons said. “I asked him if he could kick and he told me he could. Then I asked him why he was wearing all that Baylor stuff and he told me his granddad was the football coach there. I said, ‘We’ll take you.’ ”
Salmons laughed at that memory and said he knew then he had found a kicker to replace All-Stater Matthew Molina.
Saturday will mark Grobe’s final high school football game. He said he hopes to continue playing football, soccer or both in college, where he plans to major in sportscasting. His top choice is familiar to his family.
“Football or soccer, I’d love to play at Marshall,” Grobe said. “That would be a dream come true. I’d absolutely love to play both.”
Don’t count him out.