The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Cranes Football team hosted a Spring Signing Day Event for new players that declared their intent to play college football. This event was held in the library on the Cranbrook Campus.
Cranbrook Football paused to reflect on its continued growth while families, students, coaches, staff and faculty looked on.
LB/RB Tristan Knoer will join the ranks of college football when he graduates from Cranbrook.
The best kind of football player
Tristan Knoer will play football at Denison University in Grandville, OH.
A four-year varsity player for Cranbrook Football, Tristan Knoer has been a leader in the rise of Cranbrook football with substantial contributions on both offense and defense.
In his last two years, Tristan finished with 683 yards, averaging 6.7 yards per carry and scoring 8 touchdowns. He would add 19 receptions for 154 yards and 1 TD to be a leader in All-Purpose Yards.
On defense, he was a leader in overall tackles, tackles for a loss, and in assists.
In a memorable game against Madison Heights Lamphere, Tristan stepped in for other injured players. He scored on a 25 yard TD run, a 7 yard TD pass, and lead team defense in tackles. He also got an interception, for good measure.
“Tristan helped the team in many ways, particularly through his versatility playing both sides of the ball,” said Coach Joe D’Angelo. “He’s been the best kind of football player. Whenever we needed him, he was ready.”
Tristan served 2 years as team captain, providing leadership for a maturing football program. He was the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. He was named an All-Catholic Player for the Catholic League in 2015 and 2016.
“Tristan’s leadership has been critical for our program,” said Cranes Head Coach Joe D’Angelo. “His mature and steady presence helped us to hold fast when things were tough. He wore the role of captain well, and left that jersey in a better place.”
While he is an excellent football player, the young man that they call “Turtle” is also a leader in other ways.
Tristan spearheaded the community outreach efforts of the Cranes, organizing the team’s relationship with Focus: Hope. Under his leadership, the team participated for two years making food baskets for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, established in 1971. The program assists mothers with children under 6 and low income seniors over 60 with supplemental food to help meet basic nutritional needs.
In addition to feeding the needy, Focus: Hope maintains a Clothes Closet filled by donations. This Clothes Closet assists the job training and placement efforts of the organization. Students who complete their job training coursework are prepared for job interviews and the world of work.
Filled with donations from the community, the Clothes Closet allows for the student trainees to select professional interview clothing for free.
The Cranes spent time organizing new items for the closet. The players sorted clothes and placed them on hangers and racks for selection by Focus: Hope student trainees going on job interviews.
“Many families go without adequate food and clothing in our community, it’s important that we all share in the assistance of those in need,” said Cranbrook Football Head Coach Joe D’Angelo.
A Humble Guy
When he is not on the football field, Tristan likes hanging out with his friends and spending time with his family. The 2nd of 5 kids, he also enjoys singing tenor in his church choir.
His love for football goes back to 4th grade, when he was a member of the Wilmette Eagles and living in the Chicago Area. “I’m a Chicago Bears fan,” he says with pride. “My favorite player is Brian Urlacher,” referring to the retired All-Pro linebacker from the Bears.
“I want to be like him, a humble football player on and off the field. “ In an interesting parallel, Tristan’s football hero was also a jack-of-all-trades in high school playing running back, safety, and eventually, linebacker.
The future is bright for Tristan Knoer, a leader in all phases of his life, and a humble football player, on and off the field.