The name Backenstoe is synonymous with high school football in Hilliard, beginning in the early 1980s when Bill Backenstoe played for the Wildcats.

Backenstoe's sons, Alex and Sam, have since played for Davidson, but the family's long history with the program soon will come to an end, as Sam, a senior, has only two games remaining with the Wildcats.

Like his father and brother, Sam will compete at the college level, as he has committed to attend the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, and play for Army.

Sam, a center and defensive lineman, was named first-team all-state and all-district in Division I and first-team all-OCC-Central Division last year. This season, he has been hampered by turf toe on both feet, which has limited his availability on defense and in practice.

"Football is tough guy sport," Bill said. "You're going to hurt. I don't care if you're injured or not injured, you're going to hurt. You have to endure pain to play football, and that's what I taught these guys growing up. If you're going to play the sport, let's do it right. You're going to come home beat up and your reward is getting to play in a game."

Sam credits his career at Davidson for helping him earn the opportunity to play for Army.

"It helped a lot," he said. "What the coaches put us through prepared me a lot for everything at Army. Our offense is pretty much the same, so not only being successful here, it will help there. And recruiting-wise, it probably helped getting looked at by those guys."

Alex, a 2014 Davidson graduate, went on to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy through the first semester of his sophomore year before transferring to Ohio State as a preferred walk-on in the spring of 2016.

He suffered a season-ending biceps injury during the preseason this year and was lost for the season after undergoing surgery. He plans on returning to the Buckeyes next season.

Alex played the Wildcats' important Leo position on defense and was named Division I state Defensive Player of the Year his senior season. He also was a finalist for Ohio's Mr. Football award, presented to the state's top player.

Alex said he transferred to Ohio State in part to be able to watch his younger brother play for Davidson.

"Knocking him around through his childhood might have helped a little bit. I'd like to take a little bit of credit," Alex said, jokingly. "It's been really cool to see him grow up into his own guy. We're pretty different people, but we get along real well and obviously the outcome is the same."

Sam credits his brother for his development.

"He helped me in understanding the game, helped me develop the right attitude and mentality to have go out and be a good football player," Sam said.

Bill, a 1982 Hilliard graduate, was a two-way lineman for the Wildcats before going on to play at Ohio University.

"Football was football back then. It's a lot different now," Bill said. "We didn't have cellphones, we didn't have cable TV and I just enjoyed the game. I was fortunate enough that I got looked at by some schools and ended up playing for Ohio University, got a full-ride scholarship down there."

Bill has been an avid follower of his sons' careers.

"I couldn't be any prouder of Alex and Sam," he said. "First of all, they're great people, they're great kids. They're great athletes and they're dedicated to their sport and they get it. They bought into coach (Brian) White's program and I can't say enough about his program. He's taken young kids and turned them into young men. They've done what they needed to do on and off the field."

Davidson is looking for a strong finish to the season after falling to 3-5 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Central Division with a 17-14 loss to visiting Dublin Coffman on Oct. 13. The Wildcats play host to Marysville on Friday, Oct. 20, before visiting Westland on Oct. 27.

Against Coffman, Davidson was stopped on two fourth-down plays in the fourth quarter.

Kalib O'Connor has rushed for 469 yards on 119 carries and Ben Wright has rushed for 427 yards and six touchdowns on 125 carries.

Quarterback A.J. VanVoor-his had a season-high 94 yards passing against the Shamrocks.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank