Tonawanda News —
Hess was named to the Class B second-team for his efforts this season, seemingly overlooked as fellow teammates Steven Warthling and Tyler Hughes received first-team honors. But that barely registers with Hess, who is proud of his teammates, without whom he said he wouldn't have been able to do anything on the field.
Tonawanda is a big part of Hess's identity, even though he only moved to the area four years ago.
It was the summer before Hess' freshman year and his dad had hopes of moving from Ohio to Western New York to work as a border patrol officer. As his family arrived the border patrol agency where Paul Hess had applied underwent a hiring freeze, which left him without a job in a new city.
So he did what any good father would do: he got a job at a pizzeria to support his family. Those sacrifices haven't been lost on Hess.
"He always works and he still does all he can to get to my games," he said. "He does a tremendous amount for my entire family. I'm very thankful to him and love it that he's there."
Football is a big part of the Hess family and Tonawanda is at its core. Hess's mom, Laurie, attended Tonawanda and so did her two brothers — Troy and Lucas Langworthy. Troy Langworthy was one of Hess's idols growing up and the two bonded over football.
Hess calls his Uncle Troy one of the best linebackers Western New York has ever seen. He was the team's defensive MVP when he played from 2001-05, was an All-Western New York selection and won the Clint Small Award.
Langworthy shares in Hess's anguish, knowing all too well the gut-wrenching nature of a winless four years of T-NT football. He said it's tough being on the Tonawanda side of the rivalry these days but that despite the bad string of luck, the Warriors always show up to battle.