MADEIRA - Another Greater Cincinnati school is dealing with the loss of a student gone too soon as Madeira is mourning the passing of 2020 grad Vincent Englert.
Vinnie, as he was known, was killed in a car accident on Interstate 71 near Pfeiffer Road Thursday evening. Friday was a difficult day on Loannes Drive. Madeira is a small Cincinnati Hills League school where bonds are tight.
"I was numb the rest of the day," Madeira football coach Chris Stewart said after hearing the news. "Everyone loved Vinnie Englert. Everyone in the school, the community. I never heard a bad word about him."
Englert was the player who would spend time with not just his teammates, but with managers and support staff. He would high-five younger kids in attendance and was even known to help his sister babysit by stopping by to play with those she was watching.
"It was the little things that made him so special," Stewart said.
As a tight end/defensive lineman for Stewart's Mustangs, Englert was twice Cincinnati Hills League Second Team on squads that went 7-4 in 2018 and 8-3 in 2019. As a junior, he caught 49 passes for 549 yards and had 29 tackles and five sacks. His senior season he had 32 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns, along with 36 tackles, three sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Coach Stewart pinned a tribute to Madeira's No. 14 on Twitter describing his heartbreak, as did basketball coach Rick Rockwell.
Upon coming to Madeira, Stewart recalls Englert as one of the first players he really got to know.
"I still remember the first meeting I had with him in the coach's office," Stewart said. "I heard so many good things about him and we had a conversation about goals and where he wanted to go. For two years, he absolutely crushed it. If you wanted a picture of a Madeira football player, what we want in the program, that was the kid."
Last winter, Englert was a senior 6-foot-1 forward on Rick Rockwell's Madeira basketball team and averaged 7.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game to make CHL Honorable Mention. Rockwell noted that Englert had played junior high basketball, then stopped. After his sophomore year, he approached Rockwell and said he wanted to return to the game.
Though he was used to hearing his name under the Friday night Madeira lights as a varsity player, Rockwell told Englert he may have to get acclimated to being a junior varsity player as a junior because of the number of seniors that season. Englert accepted the role and shined.
"He won me over with his character and winning attitude," Rockwell said. "He was the absolute glue to our team his senior year being able to get multiple grade levels to have positive attitudes. He's just a complete winner. He started every game."
Rockwell describes Englert as a blue-collar, hard-working kid with excellent role models in his brother and sister.
Vinnie was the brother of former Madeira Amazons' basketball standout and two-time CHL Player of the Year Mary Englert, who now plays at Pikeville and former Mustangs lineman, Eddie Englert.
Vinnie Englert is the second former Madeira player the community has lost in three months. In October, Mustangs three-sport veteran Jake Megois died. Megois was a 2016 grad who was All-CHL in football and baseball.
"It was awful," Stewart said. "But, people ask what makes this place special. It's not when it's 68 and sunny every day. It's times like this. There's so many people that step up and help each other when something bad happens. People will be there for you and it's awesome. It's a special place."
A GoFundMe account has been started to cover memorial expenses for Englert. Specific memorial information is currently not available.