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Sports

January 9, 2014

Comanche’s Crow chooses classroom over field

COMANCHE — He got a 35 on his ACT.

Whenever you talk about senior Cody Crow’s football skills, that’s the first thing you’ll hear. The superstar athlete, who received interest from Division I schools like Oklahoma State, Tulsa and UTEP among others, is even better in the classroom.

That’s what led to Crow’s decision to focus on going to school instead of playing football. He knew he was good at football, but after a lot of thought he decided taking a scholarship to play  wasn’t for him.

“Having that opportunity, I know its not something that everyone has,” Crow said. “It’s not something that I took lightly. It’s just the decision that I thought was best for me.”

Besides being a four-year starter on the offensive line, Crow plays basketball, baseball and serves on the academic team.

Comanche Athletic Director Aaron Weast said he is a leader in everything he does.

“I’m just happy for him and the decision he made to not play. I think that’s a good decision,” said Weast.

Weast pointed out all that Crow could accomplish as an academic, but also talked about the physical pounding that takes place. Crow’s older brother Brandon dealt with that burden. Crow said and dealt with injuries throughout. However, the physical toll was not the prime motivation for Crow’s decision. Crow said it didn’t make too much of an impact on his decision. The boy’s father, Brent, added that the brothers are in different situations.

“Brandon and Cody are two different people, and Brandon’s experience was really good,” Brent said. “He played on a team that has four Big 12 championships and contributed... If you asked Brandon today ‘would you do it again,’ without hesitation (he’d say) ‘you bet.’”

Cody would have played offensive line had he continued playing football. A quiet but effective leader on the field, coach Steve Justus called Crow a “constant.”

“It’s like when you wake up in the morning, and you don’t have to worry about the sun coming up in the East,” Justus said. “You didn’t have to worry about whether he was going to show up, or whether or not he was going to give you 100 percent.”

Crow relished his role on the offensive line. Instead of asking to be a runningback or tight end, he quickly realized the best way he could help his team was in the trenches. His ability combined with his intelligence set him apart, even when he wasn’t the six-foot six-inch wrecking ball that he is today. Justus thinks it was a display of that intelligence that Crow didn’t ask to play at a position he knew he wasn’t suited for.

“He knew from an early age what he was, and he worked hard to be that and not something else,” Justus said. “(I tell kids) ‘really you are a lineman’... Sometimes it breaks their hearts, but really, they don’t know how valuable they are.”

Crow never needed to hear that. He saw it as a challenge and took the time to learn what he called an extremely complicated position.

“I always was interested most in what would help us win,” Crow said. “I knew that was the role that I suited best on the team.”

Now, the All-District left tackle will turn his attention to a different field. His intial plans are to attend the University of Oklahoma and learn about computer science. He is also interested in the field of teaching. On Monday, he was named a Jim Thorpe Scholar Athlete, which came with a $1,500 scholarship prize.

Brent works as the principal of Comanche Middle School and his mother Jan works at Halliburton. Whatever Crow decides to do, his father knows it was hard work that led him to have the many options he has today.

“He’s always been very passionate about all areas, academics, athletics, everything he has done,” Brent said. “I think because of that passion and hard work that’s why these opportunities have come about.”

Might one of those opportunities be as a walk-on football player? Crow dismissed the option, saying he doesn’t think he’ll play football in that type of setting again.

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