SPRINGFIELD — No matter what happens this season, Kody Everett won’t have any regrets. The rising senior for the Effingham County boys’ cross-country team has poured his heart and soul into the squad.
Realizing that this is his last year in red and blue is a hard pill to swallow, but he’s given every bit of himself toward bettering the program and himself.
“It’s sad,” Everett said. “I’m also happy because I have worked my tail off all summer long. Starting my freshman year not knowing anything about running to my senior year running 16s and 17s, it’s completely worth it.”
Before he was on his way to becoming the No.1 junior in Region 2-AAAAAA last year, Everett was on the baseball diamond. That was until his friends convinced him to give running a try. He then decided both sports required rigorous attention and only one would fit intp with his schedule. So, he traded in his cleats for a pair of running shoes and never looked back.
“Baseball was my first love,” Everett said. “I started playing when I was nine or ten. Then I moved into cross country my freshman year. I fell in love with it and it gradually became bigger than that. It was a tough scenario because I’d go into cross country in the fall and then I would get ready for baseball in spring, and trying to balance back and forth between the two sports was hard. I had to make a choice. My dad die it in high school at Statesboro. Then I had some friends running, too, and they wanted me to come out because they knew I used to run a little bit here and there. I told them I would come out and practice, and see how it was. I fell in love with it after that.”
But in the beginning, Everett didn’t see his full potential. His father took notice of the budding runner in him, but Everett needed a little more convincing.
“My dad told me I had potential but, as a kid, I figured it was just a fantasy,” Everett said. “My sophomore year, I ran an 18 flat and I realized I could go big places with running.”
The Rebels will open the season in the Saucony Classic on Aug. 24.
“I’ve been thinking about it,” Everett said. “The first cross country race is always the most exciting. You don’t know how to feel, what to think or what to do. You either do really good or bad.”
Everett credits second-year head coach Pam Richards for his progress as she’s played a vital role in encouraging him and the rest of the team. Having her by his side has been a difference maker and Everett is pleased to have one more season with her.
“It’s very uplifting,” he said. “She is always there for me and I am always there for her. I am there to help her with questions she doesn’t know because I have been here for four years.
“She backs me up and it’s very good for her to be out there.”