Three-year starter left his markas one of team’s strongest athletes
By Bruce Smith
Before Kody Odom starred at middle linebacker for the Skyview Hawks football team, he was a weightlifter.
Kody, at 5-foot-10 and 215 pounds, was fit and fast, and he broke new ground in football.
“I was always bigger than most kids my age, even before I started lifting,” he said. “I had a good relationship with coach (David) Young and was awarded a chance to start (on the football team) as a sophomore.
“I showed them I was capable and I was the starter ever since.”
Odom was always in the thick of things. He would run with reckless abandon to tackle ball carriers, which had its good and bad points. He was a two-time all-SIC player.
As a senior, Odom was Skyview’s third-leading tackler. He was named the defense’s co-MVP but holds the school’s career tackles mark that may never be broken.
“I’m going to miss it (football),” he said. “I wish I could go back. Everyone tells you how fast it would go by. I wish I would have taken the time to enjoy it more.”
The season started slowly. Odom wasn’t in the lineup in the opener against Fruitland. He suffered a concussion during summer camp and couldn’t practice, or work out for almost a month. He returned in time for Skyview’s second game against Kuna and was selected the defensive player of the game.
“I didn’t feel like I did well, but I guess I did,” he said.
Odom delivered some of Skyview’s hardest hits. He remembered delivering several jarring blows, sometimes even knocking the helmet off an opponent. He tried to keep his emotions under control, but found it difficult in games when the Hawks fell behind.
“Middleton and Blackfoot were the toughest,” he said. “I kept getting pushed in the back and I was getting emotional about it to the refs and almost got kicked out. I was really frustrated.”
But for most of the season, Odom felt like he and the Skyview defense were in control, even in the biggest games.
Against Middleton, the Hawks held the Vikings scoreless in the second half and rallied for a 20-17 victory.
The following week, preseason favorite Columbia was blanked the only time all season. In that game, Odom had a pass deflection early in the game that was snared by teammate Kyle Cothern that led to the game’s only score. On Columbia’s next possession, Odom hung on to the ball and returned it deep into Wildcat territory.
“My interception was pretty cool. Everyone was saying how awesome Austin Schaffer was,” he said. “It was the only interception of my high-school career. That was a fun game. If I could go back and play any game again, it would be that one.”
Skyview then hung on to beat Bishop Kelly and advance into the 4A state playoffs, where they took on eventual champion Blackfoot. After a tough first half, the defense dug in and made it a game. It turned out Blackfoot’s most-difficult postseason game was its 35-25 win over the Hawks.
“My best game was against Blackfoot,” Odom said. “At the start of the season, I wasn’t in the best shape. By the end, I was at my peak. The team came a long way and we’re set up well for the future.”
If they work as hard as Odom, they might. Odom said he could thank assistant coach Josh Bravo for that.
“We called it ‘Bravo Time,’ and it sucks,” Odom said. “Bravo helped with the defensive line but he is also the conditioning coach. He worked us hard, but it paid off. You use ‘Bravo Time’ to get in shape. If we didn’t have him, we wouldn’t have done as well.”
Odom said he planned to use “Bravo Time” to his advantage. The concussion and a nagging shoulder injury that continued after football have reduced his interest in playing at the next level. After graduation, he said he planned to enlist in the military and hopes to eventually become a detective.
“I’ll always remember all that we accomplished here, but it’s time to move on,” he said. “Still, this was a great experience.”