Strong Rock Christian School in Locust Grove ended its Class A private school Georgia High School Association football playoff run when it fell in Savannah to the Calvary Day Cavaliers 42-7 on Nov. 10.
But head varsity football coach and school Athletic Director Tommy Webb said the 2017 Patriots made it further than any team before them.
“(For the) first time in school history, we had a non-losing season and made the state playoffs,” he said about their 5-5 record. “Our players really bought into the team concept and worked extremely hard. Our team persevered and had an unbelievable season. I could not be more proud of a group of young men and coaching staff.”
The school has as its mission “to glorify God and partner with families in educating and inspiring their children to impact the world for Jesus Christ – the Strong Rock,” according to its website.
Its athletics handbook states that its team sports program “should assist students in developing positive self-esteem and the qualities of good citizenship.”
Webb said offensive lineman and inside linebacker Cody Adams fulfills those goals.
“Through all the tough times a season presents, Cody continues to show the ‘character of Christ,’” Webb said. “Cody has found his strength in God’s word and in his family. In Romans 5:3-4, it talks about struggles, perseverance, character and hope. He has stayed the course and stood strong throughout the season.”
Adams, a senior, said he brings a desire to work hard and give his best every day, including rallying his teammates to fight and persevere daily.
“I hold the value that if I don’t do it first or believe it first, there’s no way any of my team will,” Adams said. “So I lead by example the best I can. Encouragement is also a big part of it.”
Webb agreed, calling Adams an “exceptional” young man.
“He has been an inspiration to his teammates and staff throughout the year,” the coach said. “He is a leader, not only on the field, but in the weight room, locker room and hallways.”
On the field, Adams plays defense, getting the players lined up and making the calls, as well as offense, according to the coach.
“Playing both sides of the ball throughout the year is extremely difficult, both mentally and physically,” Webb said. “Although he does not normally lead the team in tackles, he makes sure his teammates are in the right place to make plays.”
Adams averages about two tackles per game, according to high school sports website MaxPreps, with 62 total tackles in his four-year career, 35 of those solo.
The 5-9, 175-pound player said he zeroes in on his targets through pre-game preparation.
“My training regimen involves working out before school and watching film,” Adams said about videos of opposing teams. “Watching film allows me the chance to find weaknesses in schemes or personnel. I take the film to practice and find a way to win the individual battle with my opponent.”
The wearer of the No. 50 red jersey, who also plays tennis, said his favorite part of football is its collaboration.
“Football teaches you how to work as a team, that hard work will bring success and when everyone is not on the same ‘heartbeat,’ sacrificing for each other, then the game plan will fall apart,” Adams said.
Off the field, Webb said the athlete is “probably more important” than on the gridiron.
“He is the role model we ask our players to be,” Webb said. “Cody is a well-balanced young man. He not only excels on the field, but is extremely talented in music and the arts. He has an unbelievable work ethic and desire to help.”
Adams, the owner of a 4.2 grade point average said he is turning his higher education thoughts to land management as a precursor to working at the family construction business.
“Whatever he decides,” Webb said, “he will be the positive role model and young man our society needs today.”
To the team he leaves behind, the son of Doug and Reda Adams asks the players to continue to believe in the process.
“Hard work and commitment will be the keys to building a successful program,” he said.