Hendrix scores in East-West game

Published 9:23 am Thursday, July 26, 2018

Cody Hendrix said hello to Davie in the summer of 2014 and goodbye on July 18, 2018, and in between he made 500-plus tackles without saying another word.

In his final Davie game, a 49-27 first-round playoff loss at Porter Ridge on Nov. 10, 2017, the linebacker racked up a mind-boggling 29 tackles.

In the East-West All-Star Game at Jamieson Stadium in Greensboro on July 18, Hendrix rode a white horse into the sunset, scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a fumble recovery to help send the West to a 23-21 victory.

“The whole coaching staff was sitting in the stands and we were like little kids,” Davie coach Tim Devericks said. “We were all jumping up and down and high-fiving each other.”

The West, which trailed 7-3 at halftime and 14-3 following a 44-yard pass in the third quarter, rocked the East with 20 unanswered points.

A 4-yard run cut the deficit to 14-10. Later in the third, Hendrix’s big play came with the East pinned deep in its territory. The East quarterback rolled out and got stripped. Hendrix scooped and scored from 4 yards out. Suddenly, the West had the lead for keeps at 17-14. A 57-yard pass extended the lead to 23-14 with 6:20 to go. The East closed the gap on a garbage-time TD pass with 15 seconds left.

“I wasn’t expecting to score a touchdown,” Hendrix said. “It was exciting. The quarterback fumbled it, so I took off toward it. Devin Turner from West Rowan actually picked it up first and dropped it. I picked it up. I felt people all around me, so I dove and reached out for the goal line.

“It put us ahead, so that was really all I cared about. I didn’t have much time to celebrate because I had to go out there for PAT.”

Five players from the Central Piedmont Conference suited up for the West, including East Forsyth’s Jaelon Maxie and AJ Hall, West Forsyth’s Chauncey Hill and Reagan’s Sage Costen. The West head coach was East Forsyth’s Todd Willert.

Hendrix is a young man of very few words. Very few. He’s just a total football player and great teammate. While he’s remarkably laid back, he was a mauler between the lines. He put up 130 tackles as a varsity sophomore, 182 as a junior and 203 as a senior. He owns the 2-3 spots in the Davie record book for season tackles, trailing only James Boyle’s 206 from 2016. He’s No. 1 in career tackles with 523, followed by Boyle at 497.

“Usually people who have Cody’s talents are loud about it,” Devericks said. “But Cody wasn’t. Cody’s a very humble person. He doesn’t say a whole lot. He had tremendous work ethic day in and day out.”

Even though Hendrix played a full travel baseball schedule during his high-school summers, he found a way to squeeze in all his football workouts.

“And didn’t miss one thing that we had for football,” Devericks said. “He sacrificed his personal time for the benefit of others.”

During practices leading up to the all-star game, Willert quickly realized that Hendrix should have been a West member from day one. A guy dropped out and Hendrix was a late add-on. Talk about bringing in a ringer.

“I said: ‘We played (Davie) and this guy was a dude,” Willert said. “I remember scheming against him. He was the one guy we schemed against. Gosh, if we weren’t just blessed to pick him up. My linebacker coach called to get him. He called (Devericks). (Devericks) said: ‘He’s working on the farm right now. We’ve got to see if we can find him and if he wants to play.’ I’m thinking: ‘That’s the kind of guys we want.’ We want blue-collar kids on this team. Great kids and high-character kids. Honestly, that helped us win the game. When it got tough in the third quarter, the guys bucked up and made some great plays. And Cody was a big part of that with his touchdown.”

Hendrix was the 20th Davie Rebel/War Eagle to play in the East-West game. The others: John Grimes (1961), Ed Bowles (1962), Ronnie Spry (1966), Edgar Osborne (1967), Randall Ward (1967), Fred Bailey (1968), Allan Barger (1970), Chris Jacobs (1984), Andre Frost (1989), Sam Stovall (2003), Ryan Boehm (2005), Reshaun Parks (2006), Garrett Benge (2008), James Mayfield (2009), Zach Long (2010), Adam Smith (2012), Ben Ellis (2016), Chris Reynolds (2017) and Boyle (2017).

Since he doesn’t have certain qualities that college coaches cherish – he only received interest from Division-IIs and IIIs – the 6-0, 205-pound Hendrix has put on the pads for the last time.

“Averett, East Tennessee State and St. Andrews showed interest,” Hendrix said. “Guilford was really the only one that was real heavy on me. Wingate had a preferred walk-on spot. I decided to hang the cleats up, but it was good to get back at it one more time.”

The best part of all-star week? “Meeting guys from 1-A up to 4-A, playing with some of the best guys in the state and making a lot of new friends,” he said.

To say Hendrix will be missed this fall is a terrible understatement. Davie football in ‘18 will not be the same without No. 42 making 17 tackles a game. He laced ‘em up one last time at Grimsley, and lo and behold, the guy who turned three career varsity interceptions into three pick-6s got his hands on the ball and put the icing on the cake.

“He played a great game and what a great kid,” Willert said. “I got to know him personally and got to know his family. The best thing about this all-star game was I got to know the kids. His family was very thankful that he got added on. The greatest thing I took out of this all-star game was how thankful the players and parents were.”