It’s not difficult to see what type of athlete Christian Hodge is.
Anyone who has seen him in action on the football field or on the baseball diamond knows he’s a tough competitor. He’s the type of player all high school coaches want as part of their program. Dependable, loyal and hard-working, Hodge is certainly the definition of a student-athlete any coach wants a team full of.
Recent news, however, shows as much about Hodge’s character as it does his athletic ability. The Winder-Barrow High School senior will continue his athletic and academic careers at the Naval Academy. Following a year at the Navy prep school, Hodge will begin at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland before serving in the Navy itself for several years.
It’s quite a commitment, but knowing Hodge, it’s not a surprising one.
Hodge’s father, Chris, has been home from Afghanistan for the holiday and was able to attend his son’s signing ceremony earlier this month at WBHS. The date of Dec. 18 for the signing was to allow his father to be a part of it.
Father Chris is currently a security contractor with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and work commitments have him overseas most of the time. In fact, during the signing, it was hard to tell if it was father or son who was more excited.
Christian Hodge was a standout for the WBHS football team before deciding to concentrate solely on baseball for his senior year.
Baseball is the sport he will continue to play at Navy. Christian has long desired to play college athletics and he will have that chance now.
Yet, the WBHS senior’s decision to continue his career for the Naval Academy says much about him personally. While he will no doubt excel on the baseball diamond for the Midshipmen, Christian is set for an even higher calling: one to serve his country.
Through the years, I’ve dealt with hundreds of high school student-athletes. Many went on to have successful collegiate careers. However, Hodge has impressed me from the first day I got to know him.
During his junior season, this newspaper had been cut off in various ways from the football program at WBHS. It was a situation that was later worked out, but I will never forget Christian Hodge walking over to me after a game and thanking me for something I had written in the paper about him.
In some ways, Christian Hodge might have wanted to stay clear from a representative of a newspaper which was blacklisted at the time. However, in talking with him about it a few months later, Christian told me, “Why wouldn’t I thank someone who had written something positive about me?”
Clearly, he had everything in the proper perspective.
The upcoming baseball season should be another memorable one for Christian Hodge and the Diamond Doggs. His future is set, but he still has some memories to make and some goals to accomplish in high school.
Many of us wonder about the future of our country, for a variety of reasons. However, with young men like Christian Hodge leading the way, our country’s future is in great hands.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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