East Jessamine senior Cody Collins is an all-season athlete. He excels on the cross-country trail, the basketball court and the track.
Collins had a spectacular senior year in the world of athletics that included two trips to state, the schools first district title in boys’ basketball and being named Region 12 player of the year for his skills on the hardwood.
Collins’ senior year began in running shoes with the cross-country season. His hard work through August, September, October and early November paid off with his third trip to the cross-country state championships. With the best 2A runners in the state, Collins finished with a time of 17 minutes, 18.43 seconds and placed 15th. He improved on his junior-year time by nearly 10 seconds and his place by seven spots.
Cross-country season quickly turned into basketball season, where Collins was one of five seniors expected to lead a talented squad.
Before the season started, East coach Chris O’Bryan tagged Collins as probably East’s all-around best player.
“He has all the intangibles, hustles everywhere, does all the little things for us, and he’s developed a pretty nice outside jump shot and has gotten really consistent with it,” O’Bryan said at the time. “We’re expecting big things out of him this year, especially from a leadership standpoint.”
Following a 24-point performance in a 76-66 win over Madison Southern, O’Bryan called Collins the team’s “do-it-all man” and “Mr. Hustle.”
“He really sets the tone when it comes to that type of stuff ... You can’t complain about the effort and heart he gives night in and night out,” Bryan said.
Collins did not disappoint as he helped lead the Jaguars to a 28-5 season and captured the school’s first district championship.
“This feels great; I’ve wanted this since freshman year, and just to beat West makes it that much sweeter,” Collins said after the Jags’ 63-56 win over West Jessamine in the district championship. Collins scored 13 points in the win and was named to the all-district team.
A few days later, Collins was named Region 12 player of the year — only the second in the program’s history.
Collins high-school basketball career came to a close with a 63-57 loss to Boyle County in the region semifinals. He scored 10 points and was named to the all-region team.
March turned into spring, and Collins was back in his running shoes — this time for track.
Come May, Collins was one of the top distance runners in the state. He won the region in boys’ 1,600-meter run and was part of a second-place 4x800-meter relay team.
Heading into the state track championship meet, Collins was confident, having had the best time in the state in the 1,600-meter run.
“I’m not really nervous; I know I’ll do well. I just know there’s a couple guys right ahead of me,” Collins said in May. “(Posting the best time in the state) kind of makes me nervous, but I feel like everyone didn’t run their fastest at region, and that’ll make me run faster.”
Collins turned in a time of 4 minutes, 34.06 seconds in the 1,600 at state, placing fifth.
In the 4x800, Collins and his teammates took first place, but the finish was later waived off due to a penalty.
Collins’ senior year had its highs and lows, but his body of work places him in rare company.