Hundred’s Cody Poe Plans to Join the Army After All-Star Game
By CODY TOMER
BETHANY — To become an OVAC All-Star, one must stand out above the rest.
That is exactly what got Hundred’s Cody Poe (OL/LB) invited to the 75th Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Game — he refused to be ordinary.
When the final whistle blows on Saturday night, Poe will switch his focus to a new endeavor as he plans to enlist in the Army and, once again, he wants to make an impact.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people who are all there for the same reason,” Poe said. “I’m looking to stand out a little more. I don’t want to just be another person, I want to be ‘A person.'”
Poe originally was looking to join the Marine Corps but decided the Army was a better fit for him.
“My original ship day was June 7 for the Marine Corps but I didn’t like the deal, so I decided to take my services to the Army,” Poe said. “They offered me the same contract for better pay and better opportunities.”
Poe has always had thoughts of enlisting after graduation and will begin his duties in field artillery.
“I’ve always been interested in the military,” Poe said. “Field artillery is kind of a new thing for me. I always wanted to be an infantryman but field artillery just happened to be what I got and I stuck with it. I might move up from there.”
Along the way, his step-father and Hundred’s head football coach D.J. Byrd did exactly what a father and head football coach should do — he helped him grow and gave him someone to look up to in the process.
“The Army was just a decision that I felt good about,” Poe said. “My step-dad, who I just call my dad, was very influential to me. He said that ‘if you want to do it, nothing will stop you.’ So I thank him 100% for everything he has taught me. He is my role model.”
Byrd always made sure to help Poe down the path in life that made him the happiest and instilled in him a solid work ethic.
“He’s always wanted to be in the military,” Byrd said. “Ever since he was a little kid he would watch things about the war. I told him ‘it’s just like the all-star game, someone is always going to be bigger, stronger and faster than you but don’t let anyone outwork you and if you do something that makes you happy, then you are going to live a happy life.’
“We’re still not sure if he is leaving in December or before or after but we’re going to finish meeting with recruiters after the all-star game but he has made that commitment and I know he is going to give 100%.”
While Poe is putting in the work at practice this week at Bethany College in preparation for Saturday’s contest, Byrd is enjoying just taking in the moment as a parent.
“His mom might have been more excited than anyone when he got that call,” Byrd said.
“This is a whole different experience for me because I don’t have to prepare anything. I’m just soaking it all in and I just get to be dad this week.”
On the field, Poe did it all for Byrd’s football team over his high school career. He turned in 415 tackles, 12 sacks and eight forced fumbles. He also recorded 10 touchdowns and 210 receiving yards but he enjoyed tackling more than the scoring.
“He’s not a running back by trait,” Byrd said. “We moved him there but he honestly never wanted the ball. He wanted to play defense and hit people and play offensive line. He doesn’t care about scoring touchdowns. For him to do the things he did to help us as a program, I’m super proud of him and super proud he gets to play in this game. He deserves it.”
As a senior, Poe was named an all-state honorable mention, All-OVAC, and All-Mason Dixon on his way to suiting up for the West Virginia All-Star Team.
“I’m excited to play,” Poe said. “It’s very special and all of these guys are here for a reason. We haven’t done anything since our last high school game but I expect to be able to play alongside them at the same level. I love being here and talking to these guys — it’s a great time.”