A True Baller

Varsity girls’ basketball manager Cody Randels

A+True+Baller

Photograph by Odochi Akwani

Tyler Collins, Opinions Editor

MN’s varsity girl’s basketball team has a record of 11-6, but the reasons for their success are not always seen at games. Sophomore Cody Randels, a student in the school’s Special Education Program, and a basketball team manager, is one piece in that puzzle.
Randels’ love for sports started long before high school as he has participated in Special Olympics basketball for the past ten years. In addition, Randels has worked as a basketball manager for the past four years, first in middle school, during his seventh and eighth grade years, and the past two years at MN.
“The [middle school] team absolutely loved having Cody help out and attend the games,” special education teacher Tricia Rohde said. “His mom knew what a difference the girls on the basketball team were making on Cody, but what she did not realize was what an impact Cody was making on the girls.”
When he entered high school, Rohde got to know him and his family. When she found out about his experience in middle school with the team, she talked to the MN coaches about making him a manager. They were thrilled to have him for the job.
“They have gotten a little pickier this year about who they have as managers and trainers. [But] basketball said, ‘Oh, Cody is coming back this year,’” special education teacher Tricia Rohde said.
His jobs as a manager include timekeeping and keeping the waters full. He travels with the team and is at every game and practice—no matter the day or time.
“Cody is dependable. He is reliable,” head girl’s basketball coach David Diehl said. “He makes sure drills run the right amount of time. And I mean, taking that off our plate is really helpful. He is helpful, and he is positive. We love that.”
His joy and positive attitude have been motivational to the team. Not only is his personality attractive to others, but he consistently works hard for the good of the group.
“Cody absolutely loves every single basketball player and the coaches. He feels safe with them and he feels important to them,” Randels’ mother Kelly Coleman said.
In addition to being the basketball manager, Randels is actively involved around the school. He works in the cafeteria during lunch, and he is a district champion in bowling through the MN’s Unified Bowling Team last December. He is also a member of Sparkle Cheer. He has been spreading his school spirit all throughout the school. No matter what else he is involved in though, the basketball team is and always will be a place where he belongs.
“Cody loves the relationships that he develops with the team, the coaches, and the community. He also loves going to the games and being on the bus with the team for in town and away games. It makes him feel very, very proud to be independent, just like other students,” Coleman said.
One of the most important parts of his life is his family, however, MN is his second home. He values his friends and teachers deeply. No matter where Randels goes after his schooling he will always be remembered as a student who gave so much to the school that he loves. His school spirit has radiated throughout the school every single day.
“He is always cheerful and positive, and he lights up the room whenever he is there,” Diehl said. “Cody sees the joy in every day, and he is always in a good mood and that lifts our spirits everyday. You never have a bad day when Cody Randels is around.”