While playing high school football in Texas, Cody Roe only had to worry about playing one side of the ball. In the football-crazed Southwest, there were plenty of athletes to fill out both offense and defense.
At Lakes High School? He’s had to be just a bit more flexible.
A rash of injuries pushed the wide receiver and defensive back to starting quarterback in 2016, where he performed admirably.
The silver lining? He didn’t mind one bit.
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“It was something I had to do for the team, but I wasn’t mad about it because I just love football,” Roe said. “I love helping out my team, but being back at wide receiver is comfortable.”
That’s all fine for Lakes head coach Dave Miller, who sees Roe’s versatility as a weapon to be utilized.
“He puts the team first always,” Miller said. “That’s why he is so well respected. Everybody knows he’s all about the team. He’s got a real heart for everyone around him.”
With Roe at quarterback, Lakes managed a 7-5 record and two playoff wins before ending with a quarterfinals loss to Eastside Catholic.
But now Roe is back at his natural position. Miller thinks Roe is the best pass catcher he’s had at Lakes. That’s high praise considering the Lancers’ count Jermaine Kearse and Reggie Williams, both of whom went on to standout college careers at Washington and then the NFL, as graduates.
“He’s as good as anyone we’ve had,” Miller said. “He’s really good in and out of breaks. He’s competitive. He’s smooth, fast tough. I think he’s a Division I receiver.”
It has been a homecoming of sorts for Roe. He grew up in the Lakewood area, then moved to Killeen, Texas, before returning to the Pacific Northwest for his junior football campaign.
With an even greater grasp of the offense thanks to his quarterbacking days, Roe is settled back into playing wideout.
“At receiver, you don’t have to think as much,” Roe said. “I can play with any corner or wide receiver in the state. It’s more instinctual than playing quarterback.”
Not to say Roe didn’t enjoy taking snaps from under center and surveying PCL 3A defenses. He grew up playing quarterback and thrived on leading his team.
“When we were down or it was fourth down and they were looking at me to make a play, I loved that feeling,” he said. “I think that’s the best thing about being a quarterback.”
In Lakes 24-6 win over Juanita in the season opener, Roe showed little rust by catching a touchdown pass.
While he wasn’t willing to go as far as saying this team was more talented, Roe said the 2017 Lancers might have better chemistry, which could spur them forward.
“I think we have high potential as long as everyone works together,” Roe said. “There are no selfish people on this team. If we keep playing as a team and do the things we need to, we’ll go very far.”