The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Exhaustive Search Turns Up Gutsy Colorado High School Athlete Not Yet Profiled by Rick Reilly
Originally posted 4/5/2005

Above: gutsy high schooler Cody Jardine, who -- for some reason -- has yet to be written about by Rick Reilly (inset)
HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO - An exhaustive, months-long, statewide search accomplished this week what many said could never be done: it turned up a courageous, wise, righteous, gutsy Colorado high school athlete who has yet to be profiled on the back page of Sports Illustrated by the magazine's award-winning "Life of Reilly" columnist Rick Reilly.

Cody Jardine, 17, a senior starting pitcher on the Highland Central High Raiders baseball team in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, never met his father, Roger, a Colorado Springs police officer who was killed in the line of duty before Cody was born. His mother and sister were killed in an automobile accident 14 months ago, an accident in which Cody was so severely injured that doctors predicted that he'd never again walk without the aid of crutches. Cody defied the odds, however, and one week from Thursday will start his first game in two years for the defending conference champion Raiders.

"Even I really didn't think we'd find anybody," said search coordinator Dwayne Hemme, 35, of Boulder, who began looking eleven years ago for a hard-luck, come-from-behind, lump-in-your-throat high school sports story that Reilly, an eight-time National Sportswriter of the Year award winner and Denver-area resident, had yet to seize on. "I don't know how on earth Reilly missed this Cody Jardine story. It must have been one of those columns where he was writing about his wife or something."

"I'm really surprised Reilly hasn't called me, to be honest," Cody Jardine said this week. "He did a column on my buddy Chuck last year after he broke his arm during the state football tournament, and back in 1998 he did a three-part series on my cousin Ray when Ray had to run in a cross country meet the day after he stayed up almost all night studying for a trig exam."

The publishing world seemed equally as stunned by the fact that Reilly has yet to profile Jardine. "I don't know what's taking him so long," said Dale Bye, managing editor of The Sporting News. "This kid is gutsy, tragic and yet optimistic, all at the same time. Plus, he lives not to far from the greater Denver area. This one seems tailor made for Reilly."

"This Jardine kid is a real great kid," Dwayne Hemme said. "People are talking about how brave he is, what an inspiration he is, and he says he just hopes he can contribute to the team. The story practically writes itself; 'Car crash... battling back... starting lineup... and then, the big finale: Don't tell Cody Jardine how courageous he is, because he doesn't want to hear it -- paragraph break -- But go ahead and tell his sister and his mom. Somewhere, they're listening.' See? It would be that easy. Why Reilly hasn't jumped all over this is a mystery."

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