After numerous offers and recruiting trips, Liberty Ranch’s Cody Smith has signed a contract to play football for Ball State in Muncie Indiana.  Cody is the first athlete from Liberty Ranch to move on to D1 football after graduation.

Lots of friends and family came out during the winter break to celebrate and watch him sign the acceptance of a full ride Division 1 scholarship.

Football coach Warren Schroeder had a few words to say about Smith. “Anytime coaches would ask me about Cody, I would say the same thing,” said Schroeder.  “You couldn’t find a better kid. Great character, great work ethic and a great example, especially to my three boys. You never let your status as a big guy on campus ever get in the way of who you are.  I love how you can destroy and get to the quarterback on the field, but your legacy to me will always be your kindness and generosity.”

Cody’s father Corey Smith, a D1 football player from Berkeley himself,  thanked all the family and friends for being there for him.  “Being a D1 College athlete myself, Welcome to the club,” said Corey. “It is going to be a different club than anyone in here has experienced.  It’s going to be physically hard, mentally hard on your body and no one will understand but a past or current D1 athlete. It’s a great club to be in.  Keep your head focused, keep working hard and you’re going to see it in everything you do.”

Cody’s mother Janet was also a D1 basketball athlete at Berkeley and had a lot of heartfelt things to share with her son and attendees. “Cody Lawrence, your dad and I are so incredibly lucky to be able to call you our son,” said Janet. “Not because you are here today signing your national letter of intent, but because of the young man you have grownup to be.  You are everything we ever could have wanted in a son.  You are hard-working, humble, and extremely driven to reach your goals.  You treat everyone around you the way you would want to be treated.  You follow your Catholic faith and live your life according to the way God has instructed.  You are such a wonderful role model to your younger sisters and so many others.”

“We can not wait to see what more you accomplish as you go off to Ball State.”

There weren’t many dry eyes in the room as Cody himself addressed the crowd. “First off, I would like to thank everyone who is here to support me on this exciting day,” said Cody. “I have had a crazy high school career and it is quickly coming to an end.  I have learned some hard lessons and made many great memories which I will cherish forever.  With Covid-19 and injuries, I have fought though adversity so I can achieve my dream of playing D1 college football. I am very grateful for where I am now and what is to come. I want to thank my parents, coaches, trainers, teachers, and friends who have been with me throughout my journey.  I am very thankful to have parents who know how to get to the D1 level by showing me what it takes – hard work, respect, humility and dedication.   I will always be grateful to many coaches and trainers who have taught me how to be a great athlete and young mad.  I am thankful to have had many great friends by my side throughout the years supporting me.  I have been very grateful to have multiple colleges give me opportunities to play in their program, but I can only pick one school.  After a lot of thought and consideration, I have decided to play d! college football at Ball State University.”