CHARACTER COUNTS

Horizon’s Kody Huff more than a rising baseball star

Jan 23, 2017, 5:10 PM

Kody Huff (Courtesy Chantal Huff)...

Kody Huff (Courtesy Chantal Huff)

(Courtesy Chantal Huff)

Horizon High School’s Kody Huff is only a sophomore, but he’s recently been garnering attention for his work on the baseball field. He was one of four class of 2019 players to make the prestigious Northern California Area Code game roster and earned an invite to Team USA’s National Team Identification Series camp in North Carolina as well.

It was just last year that, as a freshman, Huff was called up from the JV squad to Horizon’s varsity club, where he said he played first base in his first game, second base for his second, third for a few more outings before closing out the year as a catcher.

But Huff has been making a big difference on the baseball field for quite a few years before his recent rise in profile.

Since the seventh grade, Huff has volunteered with the Miracle League of Arizona, a baseball league for special needs players of various ages and baseball experience levels.

“I started doing community service for school, and right away, it was just a good fit for me,” Huff said. “I had a great uncle who had down syndrome that passed away and I enjoyed hanging out with him.”

Huff coaches players during games, standing with them both to protect them and to help them stay focused on the situations at hand. The four years he’s spent with the Miracle League has only reaffirmed how much Huff enjoys helping others.

“Seeing the joy on the players’ faces when something goes good, they just like being around everyone and people helping them out,” he said. “I like helping people out and kind of being a role model for my peers.”

Huff has built deeper relationships with his players in the Miracle League, having gotten to know some of their families along the way. One memorable moment came when a player who he had developed a bond with gave Huff the players’ personal baseball card at the end of a season — with his autograph, of course.

“It felt like I impacted someone in a positive way,” Huff said, adding that his family has also gotten involved in the baseball league.

Outside of baseball, Huff is involved with Young Life and in the past volunteered for The Purple Society, an organization that raises money to fight pediatric cancer.

Additionally, he has helped with sock and blanket drives through his school. The team collects donations and then hands socks, blankets and toiletries out to the homeless in Phoenix.

“That’s kind of like the program tradition for us. It’s through the baseball program. In our clubhouse, we had a big cardboard box filled to the brim,” he said.

Huff, who sports a weighted GPA above 4.0, has a few years to determine what the next step is after high school.

“I’d like to continue to play baseball, but as far as the academics, I’ve taken engineering classes since the seventh grade. Not exactly what branch yet,” he said.

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