By Joel Muhs
Special to The Collegian

Hutchinson Community College’s football program has to wait until 2021 to get the 2020 season underway. With such an extended waiting period, the ability to focus for the players will be a point of emphasis, which is where wide receivers coach, Kody Cook, comes into focus.

Cook is no stranger to HutchCC’s football program. A Louisburg native whose received little recruiting, Cook played for the Blue Dragons in 2011 and 2012, where he was the definition of a utility player. In Cook’s two seasons at HutchCC he played more positions than you could shake a stick at. Cook’s primary position was wide receiver, but he also took a stab at punter, punt returner, tight end, defensive back and quarterback. Cook caught 55 passes for 433 yards and three touchdowns in his career. He was later the Salt City Bowl MVP after playing less than three quarters at quarterback, filling in for the injured Luke Barnes.

After his time as a Blue Dragon came to an end, Cook wound up playing for Kansas State University. Much like his time at HutchCC, Cook found himself as a starting wide receiver for the Wildcats after redshirting his junior year.

“So many of them” was the initial answer when Cook was asked about his favorite play at Kansas State. After a moment of thought, he said, “I’d have to go with my 77-yard touchdown pass to Deonte Burton against West Virginia.”

That touchdown pass put K-State up 17-13 and helped them secure a 24-23 victory, which also made the Wildcats bowl eligible.

It’s not only the game-time experience Cook is looking to bring back as the receivers coach at HutchCC, but it’s the culture as well.

“Even if the meeting said to be there at 7, 6:58 counted you as being late. 6:55 was considered to be on time,” Cook said, as he reflected on the culture legendary K-State coach Bill Snyder built.

That same thought process is something Cook wants to express to his players as well. “Discipline and how you carry yourself are two huge things,” Cook said.

That discipline and focus are needed now more than ever before, due to the everlasting issue of Covid-19. Cook said he’s trying to teach the players “to stay as normal as you possibly can,” and the “daily balance of being a football player.” In a football season that is full of questions and mystery, one thing is for certain. Cook will be dishing out valuable coaching to his players, both on and off the field

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