Student athletes have positive impact, national anti-bullying authority says

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Erin Cornell chats with Cody Hodges  

GOSHEN – Former college football star Cody Hodges brought a message of being a positive role model to Orange County on Friday. Hodges is a presenter with the national Uncommon Athlete program, developed by Rachel’s Challenge and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, the late manager of the Baltimore Orioles.
Rachel’s Challenge was inspired by Rachel Scott, the first person killed during the Columbine High School shootings in April 1999 in Littleton, Colorado.
Hodges is a role model to student athletes himself. He helped Texas Tech to the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic and led the nation in passing that season with 4,197 yards.  He addressed an auditorium full of students and coaches from several districts while in Goshen.
“The school athletes have a platform that no other student in school has so our goal is to challenge them to use that platform to make their school better,” Hodges said.
Port Jervis High School senior and volleyball player Erin Cornell attended.
“You never really know what other people are going through so to try to be positive and speak with kindness and be supportive of other people is very important to do on a day to day basis,” Cornell said.
District Attorney David Hoovler coordinated the Uncommon Athlete program locally.
“Compassion and kindness goes with athletics. Sports doesn’t building character, it shows character,” Hoovler said.