Female Athlete of the Year
- Updated: May 30, 2016
William Blount’s Roddy made hard work, team first, winning philosophy
Lindsey Roddy produced Blount County’s only sectional track and field championships this season. Photos by Wallace Bowden
By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row
Did you know she was once one of Blount County’s best young running backs?
Trying her hand at several sports as a kid, Lindsey Roddy first spent a season as a Fairview Raiders cheerleader, the next as a home run threat for the Parks & Rec youth football team out of the backfield.
She went the length of the field for a touchdown in that year’s super bowl.
The William Blount senior and Barley’s/Blount Press Row Female Athlete of the Year eventually settled on basketball. She got so good at it Lee University in Cleveland signed her to a scholarship, getting in ahead of other schools interested in the versatile Lady Governor for track and field.
Roddy produced Blount County’s only sectional championships on the oval this school year, first with a win in the pentathlon earlier this month, doubling up with a win in the long jump — 17 feet, 3.25 inches — at the sectional meet a week later.
Finishing fifth in the state pentathlon, en route to a second All-State selection, Roddy joined a rare club to eclipse 3,000 points for the five events.
Interesting thing when questioned on a senior year that included so much.
“I’ve just never wanted to be labeled as a selfish player,” Roddy said.
That fits, junior Hannah Fuller, a teammate of Roddy’s on the school’s basketball team, said.
A 5-foot-7 guard, Roddy not only led William Blount in scoring this past season en route to becoming the program’s eighth member of the 1,000-point club. The District 4AAA Player of the Year also finished tops in assists.
The team always came first with Roddy, Fuller said.
“When I first got here I wanted to be like her,” she said. “Just her personality in general is awesome.”
It’s not all that difficult to picture Roddy as a youth football star. An athlete of rare quickness and foot speed, she’s not afraid of contact. It made her a difficult player to defend off the drive on the basketball court. Then she added the 3.
William Blount athletics director Justin Ridge arrives at school each morning long before the students. His office is located in the school’s Marvin Boring Gymnasium. Seldom, this past season, was he the first one there.
“I never questioned how (Roddy) got in,” Ridge said.
The end result was a player with the whole game, Lady Governor basketball coach Todd Wright said.
“She improved every year,” he said. “She got better as she went on. She deferred to the other kids her first three years, and that’s just her personality. She doesn’t want the accolades. She just wants to win.”
Blount Press Row considered the following when choosing our first female athlete of the year: Maryville’s Madison Coulter (volleyball/basketball), Caylan Arnold (softball), Caroline Hobbs (soccer); Alcoa’s Hannah Troutt and Tara Shields (basketball); Heritage’s Maddie Sutton (basketball) and Kailey Keeble (volleyball).
Roddy’s favorite sport is basketball, but it was the discipline in the way she worked to improve on the track that made her our selection.
William Blount track and field coach Jeremy Snoderly first approached Roddy about the pentathlon only a year ago. Encompassing the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800-meter run, the event measures the athlete across the entire spectrum — strength, speed, endurance. Basically, it hurts.
Most importantly, the pentathlon measures the will of the athlete; what makes them tick?
That’s an easy question when it comes to Roddy, Snoderly said.
“As great an athlete as she is, she’s an even better person,” he said, “and it shows in the way she has handled adversity as well as success.”
An overflow crowd stuffed the hallway outside Ridge’s office the day Roddy signed the scholarship papers with Lee. When Roddy took a seat at the table, the flash as the cell phones came out danced around the room like fireflies.
“It’s overwhelming,” Roddy said, “but, honestly, I’m so grateful.”
Several administrators spoke of Roddy’s contributions to William Blount athletics.
“I mean, look at all this, Lindsey!” William Blount principal Rob Clark said. “There are 20 more out in the hall.”
So how does an athlete with so much to look back on close such a moment?
Check this out.
“I’m glad I have this decision to make,” Roddy said after some brief remarks.
She thanked her parents and grandparents for being there. She thanked her teammates, teachers and coaches. She thanked the students that had come out.
“I’m done,” she said.