MADISON, W.Va. — Through sports and his school spirit, one Scott High School student has won the hearts of a community.
Chris Cody “Flash” Jarrell was diagnosed with autism when he was in elementary school, although he nor his family identify him as being that. His dad, Chris Jarrell, said growing up Flash was quiet and kept to himself. But thanks to a caring community and sports, Flash came out of his shell and flourished at Scott High School.
During his sophomore year, the basketball coach, Shane Griffith, asked Flash to be a manager for the basketball team. Since then, Flash not only came out of his shell, but has flourished, bleeding black and gold.
On Friday night, Scott hosted Mingo Central for the Skyhawks’ senior night game. With the Skyhawks leading 62-49 late in the game, the coaching staff surprised everyone, even Flash’s family, when they put him in the game.
Taking the floor for the first time as a player, Flash sent everyone in the gym, even Mingo Central players and fans, onto their feet when he drove the lane and knocked down a jump shot from just inside the free throw line.
One game. One basket.
It was worth just two points on the scoreboard, but for Flash and the Scott community, it was worth so much more.
Flash bleeds black and gold and truly loves his Skyhawks and his Skyhawk family.
Marcus Linville, who has been an assistant basketball coach at Scott for six years, said Flash has more school spirit than anyone who has walked the halls of Scott High School.
Flash’s dad said his favorite NFL team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not because of Ben Roethlisberger or Antonio Brown, but because of their colors. That’s right, black and gold, just like his Skyhawks.
Flash isn’t just a manager for the basketball team. He’s been the manager for the football and baseball teams as well, earning letters in all three sports.
But it’s more than sports when it comes to Flash’s love for Scott and the community’s love for him.
His dad said he has gone from a quiet kid to a social butterfly. He said Flash has become a local celebrity and that he can’t go to Walmart without someone yelling, ‘Hey Flash!’
Last fall, he was crowned homecoming king. Flash gives motivation speeches to his classmates and fans before games and during halftime.
He also shares his faith, leading his teammates in prayer.
Flash has a 3.5 GPA and his dad said he wants to get a degree and come back to be a coach at Scott.
His dad said he can’t describe how proud he is of his son for defying the odds and becoming the person he has become.
(Story compliments of the Coal Valley News partner WCHS/WVAH Fox News/Sports. Photos compliments of Wes Wilson Photography of Williamson, W.Va.)