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White powering WL Western as Mr. Football recognition intensifies

By Mike Moore, 10/29/16, 2:15PM EDT


The plan was for him to be the go-to option in a lethal passing game.

But as is often the case in athletics, the plan never fully plays out as expected.

So, instead of starting the season at receiver, Cody White shifted under center.

The Walled Lake Western football team never skipped a beat, and six weeks into the season remains one of the top teams in the entire state.

“John (Tracy) got hurt in the scrimmage, so we needed someone else at quarterback,” Warriors coach Mike Zdebski said. “Putting Cody there was a no-brainer. He’s the best athlete on the team.”

White, a senior from Novi, moved from his natural position of receiver and started the first three games as the team’s signal caller.

In fact, he was going to be the permanent quarterback before Tracy transferred in from Birmingham Brother Rice.

“Growing up playing football, I tried to play every position I possibly could,” White explained. “Receiver is my favorite and where I am at my best, but starting the year at quarterback was fun. It was a little crazy, but it was fun.”

In White’s three starts, the Warriors scored 122 points in wins against Farmington High, Canton High and Northville High.

He completed 29 of 50 passes for 572 yards while tossing eight touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Since moving back to receiver, he had 10 catches for 221 yards and three touchdowns through Week 5.

Western (4-1) faced Waterford Mott in Week 6 after this edition went to press.

The Warriors’ only loss was a Week 1 forfeit to Farmington after it was ruled they had used an ineligible player.

Zdebski, who didn’t want to comment at length, said the ruling is still being challenged.

Nonetheless, White’s play on the field has garnered him Mr. Football considerations.

Through five games White had 1,027 total yards of offense, a 205.4 per game average.

He was the team’s leading rusher with 234 yards and had accounted for 15 total touchdowns.

“He does everything for us,” Zdebski said simply. “He’ll play in the secondary against the better teams we face. He played quarterback. He makes spectacular catches. He makes more ‘wow’ plays than anyone I’ve seen. And he gets knocked for not being fast enough, but I watch him run by and run over kids all year.”

White (6 feet 3 inches, 200 pounds) verbally committed to play receiver at Michigan State University next fall. 

“He’s a big part of the reason we haven’t lost a game on the field this year yet,” Zdebski added. “I mean, how many kids can play receiver, play in the slot, move to quarterback, play at running back, play safety and even play linebacker if needed? He just gets it. He can do things on the field other kids can only think about.”

White grew up surrounded by the game of football.

His father, Sheldon White, spent six seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals from 1988 to 1993.

Following his playing career, he joined the front office with the Lions, where he spent 19 seasons, including time as interim general manager.

He is currently a program consultant at Michigan State.

“Having him as my dad has helped me a ton,” Cody White said. “He has very high expectations for me, but him, along with my mom, helped me from a very young age learning the game.”

Zdebski said the “sky is the limit” in terms of what White can do during his final weeks at the high school level and then at State.

White said he’s focused on one thing.

“The goal is to win a state championship,” he said. “We feel we’re the best team in the state, but that’s only if we go out and perform like it every day.”

Tag(s): News  Walled Lake Western  WLW JV  WLW Freshmen