ADA — In a class at Ada High School earlier this year, Cody Johnson wrote a poem about strength, commitment and the importance of not quitting.
Johnson, 18, died at the scene of an accident Wednesday evening, when the motorcycle he was driving hit an unknown object in the road on State Highway 3W, one mile north of Ada, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports.
When his Ada football teammates arrived at school Thursday, they each had a photo of Johnson taped to their locker, along with a copy of the poem.
“In the poem, Cody talked about how he had invested a lot, and you can't quit when you do that,” Ada assistant superintendent and athletic director Mike Anderson said. “In his own way, it was like Cody was giving them permission to move forward.
“Cody was much more than a football and baseball player here. He was well-liked and respected across our campus. He touched a lot of people's lives.”
Administrators opened the school Wednesday night to anyone who wanted to come show support or speak with counselors.
“It was a community-wide turnout,” Anderson said. “We had a wide range of people show up, and I think that said a lot about who Cody was.”
The football team will wear helmet decals with Johnson's No. 56, and the senior lineman's jersey number will be painted on the field for Friday night's home playoff game against Cleveland.
“We talked to the team about the process of dealing with a time like this, just putting one foot in front of the other,” Anderson said. “I think the kids need to know it's important to move forward, even when it isn't easy.
“We told them that the score of the game isn't important right now, but it's important how we react, how we handle this adversity, what our effort is like, our commitment to each other, and what we learn from this — those are the things that are important. We're not going to worry about the score. But there are other things we can do to make ourselves bigger, better people.”