Four years of excellence: Brother Martin’s Cody Schaffer caps career with dual titles

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As the state singles finals came to an end on April 5, so did the high school career of Brother Martin senior Cody Schaffer.

As he had shown his entire high school career, he got up in the last frame, knowing he needed a big finish to win. He delivered in the clutch with three perfect strikes to finish with a 926 series, good enough to earn the gold medal.

The day before, knowing he needed to strike so his team could close out Central Lafourche and advance to the state finals, he again struck on what he called “the best shot of my life.” That sent the Crusaders to the championship match, where they defeated another New Orleans-area school, Archbishop Rummel, for the title.

In the big moment, he performed with excellence always. His shots may not have always been strikes or spares, but he had the character of a winner.

As a grandparent whose grandson is about to follow in Schaffer’s footsteps, I can only hope that he emulates what Cody has stood for his entire life: good sportsmanship and honesty with bowling and just life in general. If you have a son or daughter or grandchild about to enter high school, you could only hope for half of what this young man as accomplished.

Asked to summarize what Schaffer meant to his program, Brother Martin coach Bruce Himbert said: “He came here as a raw but talented bowler and is now leaving as a polished, accomplished player that understand the sport of bowling.

“Cody was a quiet leader. He let his bowling speak for him. But his attitude was the best I’ve ever seen. He didn’t let his emotions get too high or low until after the match.”

How do you replace a Cody Schaffer? “Not possible,” Himbert said.

In his five years at Brother Martin – one as a student manager and four as a starter – the Crusaders won four state championships. Since moving into the lineup in his freshman season, he had the highest average on the team from a low of 213.6 as a freshman to a high of 226.9 (at the time a state record) as a sophomore. His high school composite average was 223.3 for 106 regular-season games.

Playoff records are not included in that number, but since he bowled a 300 game in the bi-regional round as a junior and provided many other key moments, his postseason average was likely higher.

This year he became the only Louisiana high school bowler with two 300 games, according to records by the U.S. High School Bowling Foundation. Each of the last three years, his average was the highest in the region, and twice he led the state in average. He is a four-time all-district selection and three-time district MVP.

Last winter, Schaffer was awarded the Lanson Chien Memorial Youth Scholarship, representative of sportsmanship and integrity. Lanson Chien’s widow, Betty, is Cody’s longtime coach.

“He is one of the best students I have ever had,” said Betty Chien, who celebrated her birthday the day of Schaffer’s high school singles title. “His demeanor is unbelievable; you can’t tell if he strikes or misses. He never shows bad emotions. He’s a pleasure to work with at all times.”

Schaffer will have one more chance to compete for Brother Martin – this summer at the National High School Championships in Indianapolis.

While his accomplishments will live on in the annals of Brother Martin High School bowling for decades to come, what can never be replaced is his leadership during his four years of competition. Much like his former teammates have done, he will continue to support and be there for the bowlers of the future.

I consider it an honor to have known and watched him grow up and mature as young boy into a young man under his parents’ guidance.

Cody Schaffer will continue his bowling at the college level after committing to continue his career at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama – one of four bowlers from southeast Louisiana to sign with the school.

The Badgers will be getting a good bowler but a better person.

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