There are many ways Odin Coe makes his presence felt on a football field.
The Camas High School senior is a 6-foot-3, 265-pound wrecking machine built by all of those weight lifting sessions with best friends Erik Clay, Brent Hill, Damon Kosaki, Zach Marshall and Addison Owen. All of the years of commitment to football paid off for these Papermakers when they won their first state playoff game in school history.
“Looking back, it was a good run,” Coe said. “I hope we are not just remembered for our wins and losses, but as a group of guys who showed up, worked hard every day and paid their dues.
“Hopefully, I don’t look back on these days too much,” he added. “Football is just a game. I have a lot of great memories, but I know there are more important things in life than just football.”
When Coe is disguised in his football gear, you can still tell who this beast is by the long blonde hair flowing freely from underneath his helmet. But when he takes his helmet off, what you see is a big smile. Proof there may be more to this menace than meets the eye.
“He was a tall, skinny kid with a big smile who was always eager to do what he could. He just got big,” said strength and conditioning coach Mark Riehl. “From January of his sophomore year to January of his junior year, he was 50 pounds heavier. He grew up, but the same Odin was always there. On the field and behind the scenes, you get the same Odin. He’s the real deal.”
Coe etched his name in the Camas record books in 2010. He racked up 63 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and a team-leading 14 hurries. He had a combination of 28 tackles in one game, when the Papermakers beat Juanita for their first state playoff victory, which more than doubled the school record. All of these accolades helped Coe become one of four defensive lineman selected to the Class 3A all-state team. He is the only representative from the 3A Greater St. Helens League.
“What a coach gets to see is a guy who really earned everything he got,” said head coach Jon Eagle. “When you first saw him as a freshman, you had no idea the amount of potential he had. But when you saw the work ethic, there really was no stopping him.
“Some people build roads, and some people drive on them,” he added. “Odin Coe and the Class of 2011 have paved roads Camas kids are going to be driving on for years to come.”
Coe is more than just a defensive stalwart. He also anchored the Camas passing and running game as an offensive tackle, and has been president of the Camas Weightlifting Club for three years.
“I don’t ever take a break,” Coe said. “Right now, I’m in the recruiting game. I want to be at my peak ability level so I can go to a college and compete from day one.”
Coe is excited about his college offers, but is keeping them a secret for now. He is hoping to hear from all of them by Feb. 2, before making any decisions.
“I’m a competitive guy, so I want to play with the best of the best,” he said.
A typical day for Coe begins with him showing up in the weight room at 6:30 a.m. Once the school bell rings, he throws himself into such challenging courses as Advanced Placement calculus, AP government and physics. He does more weight training after school, before going to home to complete his school work. Coe juggles all of this, while maintaining a 3.55 GPA.
“Odin blazed his own trail. On his own time, he would drive to Corvallis or the University of Washington for a football camp in the spring,” Eagle said. “You don’t find many high school kids willing to put in that kind of commitment.
“We achieved a lot of success because we had a great group of kids who were willing to put the time in,” he added. “Odin was a big part of that.”
The “hair whip” is now gone, but not the smile. Coe and teammate Justin Lebowski donated their long locks to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization providing hairpieces to children suffering from hair loss.
“I started growing my hair out in the winter of my sophomore year,” Coe said. “It was a fun thing to do for high school. It’s the only time in your life you can do something like that.
“Instead of just cutting my hair off and throwing it in the trash, I thought it would be cool to donate it to a good cause,” he added. “And then, I got Justin to do it with me. He’s been growing his hair out since seventh grade.”
Coe loves football for the lessons it teaches about life. He will never forget the ones he learned as a Camas Papermaker.
“I’ve been an athlete my whole life. Football taught me a lot about how what you do influences the people around you,” Coe said. “You could be selfish and just focus on yourself, or you can work hard for the guy next to you. I built a brotherhood with all of the guys that I played with, and I wish them nothing but the best in life.”