Cody McKinney has lost a lot this spring.
He lost his senior season with the Skyview High School boys soccer team, a season he believed would be a big one for the Storm.
He also lost the one last season of competitive sports.
But perhaps most painfully, he lost one final season with his mom as his coach.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had my mom as a coach multiple times,” Cody said of his mom, Colleen McKinney, Skyview’s varsity boys soccer coach. “We were looking forward to this last senior season, my last hurrah, with all my friends I grew up playing soccer with for like the past 10 years. We were really excited for this season, and it was crazy how it all ended. It was kind of sad to watch all the hard work we put in, during the offseason, and we were looking forward to having one of our best seasons ever. It’s kind of heartbreaking for everybody.”
And even more true for Mom.
“I miss being out there with Cody, getting that one last picture together on the field,” Colleen McKinney said. “There have been a few tears over that, particularly from my end.”
Colleen McKinney, a Division I soccer player at Washington State in her college days, has been coaching high school soccer in Vancouver for more than 15 years. She started coaching the Columbia River girls, leading the Chieftains to their first state title in 2009.
In 2011-12, she moved to Skyview and began coaching JV boys, mostly because the spring season fit better with her schedule as a parent and a teacher.
“I’m a teacher, and you have boys and girls who you teach,” Colleen McKinney said. “It’s the same on the field. I just want to pass along my knowledge to the kids. So when you come in with that point of few, the sex of the coach doesn’t matter. It only matters if people want to make it matter.”
It never mattered to the Skyview boys, Cody said.
“I really don’t think of it that much,” Cody said. “The only time you even notice it is when you play another team we haven’t played before you see the other team’s reaction when they see she’s our coach. But to us, it’s not weird at all. We’ve loved having her as a coach, and I think any of the guys would say that if you asked them.”
Women coaching boys is nothing new at Skyview. Jenn Johnson was the Storm’s boys soccer coach in 2012 when Skyview won the 4A state championship. That was Colleen’s first season with the program.
Colleen was Cody’s JV coach during his freshman year. She became the varsity boys coach his sophomore year, leading the Storm to back-to-back league titles.
Cody said he’s had a love/hate relationship playing for his mom.
“I love how she pushes me to better, and I know how to work with her,” Cody said. “But I hate getting yelled at. She’s a pretty intense coach. There have been multiple times when I’ve said something dumb and then had to run laps around the track.
“But she’s always made me a better player, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It’s been a great experience, and she’s a great coach for our team.”
Athletics have always been a part of the McKinney household. Cody’s older brother Jackson was an All-Region wrestler at Skyview and continues to compete at Oregon State.
“My brother has always been a driver for me, help inspire me,” Cody said. “He’ll lift weights with me and teach me how to do things. He always keeps my head right. I could always call him for advice, too.”
Unlike his brother, Cody was drawn more to soccer and basketball, even if that sometimes made life hectic.
“It’s always been hard because they often overlap in the (high school) offseason,” Cody said. “There were times I would go from a basketball game to a soccer game and right back to another basketball game. It was kind of a runaround. But I loved it, so it was worth it to me.”
At Skyview, he even dabbled in football, serving as one of the Storm’s kickers his junior year with soccer teammate Evan Saftich.
“Me and Evan were lifting weights at school when we started talking to” football coach Steve Kizer, Cody said. “We had been watching the games and seeing that their kicker was struggling. So we started the conversation of ‘Hey, we can kick for you.” … And that turned out to be a super fun experience.”
Cody didn’t play football his senior season because he wanted to get an early start with his teammates preparing for the basketball season.
As the Storm’s defensive stopper, often drawing the opponent’s biggest or best player, Cody McKinney helped Skyview reach the 4A state quarterfinals at the Tacoma Dome.