Corey Bond has taken major steps in becoming the athlete he is now as he prepares to enter his senior year at Smith-Cotton High School.
Bond has worked himself into a possible starting role as a receiver on the Tigers football team.
“That’s really what I wanted since freshman year was I wanted to be that top receiver out here,” he said.
Bond has been working his way up and may finally get his chance come August. He’s following Marquez Raye as the top receiver for the Tigers.
But Bond is also following in Raye’s footsteps in track and field. Raye was S-C’s top hurdler this past season with Bond competing against him to get better.
“He kind of put me under his wing this year and helped me get to where I need to be,” Bond said. “He was good competition. We’d come out here every day for practice and we’d race each each other. It’d be close and he’d always beat me, but I like having more competition to be able to push myself harder and get better.”
At the district meet this past season, Bond took 11th in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.49 and finished 12th in the 300 hurdles in 43.68 seconds. Both times were personal bests for Bond.
Smith-Cotton competes against schools from the Kansas City, Columbia and Jefferson City areas in districts, so Bond said running with those athletes pushed him to achieve personal best times.
“I was running against the best in Missouri,” he said.
What made the season special was it was his first year with the team. Bond said track head coach Brad Hagedorn convinced him to join after his 36.5-foot vertical.
“I wish I started track early,” he said. “Coach Hagedorn came up and was like, ‘you’ve got to come out and jump for me.’”
At first, Bond was going to split time between golf and track, but he felt at home with the track team.
“I just love it out here,” he said. “I knew everybody, we are all a big family. I just love the coaching staff and everyone. I make a good bond with everybody.”
Bond is now looking ahead to next season as he spends time at the Jennie Jaynes Complex, practicing the high jump, triple jump and hurdles.
“I’m basically out here trying to get more reps and get better so I don’t come out at the beginning of the season next year a little stiff and not knowing what I’m doing,” Bond said. “I have to get back in the groove of things. I’m starting early.”
On Wednesday, he was practicing the high jump. His personal best is 6-0 but wants to eventually get between 6-4 and 6-6.
Those goals could land him at the state meet next season. The winning jump in the Class 5 meet this past season was 6-5.
“I’d like to make it to state, I’d like to place at state,” Bond said. “Really my main goal is to get past districts and into sectionals because our district is one of the hardest in Missouri. If you get past districts you’re pretty good to advance on to sectionals.”
But before track season, Bond still has to focus on preparing for football. Bond said his track preparations this summer have helped him get ready for the fall.
“You’re out here conditioning now so it’s easier on game day,” he said. “We had seven-on-seven last week and I don’t think anybody was in shape. We were all huffing and puffing. We couldn’t catch out breath. You’ve got to condition to be a good football player and that starts with the offseason.”