Scholarship recipients, Joanna Smits, Chloe Stines, and Zoe Crisp with board members Dennis Hodges, Bill Wiley, and Karen Hodges. Photo: Courtesy Chris Hodges Memorial Fund

JACKSON, Wyo. — Four class of 2021 seniors have been awarded scholarships from the Chris Hodges Memorial “Livin’ the Dream” Scholarship fund. The recipients include Joanna Smits, Chloe Stines, Zoe Crisp, and Henry Hershock. 

The Chris Hodges Memorial Fund honors the life and legacy of Chris Hodges, a Jackson local who passed away suddenly in 2016 at the age of 30.

Hodges attended Jackson Hole High School and graduated in 2004. He played football, basketball, and baseball all four years and was awarded a scholarship to play baseball at Missouri Valley College, in Marshall Missouri. 

After an injury sidelined him in his second year of college, he set his sights on coaching. He was named head coach of the Bozeman Bucks and from there began chasing his dreams of coaching in the big leagues. 

Hodges held various coaching positions, culminating with a position at Iowa Western Community College.  In his first season, he helped lead the Reivers to the NJCAA College World Series in May 2016. His life was cut short in a car accident on July 21, 2016. 

Chris’ motto was “Live Life Like a 3-1 Count,” the topic of the essay prompt for the scholarship. Recipients are chosen by the Memorial Fund Board based on their essay submission on this prompt: 

“Chris’ motto was “Live life like a 3 – 1 count”. In baseball, this means the batter has 3 balls and 1 strike as their count. For Chris, this meant that he lived his life looking forward, always chasing his dreams and never looking back. He was in it to live and learn all he could and to be swinging for the fences, not standing there watching or waiting for life to pass him by.

Knowing this…. ask yourself… How do you “live your life like a 3-1 count?

This is the third year scholarships have been awarded to local students. The Board tries to find kids that are pursuing sports after high school but they do not limit it to that, said Karren Hodges, Chris’ mother. “We want kids to be able to go and do what they want and to “live their dream” whatever career path they choose,” she said. 

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.