High School Cross Country Runner Refuses the Mark of the Beast

Codie Thacker is a championship cross country runner, but when coach Gina Croley saw her assigned bib at the regional meet, she knew: ‘Whoa, I don’t think Codie will wear that number.’

Codie Thacker is a championship cross country runner in her junior year at a Whitley County, Kentucky high school. When coach Gina Croley retrieved her assigned bib at the state qualifying race, she knew immediately: “Whoa, I don’t think Codie will wear that number.” The number in question? Straight out of Revelation 13, Codie had been assigned the “number of the beast,” 666. A devout Christian, Thacker petitioned the administration panel to issue her a new number. Even with her coach’s support, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association refused to respect the youngster’s religious conviction, Thacker had only one choice: “I didn’t want to risk my relationship with God and try to take that number.” The girl stuck to her principles and would not qualify for her sports’ biggest competition. Says Coach Croley: “I could not be prouder of her even if she won the race.”

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