Three years ago, we did something that we never thought that we would do.........we sent our fifth child to the local high school......just so he could keep playing sports.
Sports were that important to him. He definitely had obvious talent. From birth he has always needed to move, compete, touch. Without the outlet of sports, he certainly would have struggled. In our small community, sports for kids aged 14 years and up were really only available at the local high school. And even though our high school district is allowed by our state to allow homeschool kids to play sports, our school has continued to refuse.
So, we placed Garrett in the Independent Study offered by the school. The quality of the academics was much lower than our usual preferences, but in this case, it was something that we could work with. He had a great independent study teacher. He was able to continue with his private piano lessons which counted towards his high school credits.
Flash forward to this week:
He has now been attending the actual school building for the last year because the Independent Study program is limited here for higher maths and science labs. He doesn't really like it.......but it is what needed to happen.
He has played three years of Soccer, Basketball and Track......with two attempts at fitting Cross-Country in there.......even as a freshman, he excelled and got playing time in all sports.
He moved to Varsity track during his freshman season and earned a spot at sectionals his first two years (the last step to go to state competition). He was moved up to the Varsity Basketball team as a sophomore. As a freshman, he started games on the Varsity soccer team.
One of the things I love about Garrett is how he takes his sports so seriously......like they are a job. He gives 100% every game or event........and most practices. He pays attention to eating well and right, getting appropriate rest and exercise and avoiding caffeine during times of serious focus. He has really grown to own all of this. And, he is wise enough to know that none of this is something he can be attached to for his adulthood........but he realizes the important lessons in always doing the best that you can and constantly trying to improve.
He started at the school so he could keep playing basketball, but found his true sports love is Pole Vault. he has worked hard and close with his coach. He has practiced extra. He has self-educated as well as attended a camp put on by a former Olympic Pole Vaulter. He has recruited other athletes to jump....including one girl who has made it to state once. He has become an "assistant" pole vault coach, especially for the Junior Varsity athletes. Last week, I saw other student athletes perform their event and then respectfully turn to Garrett for advice and critique. He has really risen to become a quiet leader in track. And he is quite the encourager of his teammates.
In his final year of school and competition, as a High School Junior, he has received All-League for Defense in soccer, All-League in basketball and probably the same this year in Track. And he stays humble about these accolades.
Speaking of track.........
His junior year of Track Season is winding down.....though it kind of feels like it winds up till it suddenly just ends.
Two weeks ago he won first places for four events: Pole-Vault, Long Jump, Triple Jump and the 4X400 Relay. Four medals. And the chance to move on to the next level of competition.
Last Friday, May 22nd, he did it again. Four medals. See picture above. That was the Division meet. It earns him a chance to compete in all four events at the Northern California Sectionals meet........which is this Friday, May 29th. This will be his third qualification to this meet........the last meet to attempt to qualify for State. This year, there is a small chance that he might make it to State. Small chance......but it is a chance.
We are very excited for his opportunities. And for his successes. He has worked hard for them. He has got past several injuries over the years........to get to this point.
This point......this meet........could well be the last sports event of his high school career. He will be spending his final year of high school as a Rotary Exchange student in the country of Austria.
Please pray that he does well at Friday's meet. Please pray that the predicted high of 99* is predicted too high......and that there is at least a pleasant breeze. :)
Oh! I almost for got to add the following.........
Garrett may have won all of those medals.......and three first places in the meet before the four.......but the best reward may well have been two comments from a coach and a parent......
The coach from another school who was running the Triple Jump event asked if I was Garrett's mom. When I answered yes, he let me know how much he liked and appreciated Garrett. He told me that Garrett as respectful, helpful and enjoyable to converse with. He said that Garrett was a very good boy.
While sitting at the top of the stands, waiting for Garrett's 4X400 Relay Race, a mother who was sitting nearby, whose son was also on the 4X400 relay team, came over to share some positive comments with me about Garrett. He had taken her Senior daughter to the prom a few weeks before.........and has been mentoring her younger son, a sophomore on the soccer and track teams. She waxes on about what a wonderful young man Garrett is.......fun to talk to, so respectful......showed her nervous daughter a good time at prom, putting her at ease. And, "so thoughtful, a real gentleman"........." he brought flowers for me!"
Yeah. In spite of the fact that he challenges our parenting techniques at times........I am so grateful to know that out there in the world, he is a good guy, a "real gentleman".........respectful and "fun to talk to"...........proud of my young man.
Enjoy the photos...........
The first four photos are of his long jump last week........the fourth photo shows him about to make a personal record.....one more foot longer than his previous personal record!
Running with the baton in the 4X400 relay........
Various Pole Vault photos
Jumping over The Mountain!
Below, a photo montage of several steps in a pole vault attempt of
on my 51st birthday, April 25th, in Klamath Falls at an Invitational meet.....