With Graduation at Reeds Spring another group of “my guys” bid fair well to high school and get ready for the next step in their lives. Among those moving on is Joel Gertson.
Gertson, the South Central Missouri FCA Male Athlete of the Year, has been a constant the last four years as a Wolf. He has been steady on the basketball court, running the Wolves offense. He leaves Reeds Spring with every assist record in the programs history. 375 times he set up a teammate for a basket. That includes 158 times this year, alone. He is also tops in steals, both for a season and over the course of his career. Coach Barry Yocom was always able to know that Joel would be in the lineup and would make a contribution.
There is no doubt, the basketball prowess is what we had heard about Joel before his high school years. But, on the football field was actually where I, first saw his impact. Before, he came on the scene, the kicking duties for Wolves Football were less than stellar. But, for Four years, that was pretty much a given. We had Joel. From his freshman year on, he has been as automatic as you can ever hope for at the high school level. A good part of that time Joel had the same snapper and holder. Those guys graduate tonight as well. (Thanks JP and Keenan) Mr Automatic on extra points will be hard to replace.
As many accolades that he received on the court and on the field, they can’t measure up to the person he is off the field. Joel is a leader. He is a guy that sets a great example for others. Whether it’s his FCA involvement, his connection to the RS Leadership Group, or just seeing the way he interacts with others, there is no mistake that he excels in this right.
His faith is something that drives him. His actions prove that. From speaking to peers and helping lead them to Christ, to the simple hellos and the simple question “How you doing?” If Joel asks you that, he is not only saying “hi” he sincerely wants to know if you are doing okay.
Joel has a couple of options as to what that next step will be for him. Whichever path he decides to follow I know that he will be successful. When I signed off the final basketball game this year and was talking about each of the seniors, I described Joel as the exact kind of guy I would want my daughter to bring home had God blessed me with a daughter. To me, that is about as big of praise as you can offer someone.
Thanks Joel….. It has truly been an honor.