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Athletic camps shape Dec. Student Leader of the Year candidates

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite

Editor's note: The Patriot Ardmore Student Leader program recognizes high school seniors, nominated by their high school administrative staff, that demonstrate integrity and leadership in school and extracurricular organizations while upholding high standards at the academic level. Each month two student leaders are named, and at the end of the school year the monthly student leaders will vie for the Student Leader of the Year title and a new car provided by Patriot Ardmore.

High school is a time for teenagers to explore the various paths they can take as they enter adulthood. Some seniors graduate with a laser focus on their future while others are still weighing their options, and the December candidates for the Patriot Ardmore Student Leader of the Year award are no different. What sets them apart from their peers, however, is the leadership and volunteerism they’ve picked up along the way.

Wilson High School senior Tre Richardson and Lone Grove High School senior Emmy Guthrie are their own people — Richardson with a clear plan to become a business owner and Guthrie still considering a life either at the pulpit or in the operating room -- but each cherishes memories made and lessons learned from athletic camps.

“I remember being that little kid and you always look up to those high schoolers so much,” said Guthrie as she reminisced about softball camps as a young girl. Those camps helped her develop the skills needed to continue her softball career at the University of Oklahoma and also helped hone her leadership skills.

“When I got in high school I became one of those people that got to work at the camp along with my other teammates,” she said. “And it’s awesome because the little girls look up to you, and you get to help them with something not only that you love doing but they love doing.”

Guthries has been awarded the Lake Country Conference Pitcher of the Year for four years, multiple district awards, and has been a Ardmoreite Athlete of the Week. She was also a member of recent All-Region and State Runner-up teams.

Off the diamond, Guthrie maintains a 4.0 GPA and has been a Kiwanis Student of the Month, Blue Ribbon Scholar and appears on the Superintendent’s Honor Roll. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and FCCLA.

“Emmy is a leader on the softball field and in the classroom. As pitcher, she led our team to 4 consecutive state tournament appearances. In the classroom, she sets a positive example with her work ethic,” read her nomination form.

That work ethic includes a weekly bible study for fellow students, volunteering at parades, nursing homes and the soup kitchen, making cards for hospital patients and organizing a gift drive to collect Christmas gifts and donations for the Community Children’s Shelter last month.

“I learned a lot of organizational skills, leadership skills because I’ve never done anything like that before,” Guthrie said. 

Guthrie has a few ideas for life after high school and is still considering options. She is currently torn between starting a church or becoming an anesthesiologist because both offer the ability to give back to members of her community.

While the former option may be obvious for the active church member, the latter option came about after a series of surgeries Guthrie underwent in recent years. She said for a scary as the ordeal was, the anesthesiologist helped her through it.

“I just remember the anesthesiologist coming in and cracking jokes and just making everything feel so much better and making my experience better throughout it all,” she said.

Unlike Guthrie, Richardson knows without a doubt what his future will hold. He has already been taking SouthernTech classes for auto body and plans to pursue multiple automotive certifications. Once those are complete, he expects to complete a degree in business administration.

But much like Guthrie, some of Richardson’s best memories from his school years were made during basketball and football camps. Aside from traveling with teammates and meeting new people, he said the camps provided opportunities for him to hone his athletic skills while learning about leadership.

“Most of them were individual-based. They had individual time, then you brought them all together and went and played other teams at the camp,” he said.

Richardson is active in football, basketball and baseball for the Eagles and his nomination from school administration mentions his role as a major influence on teammates and even cheerleaders on the basketball court.

“He is always the first one to pat someone else on the back, he pumps his teams up, and continually asks if others need help,” read his nomination.

Richardson maintains a 3.23 GPA and is a member of the school’s Beta Club, FCA and Vo-Ag. He is also on the Principal’s Honor Roll and is among the Beta leadership team.

Through these organizations he has helped promote Pink Out nights by selling shirts and baked goods, raised funds for the Women’s Outreach Center and is active with his church’s youth group.

He said that much of his drive to be a good role model for peers comes from his father, who is a teacher in Wilson. Being one of the oldest people in his class also makes him feel a responsibility to be someone for classmates to look up to.

“I guess what’s kind of helped me grow as a leader is the fact that I’m a teacher’s kid,” he said. “It gives me a bar to set that I have to live up to.”