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2020 Senior Spotlight: Garrett Harding

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg Sports Zone will be running senior spotlights through April and May everyday (Monday through Friday) in an effort to honor seniors who had their seasons taken away due to the spread of COVID-19.

For the longest time, baseball has always been Garrett Harding’s sport in the spring and summertime.

It was something he grew up playing, but during his senior year at Louisburg High School, Harding wanted to change it up and do something a little different.

Enter track.

Harding decided to put baseball on the backburner and give track a try – more specifically the shot put. He wanted a different challenge in his life.

“I was looking forward to experiencing something new and proving to myself that I can be good at whatever I really try to do,” Harding said.

After the first couple weeks of practice, Harding was beginning to get the hang of it as he tried to learn as much about the shot put as he could in a short amount of time.

“Last year during baseball season a few things happened that made me not want to play anymore so I decided to try something new,” Harding said. “Track was a lot of fun and I was progressing my technique pretty rapidly to where I believe I was throwing the farthest already in shot.”

Unfortunately, Harding will not get the opportunity to see how it all would have turned out as his senior season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harding was a part of a talented boys team that had a chance to compete toward the top of the Frontier League and regionals as the Wildcats returned several state qualifiers from a year ago.

“This year would have been a great season for track with Michael (Waldron) doing javelin and all the runners coming back,” Harding said. “In shot, I feel like we would have been very competitive, especially in the throwers relay.”

The absence of a spring season has left athletes around the country heartbroken, but Harding is trying to make the best of a bad situation. He was one of the Frontier League’s top players this season in football and was recently selected to play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl in July.

Although that game is still in limbo as the Shrine Bowl is trying to find a new facility to host the event, Harding can only focus on what he can control.

“It hasn’t been too bad for me,” Harding said of the time off. “I have had more time to lift weights and have made a jump in my maxes. I also have had time to run and also spend time with my family. It is disappointing that some of the stuff I was looking forward to senior year has been canceled, but it’s out of my control, so I have been just doing what I can.”

Other than track, Louisburg Sports Zone also had a chance to catch up with Garrett on how he has been coping with an early end to his senior year and some of his other interests. Here are his responses from the rest of our Q&A.

LSZ: What have you been missing the most during this time away from everyone?

GH: I miss being away from my friends and I especially miss pestering Coach Skakal.

LSZ: What is your most memorable moment as an athlete or in school, and why?

GH: My most memorable moment was when we were in the locker room right before the Paola game my junior year. The biggest game of the year between two undefeated teams for the Frontier League championship. I was never more focused and determined in my life than at that point.

LSZ: What is your favorite activity/hobby outside of sports and why?

GH: I’d say my favorite activity is hanging out with friends, but that is everyone’s. I do enjoy kayaking and just being near or on the water.

LSZ: What are your plans for after graduation?

GH: I am going to play football at Truman State University and pursue a degree in Business Administration/Management and Finance. After that I want to go to graduate school and get my MBA.

LSZ: What accomplishments that don’t involve athletics are you most proud of and why?

GH: Well when people call me dumb because I did something stupid, I like to tell them that I am a duly elected National Honor Society officer. I’m also proud of my FBLA accomplishments because it shows how much my team and I can work together and problem solve.

LSZ: What do you think would be something that a lot of people don’t know about you?

GH: I was on a billboard for St. Joseph West Hospital when I was just born. (Not even 24 hours old) The billboard was up for a few years and it was outside of St. Louis.

Garrett’s Favorites

Pro athlete: Anthony Sherman

Pro team: Kansas City Chiefs

College team: Kansas State

Movie: Battleship

TV Show: The Ranch

Song: T-R-O-U-B-L-E by Travis Tritt

Band/Musician: Kenny Chesney

Pregame meal/snack: Ibuprofen

Class/subject: History

Teacher and why? Coach E (Ebenstein) is my favorite because he is basically a high schooler just in an adult body.

Previous Senior Spotlights

Drake Varns – Golf

Trinity Moore – Soccer

Andrew Krause – Baseball

Kayla Willey – Softball

Anthony Davis – Track and Field

Garrett Rolofson – Golf

Shayla Aye – Swimming

Allie Boles – Softball

Michael Waldron – Track and Field

Avery O’Meara – Soccer

Ryan Haight – Golf

Andie Masten – Soccer

Lauren Cutshaw – Softball

Trent Martin – Track and Field

Erin Lemke – Soccer

Luke Wickersham – Golf

Skylar Bowman – Soccer

Gabby Dugger – Softball

Sydni Keagle – Track

Olivia Chase – Soccer

Colin Cook – Golf

Morgan Messer – Soccer

August Daniels – Softball

Carter Anglin – Track and Field

Hannah Straub – Soccer

Reilly Ratliff-Becher – Softball

Madden Rutherford – Baseball

Lily McDaniel – Soccer


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