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Autry makes history in final seasons

Nate Sander, Staff Reporter

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Two sports in one season. Sometimes two practices in one day. And he still had to complete his homework and studying at night.

Not many student athletes can say they have done this, but senior John Autry can.

For the last four fall sports seasons, Autry balanced his time as both a varsity soccer and cross country team member.
Many athletes at the school play more than one sport, but they are almost always in different seasons. Competing in two different sports at the same time isn’t easy.

“Just being able to make it to both practices every day is really tiring,” Autry said.

His most difficult classes have been science and math. And like all teens Autry desires to save time for his personal life.

“Being able to hang out with my friends is very challenging during the season,” Autry said.

Participating in soccer and cross country for all four years generated many memorable moments for Autry, but some of the best came in his final season.

Autry was the conference champion at the NAC-VI conference meet and led the cross country team to the state championship meet for the first time in his career.

“I was happy. The whole team was just really excited to be there, and it was really exciting, and I thought we competed well,” Autry said.

Autry takes pride in knowing that he played a big part in being the first boys’ team under coach Patrick Marshall to make it to states.

“It makes me feel good that we’ve been able to win one for coach Marshall because he’s been so dedicated for a long time,” Autry said.

Autry also helped make history on his soccer team as well. The team qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Autry finished his senior season third in goals scored with six goals and six assists.

“I’m proud that we were a lot more successful as a team than in previous years. Also, we made it to the state playoffs for the first time since I have been in high school,” Autry said.

The soccer team finished the season 11-8-3 overall and 5-5 in conference play. The previous season the boys finished 5-18 overall with just one conference win.

Autry sees parallels between his time as a soccer player and life in general.

“It’s a sport that requires a lot of different skills. You have to think on your feet, and that is something you have to do as a person as well,” Autry said.

Although the XC team took last place at states, Autry said that, “it’s going to be a big boost in morale in the coming winter track and outdoor track seasons. We just improved so much in cross country, so we’ll be expecting to improve in track, too,” Autry said.

Autry has been playing sports for most of his life, and he wishes to continue XC and track when he goes to college.
He is planning on attending Davidson College and will be a member of the track and field team.

Autry has learned a lot from playing sports.

“I thought they taught me a lot about competing and time management, and relationships and how to deal with all of them together,” Autry said.

Now Autry turns his attention to his final season as a member of the boys’ track team.

“I want my team to win the conference meet, and hopefully some of us will qualify for states,” Autry said.

He will end his career with coach Marshall, who also is the head track coach.

“John was a very competitive runner. He also was always willing to put it all out there on the course for our big races,” Marshall said.

Senior year has been fun for Autry even without sports.

Autry said, “I just feel like it is great being able to teach the underclassmen how this school works, what’s important and being able to look at where they are and remember it fondly, but also knowing that I’m going to college and to have fun in other places.”

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Autry makes history in final seasons