GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) – Gresham High School senior Isaac Smith has never been one to turn down a challenge.
“It’s really easy to give up. It’s really easy just to take the easy route,” said Smith. “And the only way to be the best is to do the hard work.”
“Isaac has always been the guy that has always not only pushed me but [the rest of] his teammates [as well]. He’s always there [for everyone],” Jaymen Beall, a Gresham senior, said
“He’s one of the guys that leads every single workout. He’s really pushed himself over the last year to really become more of a leader and stepping up,” said Ty Gonrowski, who’s the Gresham boys and girls head varsity cross-country coach.
This leader carries a 3.5 GPA, and is also a part of the student and staff recognition committee through a leadership course called renaissance.
“They see him as this kid who bleeds blue, and is willing to do anything really for Gresham High School,” said Gonrowski.
Our Athlete of The Week also takes care of his big brother, too.
“My brother Nathaniel was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism, when he was 5-years-old,” said Smith.
“He [Nathaniel] graduated last year, and he’s in the adult living program so that’s really special for him. He’s learning basic life skills; how to do dishes [and] laundry; you know, kind of just skills that you need in the working world. I’m really proud of him and all he’s accomplished, because I know it’s been so hard for him and the things he’s done.”
As for cross-county – Smith said it would be a dream come true to represent the Gophers at the state meet on Saturday, Nov. 5 in Eugene.
“I’m a little faster than I was last year already this early in the season so I’m just pretty excited,” he said. “I think that with the team – and a team here to support me and coaches and everybody – I think I can do it.”