PREP SPORTS: ‘You have to put in the work’: Good Hope’s Jacob Wright reflects on Raider years

Good Hope’s Jacob Wright. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — Good Hope senior Jacob Wright was a multi-sport athlete in high school and played in in the band from seventh to ninth grade as well. In this interview, Jacob shared some of his favorite memories during that time and what he learned from the people around him.

“For band, it was when we performed at UNA my freshman year. Football was probably when we beat Northside in the second round of the state playoffs my sophomore year, and my entire time on track was just so amazing. My favorite memory from my time on track was when we played kickball at practice, and my team won in overtime on a walk-off home run by me,” Wright said. “It was nice to know that if you screwed up, there was always someone there to pick you up, and it was good to know that if you succeeded, people would be there to cheer you on. To me, Good Hope was just a big family. We cared and watched out for one another. I learned that it’s okay to mess up, but don’t let that one mistake define you. You have to continue to push through, no matter how hard it might seem.”

Jacob felt blessed to perform under a great band director and to play sports under some great coaches.

“Every single one of them have my respect. When I was in the band, I was under Mr. Zac Tyree, and he really cared for us, even in my last few days before leaving to play football. He would constantly tell me that if I ever wanted to return, I always could. Coach Alan Scott cared about us a lot. He really pushed us to our absolute best potential. In a lot of kids (me included), he was able to see something that we hadn’t seen yet. I was with Coach Matthew McCulloch in track, and I trusted him a lot. I knew that if I had a rough day or anything, I could go to him, and he would be completely honest with me, which I really respect. I learned that not everything comes easy. In order to succeed, you have to have that drive to do so. You have to put in the work. Not everything is going to be handed to you.”

He talked about his favorite sporting events that he was part of and what he will miss the most about competing at Good Hope.

“I enjoyed being in the stands when it came to band. I enjoyed having band battles and trying to see who the loudest band in the stands was. My favorite competition had to be when we went to Mud Creek my freshman year and we received straight superiors. My favorite football game was the Etowah game my sophomore year, when we won 20-19. My favorite track meet would most likely be county my junior year. I will remember and miss the friends I made. The people I surrounded myself with is what made graduating and moving on from Good Hope the hardest time in my life.”

Jacob shared some of his favorite high school memories, talking about what made Good Hope a special place to go to school, and what he will miss the most about being a Raider.

“My favorite high school memory was our grade vs. grade volleyball games that we did every year during homecoming,” he said. “What made Good Hope a special place to go to was the staff. There wasn’t a single teacher that I didn’t feel comfortable with. I’ll definitely remember running the county in athletics. I’ll definitely miss the little things, like going and paying for a parking pass and going and getting my schedule for the year.”

He gave some advice to the students that will be starting high school in August and talked about being a role model to younger kids. He was in several clubs at Good Hope and had a lot of fun participating in those as well.

“Make sure you are active in the school. We definitely have a club for everybody’s interest. I met some of my best friends in our extracurricular activities,” he said. “It is extremely important to be a role model to the younger kids. It always made me realize that there is someone out there that may be looking at me for guidance, and I need to be a good role model. I was in the FFA, Leo Club, and Pep Club, and it was great. Pep Club allowed me to get into every home game, no matter what sport it was. It was really nice to be able to watch some of those historical Good Hope moments. Leo Club was nice, because it allowed me to be in the community, helping people that need it more than I do.”

Jacob gave some advice to those people that want to be where he is now and talked about how he wants to be remembered.

“Listen to the people that are older than you. They want what’s best for you,” he said. “I want people to remember me as a guy who could make people smile and someone you could trust.”

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