Top Performer: Gavin West

STURGIS, S.D. — Earlier this month, Gavin West was one of 130 students to graduate from Sturgis Brown High School.

While many of his classmates will be heading onto college this fall, Gavin will soon be trading in his black and white Sturgis Scooper gear for a uniform and join over a thousand other freshmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.

From leading the Sturgis football team as quarterback of the Scoopers, to being a force on the baskeball court and being one of the top hurdlers in the state, athletics has been a huge part of Gavin West’s life.

“Probably ever since I was five, I was in T-ball and basketball here at the local community center,” Gavin West said. “Ever since a young age, I’ve been involved in sports at least three probably a year.”

Gavin recently wrapped up his high school athletic career by competing at the state track and field championships.

He finished runner-up in the 110 meter hurdles and placed eighth in the 300 meter hurdles.

Sturgis track coach Blake Proefrock says Gavin has meant a lot to the Scooper athletic program.

“There isn’t a better kid,” Sturgis track coach Blake Proefrock said. “I’ve been doing this quite a few years now and it would be pretty hard. He’s right at the top of the list. He’s the top one percent. You wished you had a bunch of those kids. There’s not a lot like him. There’s not a lot that I’ve had that are like him. I’m excited for him. It’s one of those things where It’s sad to see him go.”

Now Gavin is preparing for the next chapter in his life.    

The 18-year old has been accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy where he plans to study nuclear physics.

Gavin’s path to the military started three year ago after he visited Arlington National Cemetery with his family.

“We went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and we watched the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery,” West said. “I just kind of felt a calling that I needed to do my part as an American citizen and do what I could to protect our nation’s democracy and similar things like that. My brother felt the same way and he went on that same path and he’s currently there right now. He just got done with his Plebe Year so I will be joining him next year.”

However, his athletic career may not be over just yet.

“I may have a chance to participate in track at the Naval Academy,” West said. “Then maybe if I’m lucky, hopefully I’ll see if I can get a walk-on scholarship for football.”

Congratulations to Gavin West on being named a News Center 1 Top Performer.

Categories: High School, Sports, Top Performer