Photos and story by Alexis Mercer
The days may seem long, but the years pass so quickly.
For the past four years, Ryan Brummel has been an athlete on my cross country team. At the beginning of the year, his senior year, his mother Allison asked me to capture memories of all his sporting events with photographs.
Because I also take photos of other events as the yearbook adviser, I was present for many of his academic and social experiences throughout the year as well.
When I began to collect the memories from this year, I realized that the story would be more complete by adding at least a few photos beginning with Ryan's freshman year in cross country.
Today, Sunday, June 9, Ryan will celebrate his high school accomplishments, culminating with the reception of his diploma, at a graduation party. He earned the honor of Top Ten, Academic All-State for cross country twice, and countless other athletic All-Conference honors and academic distinctions.
When I saw Allison just the other day, we discussed her emotions the week of the party.
Allison: "I think I am over my tears now."
AM: "The other day I was editing the boys track page for yearbook and loved Ryan's quote where he said that he was sad about running his last ever track meet, but proud of all he accomplished on the track."
Allison: (with tears in her eyes) "Maybe I'm not done yet. I think he has good perspective about all of this. He enjoyed his time in high school but he is ready for the next step. I'm so proud of everything he accomplished."
This is the story of one high school student athlete's journey of four short years through photographs.
Cross Country 2015 was Ryan's first fall in high school.
Cross Country 2016 where Ryan started to lead the boys team with his race times.
Fall of 2017 began Ryan's junior year. He qualified for the State Meet this year and earned Academic All-State.
Senior photos are often one of the first of many indicators of the senior year. Ryan chose to have his photos taken at the Croton Dam and surrounding areas to display where he grew up.
Ryan's senior year in cross country, his teammates voted him in as captain. He ran his way to a second consecutive State Meet and Academic All-State honors. Over the course of his years running cross country, Ryan logged thousands of miles.
The ceremony for National Honors Society his senior year involved Ryan sashing the incoming members.
Winter is basketball season for Ryan. The team made it to District Finals this year, with an exciting underdog win in the semi-finals.
Part of the fun of the winter season is the Snowcoming Pep Assembly.
In his final season of high school athletics, Ryan completed his fourth year of varsity track. He represented the Newaygo on his jersey with pride and honor.
The final moments of the senior year. Honors banquets, traditions, reminiscing before walking across the stage as an official graduate. Next year Ryan will be attending Grand Valley State University.
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