More than an athlete

By: Brittany Escalera - Staff Intern

Growing up in a small town in between fields and across farms can make you lose your mind with monotony. The same tractors go by everyday and same old man in a beat up old pick up truck comes home at lunch at 12:30 p.m. on the dot.

But Harrell’s Christian Academy Senior, Kaleb Jessup, found many ways to beat the monotony of it. For Jessup, playing soccer was one of the many ways to break the routine.

“Growing up in Clinton it was just something everyone does. Everyone plays soccer.” Expressed Jessup.

Jessup was just 6 years old when his parents signed him up for recreational soccer and he played his entire childhood and then became a member of the varsity squad his freshman year of high school at Harrells.

Jessup plays sweeper, or side defender for HCA.

He expressed how he sometimes feels a lot of pressure from playing the last man on defense.

“My moments come when it’s one on one. When it’s just me and another guy and it’s my job to save it. I’m the goalie’s, goalie.” Stated Jessup.

Aside from playing defender, Jessup feels that another role he plays is being a motivator for the team.

“We’re not really known for winning. But I try and keep the spirit alive and during practice when we run and someone falls back, I always fall back too and help them out,” said Jessup. “But it’s a big family so it works both ways.”

When it comes to preparing for games, Jessup expressed how one of the things he looks forward most to doing is praying.

“Before every game, we huddle up and pray. When we have away games I like to use that bus ride time to focus myself, throw my worries away and pray.”

In order to physically prepare himself Jessup stated how he works out everyday for an hour and at practice he pushes himself to the limit and constantly reminds him that his biggest competition is himself.

When Kaleb isn’t at soccer practice, he is involved with the Boy Scouts where he just earned his Eagle Scout award in March. He is also Chief Junior Marshall of his class and dreams of a future in engineering.

“I’m not really sure where I want to go to school but I do want to do something within robotic engineering. I enjoy tinkering with things,” Stated Jessup.

The Harrells junior also attended the Junior Leadership program for Sampson County this past spring as well as the Cooperative Leadership Summer Camp.

He also hopes to become one of the first members for the Harrells swim team and looks forward to his senior year soccer season which he described as “very promising.”

Despite all his accolades, Jessup remains a humble kid who wants nothing more but the best for himself and his community.

Kaleb Jessup clears the ball away in a defensive attack. Jessup clears the ball away in a defensive attack.

Kaleb Jessup steers the ball up the field. Jessup steers the ball up the field.

Kaleb Jessup at his Eagle Scout Award Ceremony in March. Jessup at his Eagle Scout Award Ceremony in March.

Harrells student excels on and off the field

Brittany Escalera

Staff Intern