Congratulations to Joe George '18 for being Saint James' recipient of the True Grit Award.
The True Grit Award is presented to a senior student-athlete from each Washington County high school, public and private, and a second-year student-athlete at Hagerstown Community College, who has demonstrated the ability to overcome hardship to become or remain a member of an athletic team. These students most often have been the ones who have "helped the stars to shine."
In August 2016, Joe went to the athletic trainer at Saint James School for his pre-season physical in preparation for playing football that Fall season. Something wasn't quite right. He was eventually diagnosed with an anomalous coronary artery, a condition that in heavy activity (running, football, wrestling, baseball) prevents the artery from expanding and allowing sufficient blood flow. It was shocking news to Joe and his family. On Monday August 29, 2016, Joe underwent necessary six-hour open heart surgery to repair the condition.
In the first of many remarkable displays of courage and determination, Joe left the hospital on Friday evening (only four days later) to watch his teammates play the first game of the season. He attended each game thereafter. For the rest of the Fall and long into the Winter, Joe attended physical therapy and participated in a rigorous conditioning program with the hope of playing baseball in the Spring. He did it. Last Summer, Joe used all of his persuasive powers to convince his mom and dad to let him play football. They relented and he played...as a 5'11", 160 pound linebacker. It takes a lot of heart to play linebacker if you are only bringing 160 pounds with you. Joe has it in abundance.
This year, his senior year at Saint James, Joe has played football, wrestled, and is now playing baseball. Joe George is the epitome of a True Grit winner. He is tough, determined, strong willed, and a wonderful teammate. More importantly, he is a kind, gentle, soft spoken, very ambitious young man. He is exceptional. Next year he will be attending Davidson and will be making it a much better place with his wonderful (and healthy) heart and his True Grit approach to life. Congratulations to Joe George for being Saint James' recipient of the True Grit Award.