AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - In the small town of Channing one senior is making sure he leaves an example for those following in his footsteps.
He’s a great leader not only in cross country but throughout this school and it’s not a real vocal leader its just watching him work. I think the other kids look up to it and i think it builds up everybody else and makes them better athletes.", said Channing head cross country coach Ray Turpin.
Garret Birdsong will go down in history as Channing ISD’s first four time cross country state qualifier and it all was sparked by sibling competition.
“Well I was watching my older brother out running for practice and my dad asked me if I wanted to go join him and so I did.", said Birdsong. "After that I continued to run and eventually got onto the team and kept running.”
It’s only fitting that in Garrett’s first state meet he would shock a few of his family members, including his older brother.
" I went live with it on Facebook and I started hollering for my oldest boy and I realized it was not him it was my other child.", said Carrie Doane. "Being able to see him throughout these years and he has progressed so much and he’s done so much. He’s just a really good person to look up to and they just love him in this school.
Not only has Garrett made an impact in athletics, he’s also had an impact on those around him.
“We’ve had kids that’s got to watch him and see the work it takes to make it and I think we’ve got kids that have the potential and after getting to see him put his work in. I think they’re going to step up and hopefully we have more kids going to Austin in the future.”, said Coach Turpin.
Although he is graduating this year, Garrett has high hopes for the future of Channing cross country.
“I just hope to have a boys team make it to state or have an individual also be able to qualify all four years but to get a better placing than I did.”
Birdsong plans to continue to run cross country in college but has not decided what school he will be attending after graduation.