By Matthew Zahn
Catching a break? Jalen Saunders surely has a hard time finding time off, as he balances football and academics at Evans High School…as well a busy schedule outside the classroom.
“The mindset that I might fail drives me to be the best I can be. I really hate failure so that drives me to be the best,” Jalen says.
The Evans Knights senior knows that to succeed: you must dedicate yourself.
“Mom, dad, we set high standards for him. Luckily for us, he tries to meet or exceed those,” says Jalen's father, Willie Saunders.
Juggling schoolwork, football, and baseball can be tough. Try adding National Honor Society, Beta Club and the Youth Leadership of Columbia County to that list – just to name a few.
A 4,0 Grade Point Average earns him a spot in the top 5% of his class…only proving he is ready for the next step pursuing an engineering degree at a 4-year college.
“Engineering is a wonderful career to get into. it's certainly something that wouldn't be good for him but good for our country,” says the elder Saunders.
“That guy will be a success at whatever he does. He does so many things. He has leadership positions in the school, outside school, on the football team,” says Evans High School head football coach Marty Evans.
And describing Jalen…well…
“A young man who works hard for everything he gets in life. He's dedicated to what he does whether it be school or sports,” Jalen adds.
“He's going to be successfull because he is a well-rounded athlete, student athlete. He's the epitome of a student athlete,” says Evans.