Southmoreland's Garlowich admirably juggles three sports, academics, choir
By Paul Paterra
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Saying Michael Garlowich has a full schedule is definitely an understatement.
After all, the Southmoreland senior (who carries a 4.0 GPA) is a member of the school's cross country, soccer and football teams in the fall.
Oh by the way, he also sings for a local choir.
This will all happen before he takes his first stab at varsity basketball in the winter, then takes part in tennis and track in the spring.
Soccer and cross country have been a part of Garlowich's life for many years and he has been a member of Southmoreland's team for each sport since he was a freshman. He is the number two man on the cross country team and handles a sweeper position for soccer.
Football is a something he returned to after trying the gridiron in the eighth grade as he handles the placekicking chores for the Scotties. Garlowich said his friend Aaron Bailey is a team member and suggested Garlowich try out for kicker.
It makes for quite a busy life for the young man, who was ranked number three in the class coming into this school year.
He explained a typical day in which each team has practice after school.
“Right after school, I change (clothes) and go to cross country, right after cross country, whenever we're done running whatever we run, I go to soccer practice and I stay at soccer practice until it's over at 5:15,” Garlowich explained. “Whenever soccer practice is over I drive (to Russ Grimm Stadium), change into my (football) stuff and I jog over to the field on the side and I go take kicks until practice is over.”
Every day is a bit different. There typically are soccer games on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Friday night means high school football.
“Those three days are pretty much out for me doing anything,” Garlowich said. “Cross country (meets) are usually Mondays and Wednesdays and sometimes we have some Saturday meets.”
There are times when cross country and soccer may have events scheduled on the same day creating a bit of a juggling act for Garlowich. Garlowich will run in the meet, then make sure he gets get to the bus leading to the soccer game.
Mondays also have an added twist.
“I won a scholarship last year for music,” Garlowich said. “I'm sitting in with the choral society in Scottdale. On Mondays, we have practice from 7 to 9 (p.m.). So I have that as well.”
He also finds time to fit in his schoolwork to maintain those lofty grades.
When he does have some free time on the weekends, Garlowich works at 119 Swing and Hit Golf in Mt. Pleasant.
That is not all. Garlowich also has performed in some shows at the Geyer Performing Arts Center, including “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in August.
Garlowich admits pride and his competitive nature led him to participating in so many sports.
“Being able to say, whenever I get older, that I did all this stuff and I survived,” Garlowich said. “Doing all this — I'm so busy now — will help me in the future to focus on something so simple compared to all that I'm doing now.”
Garlowich said the coaches have cooperated with him, but added they have certain rules by which he must abide.
A recent day saw him getting to a soccer game late after practice for the other two sports so he did not start the soccer game.
“There are consequences,” Garlowich said. “I understand their point of view, but I also understand my point of view.”
Soccer Coach Chris Hixson admitted his feelings about Garlowich taking part in the three sports are “mixed.”
“I obviously would like to have him full time because he is an exceptional soccer player,” Hixson said. “I think if he was totally committed to soccer he would have a lot of colleges really looking at him, saying that I believe there still will be some interest in Michael at the next level. I understand and support his reasons for being active in three sports and wish him luck in all three.”
“He's meant a lot to me since he's been running cross country,” added Don Gilpin, cross country coach. “He's a great kid. I don't know how he does everything. He's a good athlete, good student. He's always there for practice, always there for meets. I couldn't do it without him. I love him to pieces.”
Garlowich has earned a letter in track and cross country each year since his freshman year, and has notched them his sophomore and junior year in soccer.
“I've got a lot of pins on my jacket,” he said proudly.
Garlowich said he plans to attend college to major in either a mathematical field or actuarial science with a minor in music. He hopes to partcipate in soccer or cross country in college, but feels his best chance to play collegiately is in soccer.
It is pretty certain wherever he goes, he'll maintain a full schedule
“So whatever I see that interests me and if I'm not doing anything, even if I am doing something, I just go out and do it, regardless of how tired I am,” he said. “As much complication as it is I really enjoy doing it. It's nice to hear your name on the PA speaker.”
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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