by Christina Toxey
Basketball, track, show choir, National Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and maintaining a high GPA in all her classes; could you maintain it all? Emma Garner seems to balance it all with no trouble. Not only does Emma participate in all of these activities, she also makes it a mission to do all of them to the best of her ability. She is a singer and dancer in Ovations show choir, one of the top five in cross-country running in the state, a great basketball player, and, on top of everything, a straight-A student. Yet to Emma this is all no big deal; it’s just another day in the life of Emma.
Emma’s family has a deep athletic background. When asked how she got into sports, Emma said,
“Well my whole family runs and is athletic, my dad ran cross-country in high school and college.”
This is nothing new to Emma; she’s used to all the fuss over athleticism. Emma has progressed much further than just a simple love of sports. In basketball, Emma scored over 90 points last season alone. She’s also come in first place in more than 15 cross-country and track meets.
Coach Jimmy Johnson, head coach of the track team explained how valuable Emma is to the team,
“When I was with Smith Station, I used to hate that she was with Opelika,” Johnson said. “I’d think ‘Ugh, here comes Emma.’ Now that I’m here though I love it!”
Emma is a crucial part of the basketball team as well,
“She hit some big shots in regional play that gave a good momentum game,” the girls’ basketball coach, Devin Booth, said.
Emma not only brings her athleticism to the team, but also her positive energy.
“She always brings people up when they’re down,” Booth said.
Emma seems to have this attitude in whatever she is involved with. She is a naturally friendly person,
“She’s never been mean to anyone, I really can’t say anything bad about her,” friend and classmate Mary Grace Sasser said.
Emma seems to make friends wherever she turns, so finding time for friends isn’t quite as hard as you would think for Emma since she practices with them and has other extra-curricular activities that her friends are involved in as well.
Emma also likes to play piano, walk her dog and spend time with friends in her free time. How Emma finds any of this so-called “free time” is a mystery to everyone, but Emma never complains. When asked if she’s ever had to give up anything for her busy schedule, Emma replied,
“Not really, I’ve just always known what I’ve wanted to do.”
Emma fully commits herself to everything she is involved in.
“She’s really good and works really hard,” basketball teammate Tish Chatman said.
Emma has decided that if she continues playing sports in college, she will choose track.
“It was hard to choose, but I think that’s what I want to do,” Emma said.
Johnson said, “She’s very passionate, when you talk to her about track her eyes just light up!”
Emma is so far advanced in girls’ track that she has to train with the boys to have any competition.
“Emma is a leader, but not vocally, by example,” Johnson said.
Emma already has a plan for college.
“I want to run cross-country and track for sure, going to the Olympics would be great, but we’ll see,” Emma said.
After this Emma goes on to explain her back-up plan.
“If not, I want to be a physical therapist so I can work with people like me, athletes.”
Emma seems to know exactly what she wants and how she’s going to get it. Everyone could learn a valuable lesson of determination and balance from this young lady as she continues her fast track to success.