John White: Lacrosse Player Engineers Musical Future
The latest NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week balances two sports and academics while performing with his rock band. NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.
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John White always has somewhere to be. The Tottenville High School senior juggles two sports while enrolled in the school's prestigious Classics Institute where he is learning Spanish and Latin.
"My parents always told me, do whatever you can. Be the best kid you can be. When I'm on the field or when in the pool, I just push myself. So I think it's just how I was brought up," says John.
White captained the swim team in the fall and will play his fourth year of lacrosse this spring. He says his older brother, who also played lacrosse for Tottenville, inspired him to start playing and to become a team leader.
"Everything that he does, I always just try to follow in his footsteps. He leads by such a good example," says John.
The lacrosse team won the PSAL championship last year and the coach hopes to repeat history this spring with White as a captain.
"He did get some playing time last year, but we had 17 seniors that graduated last year. I think that this year is going to be his big year, his year to step up and lead this team to hopefully another championship," says lacrosse coach Demetrios Haronitis.
Due to a class scheduling conflict, White almost had to drop his spring semester AP Calculus class but chose to find a way around it.
"What he opted to do was get back into my class and take his economics class independently so he's taking that class without a teacher," says calculus teacher Mike Spiegel.
While White's course load mainly focuses on the humanities and social sciences, he made it a priority to also study what he loves: Math and science. He is set on studying electrical engineering in college and is excited to learn more about how it relates to the guitar.
"Up until recently, I didn't know it was all electrical engineering and when I found out, I got so excited. So now I can do something that I enjoy and then create something that I enjoy too," says John.
When he's not studying or playing sports, White can be found playing guitar with his five member band, Backfire. They've performed at various shows including the American Cancer Society Benefit Show last fall, and will release an extended play in March.
"It really sets a tremendous example to his fellow students that you can really do it all. And John does it in a very understated way. You wouldn't know that he was involved in all of these things. He just goes about his business but he's just done so well," says principal John Tuminaro.
So, for his versatility in sports and academics, John White is the latest NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.