Photos by Richard Gomez
Jonathan Stride has just begun his freshman year in high school and yet he’s already logged numerous hours on the SPHS football field. Voted Most Athletic by his peers in eighth grade, Stride has taken advantage of the recent summer break, using it to train for the upcoming football season.
For the past few months Stride has frequented the Roosevelt Field multiple times a week along with other freshman athletes, learning new plays and getting acclimated to the challenges of high school football.
As a baby, Stride was always very active. By the time he was four he began to channel that energy into sports. He ventured into playing soccer, baseball, basketball, and flag football with a youth organization in Eagle Rock. As he grew older, he began to turn his focus to basketball and football.
Stride was an integral part of the SPMS basketball team in both seventh and eighth grade. As a starting shooting guard, he showed strength in his defensive game. His efficient lateral speed and ability to apply pressure on the ball aided the team’s efforts against their opponents.
In addition to basketball, Stride also played flag football as a wide receiver with the middle school team. In the flag football season opener, with only seconds left on the clock and the score at 0-0, the opposing team was forced to punt. Stride, as the punt receiver, caught the ball and ran it down the sideline to the endzone, winning the game for the Tiger Cubs.
Stride plans to continue playing basketball and football in high school and is even considering joining the track team. He does consider pursuing a career in professional sports, but at the moment is just interesting in staying active.
“When I run, that feeling I get when the wind rushes against my body,” Stride said, “There’s no better feeling than that.”