Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gilstrap overcame obstacles to succeed

Like most people, I am glad to see others succeed.

Especially when those people are young adults. That is especially true when those young adults overcome obstacles to succeed.

Connor Gilstrap is one of those young adults who has overcome a lot to succeed.

Connor Gilstrap slides into third base during a game this past season.
Gilstrap, who just graduated from Poteau High School, signed Wednesday to play baseball and continue his athletic and academic pursuit at Carl Albert State College.

He is not your typical standout athlete, at least in size. Gilstrap is short and stout, to tell the truth. No, he does not stand 6-foot-2 and weigh 200 pounds.

Gilstrap is in the mid five-foot tall territory, give or take an inch or two. But what he lacks in height, Gilstrap makes up for it in heart.

Prior to his junior season, he injured both knees and had to sit out both football and wrestling. This came after he was one of the Pirates’ leading tacklers as a sophomore and qualified for the state tournament in wrestling that year.

He came back and played baseball his junior year, even though his knees were not 100 percent and was a pain inn the rear for most opponents both from his leadoff spot in the batting order and in the outfield, where he roamed far and wide to track down batted balls.

Gilstrap could have used the knee injuries as an excuse to coast or even sit out football this past season, where he was in danger of even more damage to his knees on every play.

But he didn’t. Despite missing his junior year, Gilstrap was once again one of the top tacklers for the Pirates and an inspiration to many.

In wrestling, he was one of the top wrestlers in his class and again made the state tournament.

When he finished wrestling, it was time for baseball. Like the other sports, Gilstrap was a standout. He helped a young Poteau team, which frequently started three or four freshmen, to win a district tournament and advance to the regionals.

For his success on the baseball field and in the classroom, Gilstrap is getting the opportunity to continue playing baseball when he goes to CASC in the fall.

Again, he won’t be the biggest player or even the most talented. But it is doubtful anybody will play harder or show more heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment