HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. — "I'm going to miss my teammates, a lot," Scott Shatterly said. "That's what's been the hardest about all this right now."
A senior at Heber Springs High School, Shatterly has spent the last four years running cross country and track. He's a hurdler and pole vaulter for the Panthers, two sports he got into pretty much on accident.
"I kind of got told to do hurdles," he said when asked about what interested him in competing in the hurdles, "because we were going over hurdle drills just to stretch our hips and coach was like, 'you've got really good form, do you think you'd like to do hurdles?' I was like, sure, I'm down to try."
"And for pole vault, my friend, Parker Hill, he was the only senior high pole vaulter," Shatterly explained, "and he was like, 'hey, I hate to do this but do you want to try and do pole vaulting with me?' and I felt really bad, so I tried it out and it's actually really fun."
There's one moment in particular during a vault that Shatterly has come to love.
"It's at the top of the vault, like when you're just letting go at the pole and you see everybody and everything," he said. "I don't know how to describe it. You're at the apex and you can see everything and you can feel everything. You're immersed in the moment. Like you're taking it in in every sense of your body. You can feel everything about it."
Shatterly will be leaving for basic training in July as part of the Arkansas Army National Guard.
"Everybody in my main family has been in the Army or the Armed Forces," said Shatterly. "I've got cousins that are in the Armed Forces, and I just wanted to serve my country how I can."
Before he goes, he wants to thank the coaches and the teammates at Heber Springs that got him this far, and he wishes them nothing but the best in the future.
"I hope they live their lives to the fullest like I’m trying to right now."