BIG SANDY, Texas (KETK) — There’s something to be said about natural ability, but the true champions are the ones who recognize those gifts and tirelessly push them to the limits.
Big Sandy’s Michael Jitjaeng ticks all of those boxes, and his coach, Buck Thompson, saw the potential early on.
“I’d probably say the first month or two that we worked with each other, I was like, I don’t know size-wise what he’s going to be able to do, but he’s going to get everything out of what he has, and that’s what he did,” said Thompson.
Since then, he has won a state championship, committed to the Texas A&M track team, and this coming Wednesday will compete in the Outdoor Nationals for high school athletes in Eugene, Oregon.
“It means everything to me because at this point, of course, I want to win this meet but, just being able to go down there and compete and make everyone proud around here is just a big deal,” said Jitjaeng.
Michael threw 183 at state, taking the gold and easily passing the qualifying distance for the national meet, and will be one of only two athletes from the Lone Star State.
“To be able to go up there and represent Texas is amazing, you know, especially coming from such a small area,” said Thompson.
“It’s an honor to be part of this group because not many people make it and, just being able to say that I’m able to represent East Texas is just a big deal to me,” said Jitjaeng.
An honor he prepares to make the most of, following the process and drive that got him here, one throw at a time.