Jacob Mashburn Interview by Larissa Chelius Nomination & Photography by Andy Phillips of TAP Photography North Carolina Issue 15
The Nomination: Jacob Mashburn is a friendly and outgoing high school senior. He is a top-quality safety and running back on a highly successful 2A varsity football team. Jacob also runs track and sings in the audition choir. Jacob is active in his community and is a true and selfless friend who is always looking out for others. He excels academically and is an A student in honors and AP classes, as well as two college courses.
However, perhaps the quality that most stands out about Jacob is his perseverance in the face of adversity. He never quits and he never gives up. He had an ankle injury his freshman year requiring two surgeries, and a fractured hand his sophomore year. He had knee surgery his junior year for a torn left ACL and just had knee surgery his senior year for a torn right ACL. Jacob endures and is right there all week to encourage and help his teammates in any way he can, including leading them in prayer. He plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to study to become a physical therapist.
How do you manage your time with varsity football, track, and audition choir? Thankfully, audition choir is held as a class during the school day so the only time it overlaps with football is when there is a concert. On concert days, I go to football practice as long as I can whilst still giving myself time to prepare for the concert. Track is required by the football team coaches. They make sure that the players stay in shape throughout the off-season. Track is held during the spring semester and football is during the fall so nothing really overlaps.
How has taking 2 college courses along with AP’s and honors classes affected you? Taking college courses and AP classes has its ups and downs. Being an athlete, the workload can sometimes be immense if you’re taking more than one at a time. However, I love feeling challenged in my work and feel like I am learning more than by taking a general class. I also feel as if the classes have prepared me for college classes.
How did you stay involved with the team after one of your many injuries occurred? Staying involved in my team after my injury just came naturally to me. I feel like the support they offered and the love that I felt from them really helped keep me engaged. Also, I was always told that I was a leader on the team and I wanted to do everything I possibly could to help them out. My teammates are still my family and I want to be there for them just as much as they were there for me. It also helps that the game of football is such a huge part of life in my community.
What advice would you give to other players who obtain as severe injuries as you? The main thing that has helped me out the most is to stay involved in your team and let people help you. Pride is a big thing to overcome but the sheer amount of help that I got truly helped get me through the toughest times. I also feel like getting out and around as much as possible is key. Don’t get down on yourself no matter how hard that may be. Another thing is to find something that will occupy your time. Try out a new hobby or something that you may have been putting off for a while!
Have your injuries influenced your decision to become a physical therapist? I believe that my injury was the entire reason that I decided to become a physical therapist. The connection that I made with the people who helped me out was one that I still cherish today. They had an incredible impact on my life and I could really see myself doing that for the rest of my life. Helping people and making that much of an impact is something that I feel like would bring me joy forever. What made you want to attend University of Tennessee at Knoxville? One weekend this summer we went on a college visit to UT and I just fell in love with everything about it. The people there were just so incredibly friendly, the campus was amazing, and it just had this feeling that it felt like it’s where I belonged.
Jacob was featured in Issue 15 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.