Joe Gutowski – Texas Interview by Zoe D’Angelo Nominate by Christine Gutowski Photography by Chris Shabay Photography Issue 20 - Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Joe Gutowski played football since the age of 7. He was never gifted with great athletic ability or skill but persevered through those obstacles and continued through even though he was told by his peers that he would never be good enough. He was never on the best team, always on the “B” team. One day during leadership his coach told them about a bible verse 1 Peter 5:6 : “humble yourselves therefor under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” This verse completely inspired him to keep going in his lowest time. And his senior year he finally got his spot on varsity!
How did you become interested in football? Who inspired you the most to start playing? I don’t think anyone in particular inspired me to play football. It was always just something I loved to do.
Tell us about the Bible verse your coach once told you. Tell us what it means and what it means to you, personally. The verse itself says “humble yourselves, therefore, under Gods mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time.” To me, I applied this to my situation with football. I was struggling to maintain a good self-esteem because it felt like no matter what I did, nothing was good enough. This verse taught me to keep working, persevere, and in due time, God will lift me up.
What were some ways you persevered through your tough times? How did you not let what other people said about you, affect you? I just kept my head down and tried to outwork everyone around me, I knew that without working hard I would always be average so I just kept working hard. I tried to turn those negative words into motivation to work even harder.
How did you feel when you made the varsity team your senior year? How did you celebrate? It was definitely a relief. It was something I had waited for, for so long. I can’t remember if I celebrated any, but I just kept on my path.
Tell us more about your different experiences you have had throughout high school. What was one high and one low you remember? Definitely a high in my high school career was beating our arch rivals, Colleyville Heritage, senior year. The pure joy around everyone on our team was unbelievable. That’s something I’ll never forget. On the other hand, my all-time low was finding out I made JV my junior year. I was right on the border of making varsity and to look at the roster and not seeing my name was devastating.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? DO NOT QUIT!!! It may be hard but it’s 100% worth it in the end.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? I’m going to ASU for sports journalism, so I see myself covering the Cardinals or Diamondbacks. My goal is to eventually be on ESPN. What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? That no matter how many people told me I was trash, instead of giving up, I worked harder.
How do you keep yourself organized with everything you have on your plate? I just try and manage my free time as best I can. Keeping reminders in my phone have helped me a lot (especially with remembering homework)
What is your favorite activity or pastime that wasn’t in your nomination? I’m definitely a lake guy, so anything at the lake. Wakeboarding, wake surfing, tubing, etc. I also back myself as the best FIFA player I know, so I guess Xbox.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I’m a pretty good FIFA player. But it’s not really hidden because all my friends hear plenty of trash talk.
Who do you find inspiring? For me, I relate to Isiah Thomas a lot. Thomas was picked by the Kings with the last pick in the NBA draft. No one thought he’d be anything special. An undersized, underweight guard could never succeed like he has. But he has proven every doubter wrong overtime by putting in the work and staying the course.
Pizza or Tacos? Soda or Water? Cats or Dogs? Tacos, Dr. Pepper is the best, 100% a dog person
3 Things on your bucket list 1. Skydiving 2. Shark Cage diving 3. Go to a Super Bowl
Anything else you’d like to tell us? Thank y’all for this opportunity!!!
Joe will be featured in Issue 20 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!