The Heath High School senior said he’s been playing soccer since he was 2 or 3 years old. His involvement in the sport has taken him around the United States and even to England, where he played for the 2010 SuperClubs National Team.
But what Emmons enjoys most about soccer and tennis, he said, is the sense of camaraderie that comes from being part of a team. He tries to carry the ethic of teamwork with him even when he’s off the field.
“You’ve got to build friendships. You’ve got to have people there that you know you can pass to,” he said.
Jonathan Emmons, son of Mark and Pam Emmons, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees whom guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners. The Teen of the Year is eligible for a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University or a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun, if the student selects another college to attend.
Heath instructor Sheri Davis described Emmons as both a fierce competitor and a selfless team player.
“His focus is not on, ‘What have you done for me today?’ but rather on, ‘What can I do to help you, and can I start now?’” she wrote.
Emmons gives generously of his time, volunteering for the Telethon of Stars, the Starfish Orphan Ministry, and other community service organizations.
He’s also taken on the position of senior editor for the 2012-13 school yearbook, a task that involves hours upon hours of work, Davis said.
Expectations for the yearbook are particularly high this year, as it will be Heath’s last. Emmons said he hopes to leave behind a nice-looking yearbook for Heath alumni to enjoy, but the project can be daunting at times.
“It’s really hectic,” Emmons said. “It’s hard just to keep everything balanced, especially with my AP classes. There’s a lot of stress involved with that.”
Emmons has done more than manage the stress, though. He ranks first out of 125 students in his senior class, and still finds time to serve as president of the student council. He’s also a member of the academic team and the Future Problem Solvers of America.
Emmons said his concern for his future and the encouragement of his parents motivate him to stay active.
“The more I work, the better the outcome will be,” he said. “I think (that) emanated from my mom and dad.”
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641.