LIBERTY — In the last couple years, if not on the football field, Liberty High School graduate Michael Book could be found working the baseball fields at Capitol Federal Sports Complex or serving up a fruity treat at Smoothie King.
“I was on the football team, three-year start,” Book said. “Also, the Sapphires dance, not the actual team, but they did a halftime show once a year with a couple of the athletes from different sports and I did that for a couple of years.”
Having spent time as a football camp coach, Book also ran track, was a member of National Honor Society and ranked Academic All- State in football multiple years in a row.
“I’m an active member of St. James Catholic Church,” Book added.
Graduating high school with a GPA of 3.94, Book said he is excited to attend Kansas State University, where he will continue playing football for the Wildcats while majoring in a science-based discipline.
“I was in honors biology, honors bio-chem, AP bio and honors Spanish four,” Book said, who is prepared to enter college with seven college credits.
On to his new adventure in Manhattan, Kansas, Book said high school helped prepare him for what the future could bring his way.
“(I’ve learned) to have a mental toughness,” he said. “Throughout sports that helped a lot and also in the classroom because there are a lot of times where it’s so easy to just give up, turn a shoulder and go try and start something new, but putting your head down and really fighting to grow, it’ll teach you a lot about what you can actually do as a person.”
Looking back, Book said his coaches had a lasting impact on his life.
“I really want to highlight Coach (Chad) Frigon, he helped me to be in the position I am today,” the graduating senior said. “He came in with coach (Brian Van Hauen). I don’t know what they saw in me my sophomore year, but they decided to play the 6-foot skinny guy as an outside linebacker and the rest is history.”
Book said he also couldn’t have made it this far without the support of his parents and other coaches through his high school years.
“Also coach (Sheldon Carpenter) and coach (Dan Davies) for track and helping me become the fastest, best athlete I possibly could be.”
For those entering high school, Book said his advice is to enjoy it while it lasts.
“Make the most of your time,” he said. “You’re going to hear it from every senior ever, but the time goes by so incredibly fast. You don’t notice until it’s over.”