There is more to Jason Merritts than the bright, friendly smile you see in the breezeway. As many know, Jason is a captain and a key player for Central’s football team. Not only is he fully committed to football, but he is also devoted to his faith, his family, and his good character.
When Jason was younger, he and his brother moved here from South Carolina to live with his aunt. Family means everything to him. He describes his “auntie” as his source of strength. “She has done everything for me. She has shown me and my brother nothing but unconditional love.” He shared the acronym “Forget about me, I love you,” spelling “Family.”
Jason values every aspect of life and tries to make the best of every situation. “I try to keep a positive attitude because you never know when God is going to call your name,” Jason tells us. Jason is a follower of Christ and strongly believes in the work of God and fulfilling the purpose that he was given. One of the ways Jason does this is through serving others. He enjoys helping the less fortunate and serving his community.
By using his values to his advantage, Jason excels in the classroom and on the football field. Jason maintains a high GPA and is a leader on the football field. He describes being a leader as being “a man of action, not words.” When asked who taught him these skills, his answer was his mentor, Coach Rosser. “He held me accountable for my actions, grades, and my personal growth.” Not only does Coach Rosser guide Jason on the field, he also guides him through life. Jason explains, “He’s taught me that it’s bigger than football because football isn’t forever”.
Merritts says that being chosen by his peers as Mr. CHS is truly humbling and has made him realize that nothing goes unnoticed. Before graduating, Jason wants all upcoming to students to know one thing: “Give everything you got, and live fearlessly”.
If you know Taylor Ackermann, you know that she is guaranteed to brighten your day. Taylor emphasizes the importance of kindness, honesty, and determination. Taylor is truly one of a kind.
Ackermann is an exceptional honors student. Like Jason, Taylor balances being a student athlete very well. Her GPA is currently a 4.1 and her newest ACT score is a whopping 30! “Self-discipline is not something that just comes with life. It is something you have to decide to chase after yourself.” Taylor tells us how often she has to make the decision to do her homework rather than going out with friends. “If you want to be successful, it’s completely up to you,” says Taylor.
Being a cheerleading captain comes with responsibilities that are sometimes hard to manage. Taylor must help make decisions, plan events and dates, and help her teammates perfect their craft. “I love the girls. It’s nice to know that I have a team behind me that will always have my back. It’s been amazing watching them grow over my past three years on the squad.”
Kind and honest are two words that many would use to describe Ackermann. Her peers describe he as “a light” and “welcoming.” Taylor believes that lies are what destroy relationships and our society as a whole. She tells us that everyone deserves a chance to know the truth.
Kindness is an understatement when it comes to Taylor. She makes an effort to let everyone know that they are wanted and loved. “I wish everybody at Central knew that they have a purpose here. But sadly, not all students feel that way. The more kindness we spread, the more positive our school’s environment will be.”
Taylor describes being chosen for this superlative as humbling. She is also happy to know that a large number of her peers have noticed her kindness and positive attitude. “It’s truly an honor and I will never forget this moment.”