Sometimes inspiration comes from those closest to us, and the advice that keeps us on course is simple and direct. For St. Augustine native and St. Augustine High School Senior Brooke Reed, older brother Austin provided the former and SAHS Basketball Coach Eric Hancock offered the latter. “My brother Austin is a quarterback at the University of West Florida,” explains Brooke, “and my whole family is very, very sports oriented.” As for Coach Hancock, “He always told me to be confident. In your sport and in your life. That advice kind of changed my perspective and has carried over into every aspect of my life.”
While inspiration and advice are, undeniably, critical components of success, nothing much happens without personal fortitude, drive, and determination. Brooke seems to have those characteristics (and more) in abundance. Here’s the proof – she started playing basketball when she was about 5 years old and took up lacrosse in 4th grade. Fast forward to high school where she is a 4-year Varsity Basketball starter, Senior Year Captain; a 4-year Lacrosse starter, Senior Year Captain; and a Varsity Football Team Manager/Trainer.
But wait! She also participates in the Athletic Leadership Council, the St. Johns County Center for the Performing Arts, and the Peer Pal and Link Crew programs, and is currently or has been previously involved with the Police Athletic League, Acolyte & Altar Service, and a host of other volunteer and community-oriented organizations. Somehow, Brooke also manages to maintain a 4.1 GPA, which exceeds the qualifications for her membership in the National Honor Society.
Keeping a balance between sports and school and a social life that includes friends and family doesn’t seem to present much of a conflict for Brooke. “It’s super busy,” she says, “but I keep school first because that’s the most important. Sports can take you pretty far but school can take you much further. My schedule of homework and practice cuts into my social life but it’s not a huge deal. There’s still time. I have Saturday and Sunday nights to hang out with my friends, but the weekdays are definitely for school and sports.”
College is the next step for Brooke. She thinks she will choose the University of West Florida, although at this point, she is unsure about a course of study. In this time of transition, though, Brooke’s most rewarding moments are easy to identify. “The relationships that I’ve made throughout my life. Every single sport and team I’ve been a part of and the friendships that I’ve made. Everything I’ve learned from my teammates and my coaches. I’ve been pretty blessed with great teammates and great coaches throughout my life.” We’re thinking those blessings are a two-way street.
Photography by Brian Miller