DAGSBORO — Longtime best-of-best friends George Martin and Jared Arlett will not go their separate ways after graduating in late May.
It’s “Anchors Aweigh” for the two 18-year-old Indian River High School seniors, who leave in late June for the United States Naval Academy.
At Annapolis, they plan to tackle academics, athletics and prepare for a subsequent four-year military service commitment.
George, who recently notched his 200th career goal in lacrosse, is hoping to continue his lacrosse career. Jared, a state qualifier in wrestling, hopes to mesh time on the mat with classroom and other academy obligations.
This is believed to be the first time in Indian River High School two were appointed to the Naval Academy in the same year.
“It is an honor to have any young person accepted into any of the military academies, but to have two of them in the same year is incredible,” said IRHS Principal Bennett Murray. “I can’t think of any better young people in that position. Not only are they going there for their academic ability and their dedication to our country but they are going to participate in athletics.”
“It just shows how well-rounded they are. I will tell you I can’t think of two better representatives of Indian River High School that our community I know will be very proud of as well as our country as they go into the military academy,” Mr. Bennett said.
George, who had a 4.0 GPA average through his junior year, is the son of Jessica and Lan Martin.
Jared, like George an Honor Society member, is the son of Lorna and Rob Arlett.
George and Jared were among U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper’s military academy nominees. Sen Carper, while in Selbyville recently, spoke about these extra-special appointments.
“The ones I nominate, when I get the news I try to call … and congratulate the young man or woman – and thank the parents for raising these extraordinary young people. They are so impressive,” Sen. Carper said.
They graduate from Indian River May 31. They leave June 27 for the Naval Academy. Jared will leave a day earlier for a wrestling induction event.
Without further ado, this week’s Persons To Meet: George Martin and Jared Arlett:
Your sports careers at IRHS?
Jared: “I played football all four years; varsity three years. I wrestled for four years varsity, captain my junior and senior year. “This year, my senior year, I decided to play lacrosse.”
George: “I played football all four years, varsity for three years, two years I was captain. I played varsity lacrosse four years, three years as captain. I started wrestling this year just as something to try and better myself. It was rough. I wasn’t great at it, but it was a good thing to challenge myself.”
And academics or other school involvement?
George: Honor Society, LEO club. “I’ve taken three Advanced Placement tests last year and am taking four this year. I have a 4.0 GPA right now. Hopefully that sticks through at the end of this year. Right now, I’m ranked sixth in my class, that was as of last year.”
Jared: Environmental Club, Flag Club (foreign language), LEO Club, Honor Society. “Academics, I think I have a total of five AP classes.”
Talk about your decision to make that eight-year commitment?
Jared: “I’ve known that for a long time since I was very little. I have always known that that is definitely something I wanted to do. And honestly, those eight years might turn into 20 plus. I might stay in. Obviously I have some time to think about it but I might stay in for much longer than the minimum. It’s something I have always wanted to do, not only go to the Naval Academy and come out as an officer but serve the country as a leader. This is an opportunity for me to do that, which I am very excited for.”
George: “My father went to the Naval Academy so I’ve always had an idea of what that would be like. His father before him went to The Citadel. On my mother’s side, there is a ton of military. Military has always been a big part of my family, almost a legacy that I strived to be a part of. When I think of the eight-year commitment, I want to go into aviation. Hopefully I will be in the military much longer than the four years. It wasn’t necessarily the commitment for me because it is something I wanted to do. There was a little while in there where I had a couple smaller schools looking at me for lacrosse, Division I, and a couple of Division III football schools. And I thought it would be a lot of fun to go play, have fun at a school and be like everybody else. But then I realized that is not what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something different.”
Any thoughts about what you want to do after the academy and military service?
George: “If I do go into aeronautical engineering which is what I want to do, I probably will stay with that pathway. If that doesn’t end up happening I feel like I am very personable, so I think business and sales would be a good fit for me. Again, that is something that has also been in our family. Having been exposed to that, I think it would be a good fit. I feel there is a lot of different options out there and even though I am not 100 percent positive right now, the Naval Academy is definitely going to help me find out what is for me.”
Jared: “I really don’t know. I am thinking about majoring in political science. So I really don’t know. If I decide to come out … maybe go into something in the business world, entrepreneur or maybe a JAG which is like a lawyer in the Navy.”
Describe your friendship?
Jared: “We’re very close. I would tell you he is my best friend. He would say the same. It is just something that is really unreal. Since we were little we’ve talked about possibly even individually one of us going to the Naval Academy. As we got closer and closer, it just seemed very unreal. It was something unique, something special. For two kids from one school that is just really cool. And he’s not just some kid I went to school with; he is a really close friend.”
George: “And it’s kind of ironic as Jared said the same thing, it’s awesome and I am really happy for him. I can’t wait to go through this together. I think it is going to help push me, having somebody else there that I know and is so much like me. If he is doing well, if he is having no regrets then that is going to help me sort of keep an idea in the back of my head, ‘I can do this, too.’ It’s definitely going to help with the pride factor. Both of us are so competitive we’re going to be thinking through that, ‘If he can do it, I can do it too,’ because we are alike. That is something I think is going to be advantageous to us both.”
Why are you where you are today?
Jared: “Definitely my family, my friends, my coaches. It’s something brought up when I was little. My grandfather went there. My parents never told me where I was to go. Once I told them that I wanted to go there they decided that they were going to push my goals. They were not going to push their goals onto me. They are helping me achieve what I wanted. The same with my coaches. They realized if I wanted to go to that level I have certain things I need to be able to do. I have to practice at another level. I have to compete at another level. Even this off-season, I have to continue to practice constantly. And I have to give a lot of credit to George. We push each other. We said if we really want to go to the Naval Academy we have to do this, that and the other.”
George: “My mom and my dad. Like I said, my dad having gone has always pushed me. It was definitely never something he pushed on me but he always pushed me to strive to be the very best person I could be. My mother did the same thing. Having grown up with those amazing people in my life, keeping me on the right track has definitely – I would attribute the success to them.”
Last question: In football, Army beat Navy 21-17 last year, the Black Knights’ first conquest of the Midshipmen since 2001. Who’s going to win this year?
George: “I am going to have to say Navy.”
Jared: “It will be Navy. It will. It’s a trend. They go 13 to 14 years straight and then they lose one, then they win another 13 or 14. Then they lose one. That one was last year. So now it is time for another 13 or 14 wins.”
News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at email@example.com