DAGSBORO – In late June, Indian River High School seniors Jared Arlett and George Martin will ship off to the United States Naval Academy.
Their plans are to punctuate their four-year commitments as Naval Academy appointees with a double dose of academics and athletics.
Jared, a multi-year state tournament qualifier in wrestling, and George, a four-year varsity lacrosse standout, welcome the challenge of Division I athletics.
“I have a long way to go before I am ready to compete. But I think being in a program that is Division I that has got trainers and has a big facility, I think it will definitely get me to where I need to be,” said Jared during a special press conference Thursday morning at IRHS. “I think I have the ability to improve to that level.”
“It’s a big transition but Jared is the kind of kid that will put the work in that is needed to make that transition,” said IRHS wrestling coach Jeff Windish. “Jared worked really hard to get where he is at today, both in the classroom and on the sports fields. He is the kind of kid that epitomizes what a student athlete should be. I am really proud of him to finally have his goal met.”
While there is no guaranteed spot, George believes he can make the grade.
“Right now, it is considered a “preferred walk-on,” so the spot isn’t 100 percent guaranteed,” said George, who played football four years and wrestled his senior year. “But I feel like if I just push myself I think athletically I can hang with those guys. It will be something very big that I am working to accomplish. It is something I would definitely like to hang my hat on but it hasn’t happened yet. So, I just want to keep working until it happens.”
Indian River boys’ lacrosse coach Jim Dietsch, whose 45 years in the sport of include assistant coaching ties to University of Maryland’s Division I championship reign in the mid-1970s, bets it will happen.
“I coached at Maryland back in the 60s and 70s. I coached two national championships. I’ve been doing this for 45 years and there is no doubt in my mind he can play at the level. There is no doubt in my mind. He has got all the skills; his quickness, his speed; how hard he shoots the ball …,” said Coach Dietsch, who credited Dave Spencer, the offensive coach for IRHS boys’ lacrosse. “George has got what I call that ‘vision.’ He gets five goals. He gets five assists. He makes everybody around him better.”
Coach Dietsch said George’s greatest attribute is his ship-shape work ethic.
“How hard he has worked the last three years to get where he is. He religiously is in the weight room, which a lot of lacrosse players don’t like to do. He is always working on his shot. He is just self-motivated,” said Coach Dietsch. “He will be very successful down there. Like I said I’ve been doing this for 45 years and he is one of the top five or six kids I’ve ever worked with. He is what I call a ‘character’ kid. He is unselfish with the ball. He’s a leader. He works hard. He makes everybody around him work hard because he works so hard. He’s the first one in the sprints. He’s the first guy in the weight room; things like that. I am very proud of him: a student/athlete to go the academy. And he’s not just going to college but going to one of the best.”
Jared, who also participated in football four years and currently is playing lacrosse as a senior, was a late bloomer in the sport of wrestling. And his postseasons the past two seasons were impacted by injury and the flu bug.
“I started in seventh grade and didn’t really get serious until 10th grade,” said Jared. “I give all the credit to my coach for that. My improvement rate is something special to me.”
Indian River High School Principal Bennett Murray says the two 18-year-old U.S. Naval Academy appointees truly epitomize IR PRIDE.
“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 Mr. Bennett. “Not only are they going there for their academic ability and their dedication to our country but they are going to participate in athletics. I can’t think of any better young people to be in that position.”
George is the son of Jessica and Lan Martin. Jared’s parents are Lorna and Rob Arlett.
News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org