WO-S senior: learning from Reggie Garrett, Jr.
By Jordan Darnall
West Orange-Stark senior
For The Record
Reggie “Clutch” Garrett cannot be described by simple words on paper. The impressions he made on everybody he met will last a lifetime. For those of you that didn’t get the wonderful opportunity to know him as I did, I hope this helps you realize how incredible of a human being he truly was.
The future…it was our favorite topic of conversation that arose daily. We talked about how we bettered ourselves to accomplish our goals that ensured a lively future. It always seemed to me that he lived as if he knew his life would be shortened. He lived by his motto of giving 112%. There was no such thing as a off day for him.
On occasions, Reggie was asked why he called himself, “Clutch.” He said it wasn’t really as much about football as it was with small random things. The example he gave was balling up his empty paper bag from the donut store and shooting it across the room to make it into the trash can. I can’t count how many times I saw him do this. Those were his “clutch” moments that I will miss dearly. He left on an amazing note by throwing a perfect touchdown to Mark Roberts, ironically from the 12-yard line. That’s “clutch.”
One day this past summer, I spent the entire day with Reggie. We got fast food for every meal, but he refused to have a drink from any of the restaurants. Instead, we went to the nearest gas station that had Snapple. After he took a picture with a Snapple bottle and posted it on his facebook, I told him that I could help make him the face of Snapple. We planned to buy cases of the drink, have a photo shoot, and send the pictures to the company. He didn’t need my help, however. He has quickly become the reason why it is hard to come across a bottle of “Mango Madness” in Orange County.
Reggie was well-known for his creativity, stunning artistic abilities, and head-thumping word play. There were so many times when he would be talking to me and I’d sit and listen in awe as he came up with his own way to say things, which would catch on around the school within a week. It was obvious how much of an influence he was to his peers.
Going into the Monday after Reggie’s passing, I thought showing up to school and sitting next to an empty desk in many of my classes would be the hardest thing I had ever done. I was so wrong. Everybody showed up to be there for each other. It was the most powerful and loving scene I have ever witnessed.
One girl that spoke with a counselor was quoted to have said that she knew that she was not very pretty and she was not popular, but that Reggie had always spoken to her with soft, kind words, just as he would to any other person. He seemed to see people through the eyes of God. He never once said a negative word about another person. Therefore, he had absolutely no enemies away from the football field.
The senior English class was required to write an “About Me” essay in third person in ten sentences at the beginning of school.
This is what Reggie wrote:
“There he is, Reggie Garrett, strolling down the hall reeking of senior swagger as he peers past us seemingly invisible freshmen. I see and hear his name every time I turn around! He is our varsity quarterback, he is also well known around our community. Eldered fans cheer for him Friday nights and everyone seems to love him. Everyone but me, I might add. It is not that I do not like him, he is just not as impressive as everyone thinks. Sure, he is a handsome guy, but what does he have that I do not? Now here he is, he has turned around along with the angles of my classmate’s necks. He comes politely to me and asks of yesterday’s football practice.
Apparently he has noticed me on my freshmen football team, and is impressed with how I play. Maybe Reggie is deserving of his position in this life. He always seems to have a positive outlook when he speaks. It seems like he carefully chooses his words to assure himself that what he pronounces carries a clear message. I think I may be able to learn something from that guy one day after all.”