John Roll | Age 17 | Gretna High School
Like many boys, John started playing baseball and football as an elementary school age kid.
At age seven, John began swinging the bat on the baseball diamond and every summer since then has been filled with baseball. For the four years leading up to high school, John was a member of the Marick Gators select team. Each fall, he would take a position on the football field, first playing flag football and eventually moving up to tackle in a Gretna football league. In middle school he played for his school team.
Youth sports served John well when he made it to high school. At Gretna High School, John is a member of the football and baseball teams and also competes in powerlifting. As a member of the baseball team, John played two years on the junior varsity squad helping them win the championship his freshman year. As a junior, he played on the varsity team and lettered last season.
As a football player, John has the uncommon position of playing on both sides of the ball, taking up both offensive and defensive spots. He has been a backup quarterback and a receiver and now plays both as an outside linebacker and offensive guard. John is happy to volunteer to play in positions where the team needs him most. As a junior, John made the All-Conference Academic team and this fall was the senior captain of the team.
Weightlifting was a sport John originally picked up to increase his size and his success on the football field. During his sophomore year, he began really concentrating on his weightlifting and it was his trainer that suggested he compete in powerlifting. John entered the state powerlifting competition his junior year and took first place in the 198 pound weight class. With that victory, he also set a Gretna High School school record for powerlifting.
When John isn’t keeping busy with football, powerlifting, or baseball, he also plays intramural basketball for Gretna High School, winning the championship last year. He returns to his football roots when he referees youth flag football for a local league. John also enjoys spending time outdoors and hunting.
Ranked first academically in his class, John strives to do his very best with his studies. He is vice president of the senior class and a member of the National Honor Society.
John has high aspirations after high school — he is seeking a nomination to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He and his family will not know until January, when appointments are revealed, if he will be headed to New York. John is the son of John and Teresa Roll of Gretna, and has three siblings: Emily (19), Joe (10), and Dan (8).