John Michael Pirtle loves to be in the action, to be a leader.
And as a four year starter at quarterback for Stonewall Jackson High School, he is. Wearing #11, he has passed every test and more.
“I want to be the leader, I want to be the example, I want to show how hard I work, I want to put in the time in the off season and in practice. I don't want to let them see me slack off,” said John Michael.
“He can kick, he can play defense, he snaps the ball, he gives us a lot of leeway, and he takes up a lot of positions. It's been a big boon to us for the four years he's been here,” said his football coach Dick Krol.
For the past three seasons, John Michael has played every down, every snap, and every kickoff for the Generals, leading his team into the action.
And in the classroom? He's still calling the shots.
“I don't look to just pass with a C, just pass with a D or whatever it is in high school. I look to get the As and to push myself to be the best student I can be and to plan and prepare for my future.”
John Michael's GPA is around a 4.2.
He's a member of the national honor society and he's ranked second in his class.
“John Michael is the ideal student, you could not ask for a better student. He's diligent, he's a perfectionist, he will not rest until all his effort has been put in, and it's perfect,” said his Virtual Virginia Mentor Aimee Miller.
For his future, he says it's up in the air.
“I've always wanted to go to the University of Virginia, and recently Princeton has come up to my spectrum, they have shown some interest in trying to recruit me, so that's been kind of a lofty goal, but a dream that's just introduced itself. I'd like to get a psychology major and a kinesiology minor to understand how to train your body, and train your mind to do what it needs to,” said John Michael.
For his accomplishments on the field and in the classroom, he is WHSV's Student Athlete of the Week for Sept. 29.