No one had to tell Forrest Townsend to make the most of his fleeting days in high school.
The Mountain Pointe senior has played on the Pride golf, soccer and baseball teams.
And perhaps his biggest accomplishment was being voted Mountain Pointe’s Homecoming King by his peers this fall.
Townsend hasn’t taken the commitment to any of those ventures lightly, especially his decision to return to the soccer field after a voluntary absence for two years.
“I started playing baseball and soccer about the same time, maybe when I was about 5,” he said. “It seemed like I always had a bat, glove and soccer ball around.”
But after playing soccer through middle school Townsend decided to sit out his freshman and sophomore seasons.
“I was planning to play as a freshman, but I did something to my hip and had to recuperate and after that it just didn’t work out,” he said.
Townsend decided to try out for soccer as a junior and this season was selected by the team as a captain along with boyhood friend, Brandon Hansen.
It wasn’t because he was a star player or scored the most goals on the team.
In fact, most of this season Townsend has played forward behind Hansen and Ricadro Ardon, the Pride’s leading scorers.
“He’s one of those kids that makes high school soccer enjoyable to be around,” Mountain Pointe boys soccer coach Bryan Sabato said. “He was voted as one of our captains by his teammates at the beginning of the year. He probably doesn’t play as much as he’d like, but when you’re playing behind Brandon and Ricardo you kind of expect that.”
But, Sabato said, Townsend is making up for lost time.
“He’s been away from the game for a while,” Sabato added, “but he’s improving technically, and he is such a smart kid that he picks up on things quickly. But more than that he comes up after every practice and shakes your hand and says, ‘thank you,’ so it’s really enjoyable to be out here with him.”
Baseball, Townsend said, has always been his “main” sport even though his father played soccer in Europe and coached him during his early soccer years.
“I wanted to get back to soccer,” Townsend said. “I missed it. Maybe, if soccer had been my main sport I’d have more skills. I never joined a club team, which I regret, but I’ve known Brandon since kindergarten and sometimes we’ll just take a ball to a park and kick it around.”
Golf was another sport that Townsend decided to try in high school along with soccer and baseball.
“Golf was pretty much just a summer sport for me,” he said. “I tried out as a freshman and was on the bubble but didn’t make it. I had been doing some weight training for baseball and decided that I wanted to try golf again.”
Mountain Pointe baseball coach Brandon Buck has worked with Townsend, an outfielder and pitcher, since his freshman season.
“He’s about as good a kid as you’ll come across,” Buck said. “The kids love him, teachers love him and he’s a pretty talented guy. I don’t know many kids that play more than two sports in this day and age. It’s pretty rare and have a social life, too. That’s a pretty big deal.”
Just qualifying for the Homecoming court took as much time and dedication as any sport Townsend plays.
It’s more than a popularity contest.
To make it to the Senior Walk, students are required to have performed community service hours, participate in school activities and have above average grades.
“My grades are good enough, I guess,” Townsend said. “At least I try. But I really enjoy community service.”
He volunteers at the St. Mary’s Food Bank and handles a hammer as well as a bat and golf club.
Townsend is a member of Habitat for Humanity and spends his summers in Mexico building homes for the poor.
“That’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I do it every summer, and I really enjoy that.”
Townsend may not win a Most Valuable Player award in any of his sports, but being voted Homecoming King by his senior classmates may be a bigger award, Sabato said.
“That shows not only his teachers and teammates, but the kids in school really respect him,” Sabato said.