Winters Mill High School wrestler Hunter Lowe was named the U.S. Army Impact Player of the Month for January.
Lowe, a junior who predominately competes in the 182-pound weight class, is the first recipient of the award from Carroll County. He was nominated by his coach, who also happens to be his father, John Lowe.
John said his son's enthusiasm for community involvement played a role in the nomination.
"Hunter is a mentor to disadvantaged youth at Cranberry Station Elementary School in Westminster. He served there each week during the fall football season," John wrote in his nomination. "This month, Hunter served in multiple capacities as our program hosted the Maryland State Wrestling Association's ‘Future Champions Series Tournament.' Hunter spent over 14 hours either setting up or breaking down floor mats, scoring tables, and [working] the concession stand."
Hunter's involvement at the Future Champions Series Tournament did not stop there.
While handing out medals, Hunter's confident and respectful manner was on display when the mother of a young wrestler came to argue her son's place in the tournament. Believing there was a mistake with the scoring process, the mother spoke with Hunter, thinking her son actually deserved a gold or silver medal, not the bronze one he'd been given.
"Hunter had to politely explain the rules of scoring and how her son had actually earned a bronze medal. He was courteous, patient, and the family left with the appropriate medal and no hard feelings," John said. "I have a number of coaches in my program, and hardly any of them could have handled those situations so smoothly. The fact that a 16-year-old was able to do so makes it even more impressive."
The manner in which Hunter was able to handle that difficult situation doesn't come as a shock to Scott Tobias, who coached Hunter in freshman and JV football.
"Hunter is a young man with outstanding character. He's upbeat and doesn't show emotion during the highs and lows of a contest," Tobias said. "A complete team player, he is a bright, coachable young man who accepts constructive criticism."
Hunter also isn't afraid to take on new challenges. Last spring, he decided to join Winters Mill's outdoor track team as a runner. Word of Hunter's interest quickly spread to track coach Dan Replogle.
"Most important was how highly [other students] spoke of him and how positive they were about his joining. I found them to be correct," Replogle said. "One of Hunter's greatest attributes was how seamlessly and quickly he fit in with our team. He's very likeable, friendly and quick to smile."
In addition to being a three-sport athlete, Hunter likes to be challenged in the classroom. He's currently enrolled in four AP-level classes this semester and is a member of the National Art Honor Society.
To Tobias, who is also Hunter's engineering teacher, it's his commitment in the classroom that makes him an exemplary example for his peers.
"He is a good student who does not complete assignments ‘just for a grade.' He seems genuinely interested and intrigued by the content of the course. He is a good-natured young man," Tobias said. "Hunter is a true definition of a student-athlete. He maintains a rigorous course load while competing in multiple sports."
Issue 230: February 2017