Moore’s Jayce Gardner – Character Counts Presented by Eskridge Honda

By Derrick Smith

There are many options available to kids today for who they will look up to as role models. Will it be a college or professional athlete, celebrity, or someone else? The choice was easy for Moore’s Jayce Gardner.

“My dad, Anthony Gardner, played football for the Oklahoma State University Cowboys,” Jayce said. “He has taught me not only the qualities of a great football player, he has also showed me the characteristics of a great man.”

Jayce is a senior and plays running back and linebacker for the school football team. He also is a member of the soccer, wrestling, and track teams. He says that he has been around football since a young age and he fell in love with the sport early on.

“My dad played football at Oklahoma State University and as a kid, I grew up around football,” he said. “I love football because it has given me life long friendships and memories that I’ll carry with me wherever I go. It’s more than a game you play with friends. It’s a family atmosphere and a proving ground for you and your family to work and grow at something your both passionate about.”

While being an athlete requires a lot of work and time, Gardner says that being a character athlete is more than just about the person. “A character athlete is someone who is not only an athlete and leader on the field, but someone who is a leader in the classroom and locker room. They are someone who practices what they preach and they lead by example.”

The key to being the best athlete you can be is not just about what happens on the field, but Jayce says that preparation is just as important. “You have to not only be willing to spend your time in the weight room and on the practice field,” he said. “You also have to be willing to eat right, recover right, and be a good student in the classroom.”

While Jayce has put in the work to get where he is, there are a lot of other people that have played a part in making him who he is. “Everything that I’ve accomplished couldn’t be possible without God and my family,” he stated. “Without them, I have no support system. Not only do they believe in me but they truly have my back and care for me.”