Smithson Valley is home to a lot of great athletes, including VYPE San Antonio Preseason Public School Boys Track Athlete of the Year Jeremiah Gilliam, who won the poll with 12,126 of the 20,149 total votes.
"Receiving over 12,000 votes was just an amazing feeling," said Gilliam. "To know that [I have] my community’s support and them cheering along for me is just very special."
Gilliam's junior season included an eighth place finish in the high jump at UIL State.
"Ending my 2018 season at state was more than I ever imagine[d] myself to do," said Gilliam. "The success that went into that outstanding year was just having an amazing, hard-working coaching staff that always pushed me to my very best and was there for me through the entire journey."
"I plan to make it back to state in 2019 by constantly working harder than I ever have before," he continued. "To keep improving my abilities that I have been blessed with, and giving nothing but my best everyday."
Regardless of what happens this season, Gilliam will continue his track career at nearby University of Incarnate Word.
"Committing to UIW has been my favorite part about this whole journey," he said. "I’m excited to be able to compete at the next level and have a fresh new group of athletes to compete with and against. It was a right fit for me because of the community that I was welcomed into. The coaching staff at UIW told me exactly what I wanted to hear and that they would not stop pushing me until I was a national champion."
Another factor in signing with the Cardinals was the proximity to home.
"Staying in South Texas did affect my decision because I wanted to remain close to home, so my fans could come see me compete at the next level, with only a 30 minute drive away," said Gilliam. "I grew up in San Antonio and I just didn’t see myself leaving anytime soon. It’s just a great environment here and there is no better place to compete than UIW."
But, before Gilliam goes on that journey, he knows his time in high school is winding down and wanted to reflect on his career so far.
"My favorite memory as a Ranger is our Ranger Relays that we host because our coach always gives us a speech about how this is our place and we hate giving our medals to other schools," he said. "It’s always a great time to compete with the athletes here and it’s usually when I’m at my best competing because it’s my home turf."
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