Athletes of the Month: Max Frank & Benjamin Stanford
Gig Harbor High School
Max Frank, a senior at Gig Harbor High School, has high aspirations for his life, and it looks like he is off to a great start. As this year’s captain of Gig Harbor’s soccer team, Max has made significant contributions to the varsity team since his sophomore year, including a third-place finish last year at state. But his accomplishments extend far beyond the soccer field.
Max has maintained a cumulative 3.97 GPA and received As in all eight of his AP classes. Last year he was awarded the AP Scholar Award and also placed first at the Washington State Fair photography competition being named the “Choice of the Day.”
His success has not been without challenges. Managing both school and sports meant more than school practices. During much of high school, Max was also on a soccer team which was 45 minutes away, which meant many nights he would not return home from practice until past 10:30pm.
In the fall, Max will attend the University of Washington where he will study biochemistry and microbiology. His goal is to receive his doctorate in pharmacy so that he can enter the field of developmental pharmaceuticals analyzing the crossroads between pharmacy and the genome.
Max shares that he loves many things about soccer—the competition, his teammates, the intricacy of the game and the raw athleticism it requires.
He is also grateful to the lessons the sport has taught him. “Soccer has taught me how to push through adversity as I learned to balance school and sports,” he said. “Soccer has taught me how to lead others and how to rely on them when needed. I have learned how to out-work all others to reach my potential.”
Peninsula High School
Peninsula High School senior Benjamin Stanford is a dedicated athlete and student. His high school years have been filled with a schedule that includes school during the day, football practice after school, followed by soccer practice.
“I would not get home until 9:45pm and still have to shower, do homework and eat dinner,” said Ben. “Keeping my grades up was a struggle but I managed to accomplish an honor roll GPA for all four years and be 100-percent committed to both my football team and soccer team.”
Ben said he enjoys the emotional rollercoaster he endures throughout the season for both of his sports. “At one point, your team would be winning every game and you felt invincible, then one loss at the end of the season could ruin your undefeated streak. Your emotions run high throughout the entire season,” he said. “Whether it’s happiness, sadness, fatigue or confidence, having a strong emotional connection to what you do is evidence of passion. It means you love what do.”
Ben will attend Boise State University in the fall and plans to major in kinesiology with the hope of becoming a physical therapist. “It is the best way to combine my interest in the medical field with my passion for sports,” he said.
A life lesson he has learned by being involved in athletics is accountability. “My coaches held me and all of my teammates accountable in order to strengthen the overall program and help it become more successful,” said Ben. “When the accountability standard is high, you are required to push yourself in every way. It creates an added pressure that motivates you to do your best.”