GROSSE POINTE WOODS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Track teams usually have some of the largest roster numbers in high school athletics, so impressing your coach can be difficult.
“Trying to memorize 45 names can be tough, and something I recognized about him was his consistency, so James Ware, and it came to me, James Ware is always there,” Grosse Pointe North track coach Ed Lazar said.
James Ware is a senior at Grosse Pointe North and is one of the captains on the track team. His work ethic is contagious and his teammates are better because of it.
“My favorite thing about James is that he does not quit. He never lets up, he’s always on go mode, he’s always ready when you need him, he just goes and goes and goes and doesn’t stop,” junior teammate Darian Stevens said.
“One of our cherished members of our team, a lot of our guys are in the mental state because of where he is, he pushes us to a new level and it works,” junior teammate Gabe Loper added.
James participates in the special education program at North, but not one person treats him any differently. His quiet demeanor is not who he is as an athlete who competes to the highest level he can, and the results have been inspiring to everyone who is around him on the varsity team.
“Our thing is, if you can compete, or even if you can’t, you know what? We’re going to bring you in, we’re going to make sure that you can compete at some form of level because we know that everybody has some form of greatness and it’s all about bringing that out,” Loper added.
“He has earned that position, he’s already scored enough points to get his varsity letter and no gift, no accommodation, he earned every step of it,” Lazar said.
Now James is not only a star on the track, he’s also a star on the gridiron. So much so that he was given the coveted number one jersey to wear against Grosse Pointe South this year and that’s an honor that everyone takes seriously.
“As a team, we did want him to wear the number one jersey, we also wanted him to get in the game a lot and score a bunch of touchdowns just to top off his senior year type of thing. He did get to wear the number one jersey and show everybody who is number one,” Stevens said.
The impact James has had on this team is palpable, and the lessons learned from it will last a whole lot longer than the 100-yard dash.
“Forever. I’ll always cherish that. James has taught me to never complain because he hasn’t said a word. He just goes, he just does it, he’s always with it. One thing I’ve learned from him is don’t complain, just do, and you’ll get better,” Stevens added.
James will continue his education next year, as well as join the football team as a graduate assistant, further cementing his legacy as one of the proudest Norsemen you’ll ever meet.