Whiz Kid: Fort Lee High's Megan Gimson
A girl who has played four sports during her high school career is known just as much for her schoolwork.
The competitive drive has been described by a number of our Fort Lee Patch Whiz Kids this year, but high school student athlete Megan Gimson may be taking that notion to a new level.
The junior, who plays three sports during the school year, can often be seen with books in her hands, and then moments later can be playing either volleyball, basketball or softball for the Lady Bridgemen.
“Ever since I was younger, I always wanted to do well. I have to do well,” Gimson said confidently of her schoolwork. “It’s just instilled in my brain…it is like messing up in a game, if you could have done better. You just want to do your best and whatever I do, I always try to do my best.”
Megan is often seen working on both school and sports just moments apart. Whether reading in the hallway before a basketball game or studying on the bus ride home, Gimson’s full commitment to being a true “student athlete” has caught the eye of others, including her coach for basketball and softball, Stacie Zafiris.
“She is extremely hard working and dedicated to her academics and athletics,” Zafiris said. “[Megan] could be found before most basketball games sitting and reading or studying. Sometimes she was reading just for her own pleasure and other times she would be working on homework assignments.”
Flipping the switch, Gimson is back on the court or on the softball field to compete athletically. She played two years of soccer before switching to volleyball this past fall in addition to being a varsity member of both the softball and basketball programs since her freshman year.
“She is very focused in school just like she is in softball,” said teammate and senior Brianna Mattessich. “[Megan] is a really hard worker and is really dedicated.”
Even as a junior, Gimson has been viewed as an additional senior captain in some of her sports. In volleyball, she plays outside hitter, which plays an important role in the offense. In basketball, Megan rotates from guard to forward throughout the game and typically defends the opposition’s best player. And in softball, Gimson bats cleanup in the Fort Lee batting order and also mentors freshman pitcher Amanda Maldonado as the team’s full-time catcher.
“[Megan] really proved herself,” Mattessich said of Gimson’s switch to catching a younger pitcher. “She is doing great. We count on her and she is a great catcher.”
Years from now, Megan may be remembered for all that she has done athletically, but the student athlete has a bigger vision for the future. Admitting that she may not play college varsity sports, choosing instead to focus on her education, Gimson says she has wanted to be a psychiatrist someday ever since one day in elementary school.
“I learned how to spell it [in the fifth grade], and that was how it started,” Gimson said of her budding interest. “I am very interested in the chemicals of the brain and chemical balances, diseases and mental illnesses.”
With the same competitive drive that she displays on a daily basis, Megan Gimson may also be able to reach her goal in medicine, just as she has done in three varsity sports at Fort Lee High School. Just keep an eye out for the girl reading a book before a game – she could be the one making a difference in the game a few minutes later, or using her brain to inspect the way you think a few years from now.
Editor's Note: Know a great kid who made Eagle Scout or did your local soccer team take the championship? They may be our next Patch Whiz Kid honoree. Each week, Fort Lee Patch will seek suggestions from readers for individual kids, youth groups, teens and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and select one each week as the Patch Whiz Kid. Submit your nomination in our comment box below or e-mail the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include all of the following information:
● Nominator's Name
● Nominator's E-Mail
● Whiz Kid's Name
● Whiz Kid's Age
● Whiz Kid's School
● Whiz Kid's Accomplishment
● Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness (what made him/her successful?)
If your nominee is selected, we'll contact you and assign a photographer to take a photo. For questions, e-mail email@example.com