It's hard filling the shoes of a 6'-7" player. However, that's the task the North Lamar Panthers were left with after Hunter Sartor graduated last year. That's where Jake Stewart comes into the picture.
Jake started emerging as a role player last year during district play. He didn't see a ton of minutes but he did get some meaningful playing time when there was foul trouble or a big lead. This year he is starting for the Varsity squad and making a big impact.
Jake may not score a ton of points for North Lamar. However, with the shooting on the perimeter that's not a necessity for the Panthers. They need him to get rebounds and block shots, something he's showing he's good at doing. Last week during the Paris Holiday Tournament, Jake averaged seven rebounds and almost finished with a double-double in two of the games.
"I've learned to use my size to my advantage," Jake says. "I've learned how to make use of my height and my outside shooting as well."
Outside shooting is something he's not bad at either. Jake will knock down the occassional three-pointer for North Lamar. Stewart credits Coach Garner for teaching him to use his height and to be a leader on the court.
Besides basketball, he also plays football for North Lamar. He's played both since he was in elementary school and he's passionate about both sports. For now, though, it's all about basketball.
"I like how we all get along pretty well, and how we enjoy each others company. We have fun together as a group." - Jake on playing with his current team.
Jake took the long route to get to North Lamar, though. Born in Seattle, Washington, he moved to Arizona when he was three months old. The family stayed there until he was 10 and then they moved to Paris, where he's remained.
Jake loves science - especially biology. He would love to get an academic scholarship to the Air Force Academy or any other Divison One school. He says he loves the idea of becoming a pilot but would settle for engineering as well.
When he's not on the football field or basketball court, Jake can probably be found in front of the TV playing his PS4. He loves to go out with his friends and chill also.