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N&O scholar-athletes: Bengal baseball star was inspired by English teacher

Fuquay-Varina's Andrew Smith (7) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a run during Harnett Central's first round playoff game at Fuquay-Varina on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Fuquay-Varina won the game 6-5.
Fuquay-Varina's Andrew Smith (7) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a run during Harnett Central's first round playoff game at Fuquay-Varina on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Fuquay-Varina won the game 6-5. newsobserver.com

Andrew Smith

Fuquay-Varina High, Sr.

GPA: 4.9.

College: N.C. State.

Memorial Day plans: I went to the beach with family and friends. I plan to relax and enjoy the last few days before my last days of high school as well as get prepared for regionals in baseball.

Favorite course: AP Statistics.

World problem: People get so consumed with doing things that they forget why they’re doing them and about the people that helped get them there. People should love what they do, including their job, and they should make sure they do not neglect spending time with their family and friends.

I was fascinated to learn: About the criminal justice system.

Most inspiring teacher: Mrs. Nicole Willis, 11th grade AP English. She had a passion for teaching like no other. She was able to explain connections in the books well and she took time to get to know each student. She always encouraged us to think, and to not take what is said to automatically be true.

Impactful book: Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton. Josh Hamilton’s story warned me of the dangers of drugs, but it also made me understand that there is hope for all of us if we persevere.

Hard to believe that we used to: Travel everywhere on foot or on horseback.

Who epitomizes a good American? Chris Kyle, the American Sniper. He sacrificed his life for this country and he died trying to help military personnel readjust to life out of a war zone.

Favorite charity: Stop Hunger Now. Through this charity you can make meals that will be sent to impoverished areas across the world.

Is there life on another planet?: I do not believe so, although it would be cool if there was.

Best movie: “Moneyball.”

Inspirational life: Josh Hamilton. Not only because of his story but because of his incredible athletic ability.

Ideal guest list: Jesus – because he could answer every question; Hitler – what made him think he was right and how he was able to get so many people to follow him; Chipper Jones – my favorite baseball player when I was younger.

Something that would surprise people: I enjoy cutting grass. I can just be to myself for a little, relax and think... get rid of the baseball tan line.

I wish I had been there for: The resurrection of Jesus. How crazy would it be to see someone be raised from the dead?

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