By Kathryn Wheeler, Journal Contributor.
Max Field, a senior on the Friday Harbor High School football team is no stranger to being in transit. Max has spent much of his young life on ferries, buses, and in motion in order to follow his passion of playing football. Growing up on Shaw Island with a deep love of all sports—he is a three season athlete who plays football, basketball, baseball, and golf (when he has time)—he had to find creative ways to play competitively. Beginning in 6th grade, Max would take the ferry after school to Lopez Island in order to play baseball and basketball. With the ferry schedule not accommodating the end of his practice time, he’d find a friend’s house to sleep at and then wake at the crack of dawn to take a 5am ferry back to school on Shaw. When he was finally old enough to play football in 8th grade, his family made the fortuitous move to Friday Harbor in order to be closer to work, school, and football. He has chased the game with unwavering commitment. When asked why, he answered “it’s everything.” “The two hours you’re on the field are two hours you get to focus on being with your buddies and accomplishing a goal you’re all trying to get.” The camaraderie of the game, and a space to be fully present have helped Max through harder moments with his family, and have served as a refuge fully worth all of the hours it takes to reach the field for just those two hours. In his mind, there is no question that it was all worth it. “I think sports have made me more of the person I am today…[they’ve] changed my mindset for the better. I know you’re gonna fail and it’s gonna suck but when you fail you have to just keep pushing.” As for what’s next, Max is looking forward to attending college in the Fall and pursuing a degree in Business and Psychology, a combination that he believes will allow him to understand the “why” behind how people act, which is important to work in business, he expressed. Max thanks all of the people who have helped support his dreams of playing—from the friends who’s houses he frequented to his endlessly supportive parents to his coaches. “I think sports is just one thing that reunites everybody,” he said. As for advice he’d give to other sports-loving Island youngsters, “I would say go for it, you only live once.”