BROOKSVILLE — If Antwan Story had to assign a grade to his prep career so far, it would be an incomplete.
Even with three years of standout work on the gridiron and track behind him, the Nature Coast star believes he has so much more in store in the final month of his senior campaign.
Last season at the state track and field championships in Winter Park, Story pulled his hamstring at the turn in the 200 final, dashing any hopes of medaling in his best event. He ended up finishing in eighth place. He also finished outside medal contention in the 100, crossing the line in fourth.
The disappointment of his performance still lingers and drives him at every practice and meet. His motivation is one of the things that has stood out to his coaches and allowed him to become a Division I college prospect.
Story has committed to Eastern Arizona College, a top-notch junior college, after receiving interest from such universities as Florida State, Boston College and Vanderbilt. Most of those institutions fell by the wayside because of his academic issues, which he has been struggling with since freshman year.
Coach John O’Mera at EAC was immediately impressed by highlight video of Story.
“I met (O’Mera) at a recruiting fair,” Story said. “He said he saw the first two plays of my highlight film, and he was took.”
He’ll continue to run track and play football for the Gila Monsters. Story says Vanderbilt, however, is an option if he can raise his ACT score from 16 to 18 the next time he takes the test on April 10.
His sights right now are still set on April’s retry of the state finals, set again for Winter Park.
His mind-set is totally different this season.
“(Antwan) understands the magnitude of state this time around,” Nature Coast coach Ryan Wilson said. “Last year he might not have been mentally prepared.”
The baby steps are already taking place.
Though the Kiwanis Invitational at Hernando was rained out halfway through the meet Thursday, Story did run the 100, blowing away the field in the opening heat.
The results didn’t officially go in the books because of false starts at the line, but the message was clear: He is ready to set personal bests every time out.
“I’m trying to pick up where I left off last season,” Story said. “It’s definitely in the back of my mind that this is my last shot, and I have to stay focused.”
Derek Lariviere, Times Correspondent