Senior Feature: Billy Griffith

Photo provided by Billy Griffith

Photo provided by Billy Griffith

Bo Dalrymple, Managing Editor

Four years of hard work and dedication to the sport of running has culminated in a greatly successful year for RJ Reynolds senior Billy Griffith. Since freshman year, Griffith has been an involved member of the Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track teams, running in all three of the sports seasons offered in high school.

Griffith’s love for running began in middle school when he joined the track team but it took some encouragement from his teacher and later coach, David Wainwright, to join the program at RJR.

“I specifically started cross country because Coach Wainwright was a teacher of mine and he convinced me to join,” Griffith said. “What I love about [running] to commit to it year round is mainly to keep myself fit, but I also enjoy the aspect of being on a team and all working together for a common goal as well as our own individual goals.”

For Griffith, joining the running program at RJR has provided him with a nurturing environment full of teammates and coaches that have enriched his time in high school.

Photo provided by Billy Griffith

“[Running] has impacted my time at Reynolds because it has made me feel like I am a part of something at the school and gives me a feeling of belonging there,” Griffith said. “My favorite part about running is getting to go out everyday and see what’s happening throughout the city on my runs.”

For Coach David Wainwright, coaching Griffith has been a pleasure as he has watched him become a dedicated team leader, who has grown more confident in himself.

“My favorite part about coaching Billy has been watching him challenge himself and then succeed,” Wainwright said. “He takes his commitment seriously– whether it’s running more mileage than he’s ever run, or being patient in returning from injury or setback– and that makes the team better.”

But for Griffith, the best is yet to come; he has enrolled at Appalachian State University where he plans to study for the next four years.

“My plans are to obtain a degree in computer information sciences with a concentration in cyber security,” Griffith said. “I’ve met pieces of that goal by attending classes at Forsyth Tech while I was at Reynolds to get a headstart.”

While he will be greatly missed next year, we can all be confident that Griffith’s lasting legacy will impact future teams within the RJR running program for years to come.

“Billy has carried on the tradition of excellence in RJR running,” Wainwright said. “He learned from great people before him, and has followed in their footsteps – now he will be leaving a legacy of his own for our younger athletes to follow!”