Richmond Hill High School graduate John Johnson just received word that he has been granted an appointment to West Point Military Academy. West Point is widely regarded as one of the finest academies in the country, and the appointed is estimated to be worth half a million dollars.
The application process for West Point is rigorous. Last year, for the class of 2012, 10,838 applied and 1,305 were admitted. During the four-year program, Johnson will not only going to classes, but living in a military environment and receiving intense military training. There is no summer break - just lots of physical fitness training, marching, tactical operations, exercises in the woods and adaptation to the military life. During the school year, Johnson will be busy from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., nonstop, going to classes, military training, physical fitness and athletics. In the summers, he will have specialized and intense military training, with programs and opportunities around the world."I am so honored to receive it," Johnson said of the appointment. "It’s really a testament to all my mentors, like my dad, my coaches and my teachers. Mr. (Charles) Blakewood comes to mind. He taught me a lot about honor on and off the baseball field."
Johnson has been a key player for the RHHS baseball team over the last few years. Among his recent awards for the sport include the 2009 ‘Will to Win’ Award, for playing a hand in getting the Wildcats to the state playoffs, and the Bryan County News Athlete of the Month Award.
In order to be considered for an appointment to West Point, one must receive a recommendation from a senator or congressman.
Congressman Jack Kingston got involved after taking a look at Johnson’s academic and athletic stats. Kingston ended up sending a letter of recommendation to West Point. Most recently, Kingston has contacted the West Point baseball coach to put in a good word for Johnson.
"John is an outstanding young man and should be commended for his dedication; it takes a tremendous amount of hard work to achieve this level of success," said Congressman Kingston.
Johnson said he loves baseball and hopes to join the West Point team, which competes in Division 1 in the Patriot League.
"I’m looking forward to representing Richmond Hill and Bryan County at West Point," Johnson said. "I’m very proud to be from here. So many great things have influenced my life here and I hope to make this community proud."
"It’s great to see his hard work pay off, and I can’t begin to tell you what this appointment means to him," said his father and Bryan County Board of Education District 3 representative Charlie Johnson. "Maybe it stems from being around the military with me being a career military officer, but John is a very patriotic young man. He understands the concept that freedom is not free and thinks a lot of the guys who died for this country. John has eclipsed anything I’ve accomplished in my life, and I have all the respect in the world for him."
In addition to baseball, Johnson has been participating in the Math team, Beta Club, Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) and as an employee at Royal Ace Hardware.