|Harris receives inspiration from parents|
|Tyler Clifton | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
January 22, 2004 -- Hutton Harris doesn't have much free time these days.
The Sulphur Springs senior is doing his best to juggle academics, athletics and numerous other school activities.
Harris is a member of the SSHS basketball and golf teams and has been on the student council for three years. He's also in the Chess Club, Spanish Club and has been vice president of the Crime Stoppers Board for two years.
Right now, the 17-year-old is doing his best to help the Wildcat basketball team stay in the thick of the District 11-4A race.
Harris has been out of basketball for three years, but the desire to come back got the best of him. When he's not on the court or with his SSHS teammates on the golf course, Harris could probably be found behind a camera working for Wildcat TV. He plans to major in broadcast journalism once his high school days are over, but for now, he's focused on helping the Wildcats advance to the playoffs.
Harris might not play as significant a role as some of his teammates, but his importance goes above and beyond points and rebounds. He knows he's behind the eight ball having not played for so long, but Harris said he'll do whatever it takes to help the team succeed.
"I thank Coach (Steve) Glover for letting me be on the team," Harris said. "There's a lot of camaraderie with this group, and my teammates are fun to be around.
"What I might lack in experience, I make up for with attitude, and I try to build people up and not put them down. I try to be the first one on the court to give the guys moral support."
Glover said each player has a significant role on the team and that Harris' value is immeasurable. He said his demeanor on and off the court make him a valuable asset.
"He's such a good kid," Glover said. "He represents Sulphur Springs in a lot of areas and is a quality young man.
"Hutton is a team player, very supportive, will always do what he can to help the team win and is consistent in what he does. He's got such positive traits and is a leader in this school."
Harris' drive and determination most likely come from his parents. His mother, Talisa, is a teacher at Sulphur Springs Middle School, and anyone who has a teacher for a parent knows how inspirational it can be. His father, Jeff, is a minister, a man Harris describes as a goal-oriented person and one who is currently living a dream.
The Harris family came to Sulphur Springs 10 years ago, but Jeff has been commuting to Fort Worth the past eight or nine months, where he literally began his own church. It started with the family itself but has now blossomed into 275-300 members.
Harris' father will head west on Saturday nights, with the family either joining him or coming on their own for church the next morning. The family returns for school and work, while Jeff comes home on Thursday evenings. It's got to be a taxing situation for a family.
"It's tough not being able to hang out with my friends on weekends," Harris said. "It has allowed me to meet new people, so I think it will pay off in the long run and bring my family closer together."
Harris said witnessing what his father does gives him the inspiration to set goals for himself.
"Ministry has got to be one of the hardest things to do," Harris said. "It can't be easy having to deal with people that you might not normally interact with.
"My dad is the person I look up to the most, because he's the one who encourages me to give it my all. He's always at my basketball games and golf tournaments (15-year-old brother, Chandler, is also a member of the SSHS golf team), even if it means a two-hour drive. He's such a committed person in a profession that has a certain reputation that goes along with it."
It makes one wonder if being a minister's son brings a reputation with it as well.
"I don't think there's too much added pressure," Harris said. "It's tough at times, because some people expect you to be perfect, and everything seems to get magnified at times. It has its pluses and minuses."
Golf season is just around the corner, so time becomes even more precious for Harris in the upcoming months. One positive is getting the chance to compete alongside his brother, something Harris said he's never been able to do.
"It keeps me on my toes," Harris said. "I try to be an example for him, but at the same time, I look up to him as well, because he's so intelligent in what he does and is showing a lot of potential. He's going to have a successful life in whatever he chooses to do, and I look up to him a lot."
Harris is currently enjoying the time he's getting to spend with his "extended family." After all, it's the main reason he came back to the game.
"We all come from different backgrounds and religions and have spent a lot of time on the road together this season," Harris said. "It really lets you get to know one another, and these guys are fun to mess around with."