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Eastern senior elected IHSAA student committee president

T.J. Weeks is 1st Comet to serve in role, builds family legacy

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LEADERS - Eastern senior T.J. Weeks (right) and his vice president, Will Retherford from Elwood High School, were elected the leaders of the IHSAA Student Athlete Committee in 2021. Weeks is the first Eastern Comet to serve as president in school history. Coincidentally, his sister, 2018 Eastern grad Maci Weeks, was the first Comet to serve on the committee in general, serving as the vice president in 2018.

GREENTOWN - The Weeks family doesn’t shy away from leadership roles, and now T.J. Weeks is stepping into an unprecedented role for the Indiana High School Athletics Association Student Athletes Committee (SAC).

Weeks’ sister, 2018 Eastern graduate Maci Weeks, was the first Comet to serve on the SAC, and was even the vice president, but her younger brother is trying to one-up her as the committee’s first president from Eastern. It’s all in jest, and Weeks said he was inspired by his sister’s leadership abilities and wanted to follow in her footsteps.

“When I saw everything that she did, she was able to make a basketball game for players with disabilities, and was able to really put our school up into a spotlight that we had never been in before. And then she left, and that kind of went away, and so I wanted to bring things like that back into our school and show that we are still like that,” Weeks said. “It’s been an amazing opportunity. And also, my sister was vice president and I’m president, so it’s a little ‘rubbing it in on her’ as well.”

As a football player, cross country and track runner, Weeks has been a part of the SAC since his junior year, but now in his new role, he’s taking a larger leadership position in setting up meetings, leading the meetings, and making bigger decisions for the committee.

There are a lot of presentations throughout the community the SAC puts on, he said, and now he’s steering the ship. For example, the committee was supposed to put on the 2021 IHSAA Fall Area Principal’s Meeting in September before it was canceled due to COVID-19.

During the IHSAA baseball championships earlier in the year, the entire SAC met to deliberate and elect who would be the next president and vice president for the next year.

“I had to give a speech on why I should be elected. Me and my best friend ran as president and vice president, and we won,” Weeks said. “I said I was going to make a change, and I’m a very vocal leader, and I try my best to help others when I can. And I also said that the kid beside me would be the Scottie Pippen to my Michael Jordan, and I think we’d be pretty good together.”

Weeks and his Pippen, Elwood High School senior Will Retherford, would get the nod from the committee, and their “Last Dance” as high school leaders was underway. Some goals the two have for 2021-22 include:

● All 18 SAC members earn the Champions Together Banner

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● Bring back the Student Leadership Conference

● Create a new sportsmanship PSA

● Attend the National Federation of State High Schools (NFHS) Associations Student Leadership Summit

● Make the state finals fun and smooth as ever before

Though Weeks has plenty he wants to accomplish in his final year of high school, he can’t help but look on to college. He said he wants to enter the medical field, so that is the bigger factor in his college search.

So far, Weeks said he is looking at Purdue, IU, Cedarville University, Taylor University and others, but he isn’t leaning one way or the other just yet.

Weeks is the SAC’s biggest proponent, and said all student athletes should consider joining if they want to improve their leadership skills, look more attractive to colleges, and spend time making a real difference in the classroom and on the playing field.

“I would say just go for it, because these are the people that make your sports. They’re obviously going to work around you and your sports and they will make it so you can be on the committee. They’re going to make it so life is easier and more fun, and when you go to these things you’re going to learn and become a better person because of it,” Weeks said.

He said he’s very grateful for Eastern and the support system the coaches, teachers, students and staff have provided to him and so many others. Weeks will always look back fondly on Eastern as he navigates his life, he said.

But there’s still presidential work to be done. Weeks and Retherford have hit the ground running in 2021 and won’t look back.