Success is achieved more though courage and perseverance than innate talent, according to a United States Military Academy cadet.
Ben Ferrell '14, who graduated from Maryville High School, spoke at Montgomery Ridge Intermediate, Coulter Grove Intermediate, Maryville Junior High, and Maryville High schools. The cadet, who is on spring break, was making a brief stop in town.
"In eighth grade, I tried out for the track team," said Ferrell, addressing Maryville Junior High School's students. "I wasn't a very good runner, and I wasn't very fast at the time, so I didn't make the team. I also tried out for the soccer team, but I wasn't very good at that, either. I didn't make the A team. I didn't make the B team. I made the C team, and I was pretty much a bench warmer."
He tried out a lot of things at Maryville Middle School. "When I was in eighth grade, I was still figuring stuff out. I had no idea what I wanted to do, which is why I wanted to share my experience with you."
Ferrell continued to try a lot of things as a high-schooler. He played violin in the orchestra, competed on the swimming team, and worked as lifeguard.
The cadet also did fairly well, academically. However, he didn't get all As.
"The service academies look at how hard you work," Ferrell said. "I tried really hard at a lot of things. They saw that I failed at stuff, but I got up and tried other things."