Athletes of the Month: Austin Garitone & Travis Swallow
Austin Garitone: Coeur d’Alene High School
Austin Garitone, a 17-year-old senior at Coeur d’Alene High School and team captain of the boys’ soccer team, knows that hard work is never done. As a freshman soccer player, he set a goal to play on the U19 Washington East team.
“It was amazing to play in the biggest national tournament of my life in North Carolina. I achieved my goal by staying humble and working hard on and off the field,” Austin said.
“One life lesson I’ve learned from being involved in sports is no matter how hard times get, you can always work to find a way to improve your game,” he said. “Hard work and dedication are key to my constant improvement.”
He continues to play for Washington East and has competed in the regional and national tournaments five years consecutively. He’s also played on the Regional 4 team all in addition to playing striker and center-attacking midfielder for CHS, scoring 11 goals and four assists in the seven games CHS has had so far.
“What I enjoy most about my sport is the connection I have developed with my teammates. I have loved (being captain) and leading my team this season and the bond we have developed,” Austin said.
Next year, he plans to attend college on a soccer scholarship. Seattle University or Cal State Monterey Bay are among his top choices. He’s considering entering the medical or engineering field.
“I am interested in either helping individuals or in building things,” he said. “Either way, I want to improve our society.”
Travis Swallow: Lake City High School
Travis Swallow is a Lake City High School senior and varsity soccer player known for his academic intelligence and sportsmanship.
“He is an outstanding young man who displays integrity and class both on and off the field. His athleticism, soccer, IQ, attitude and coachability is second to none. He’s a great student and fine athlete,” said Coach Alan Rich.
Travis, 17, has a 4.2 GPA and is ranked eighth in his class, and he’s been recognized for his athletic ability.
“My biggest athletic accomplishment was being the first North Idaho kid in a decade to make the Region IV ODP team,” he said. He went on to compete in a tournament at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
He loves the competition and of course the rush that comes after scoring a goal. Travis sees his work on the playing field as preparation for life, a perspective he gained from past coach, Mike Thompson. “He told me that everything in life is a competition from playing soccer to interviewing for a job. It all comes down to who is willing to put in the extra effort.”
He knows the value of that extra effort when he tore both his hip flexors as a freshman. He needed six months of physical therapy, but the hardest part was the psychological aspect. “It took a while for me to be able to play and hit a long ball without worrying about my hips,” he said.
Travis plans on playing soccer in college and studying business in the hopes of working as a stock trader and investor, an industry where his competitive drive will suit him well.