The Ultimate athlete is a student who trains hard and is committed to excellence, on and off the field. Their work ethic, dedication, determination, and mental toughness is what makes these athletes truly exceptional. Each week the Country Herald will support these incredible student-athletes in our series, The Ultimate.
This week’s Ultimate is Tyjaune Stewart, a junior at Kankakee High School. Tyjaune is a three-sport athlete and plays football, basketball and baseball. When described by his football coach, Derek Hart, he said, “Since I got [to Kankakee High] in January, Tyjaune has been a leader on/off the field. He has [shown up to] everything whether it be after school weights or 6 a.m. workouts in the winter. He’s the first guy at every practice and leads by example. He’s everything you want your QB to be!”
Who is your hero in your life?
My uncle Sam Jordan [is my hero].
What do you admire about your uncle?
I admire him [for] what he is doing [with] his life.
When did you first get involved in sports?
I first got involved in sports when I was 5 years old.
Who is your favorite sports athlete and why?
Lebron James and Cam Newton [are my favorite] because of the way the two play their game.
Other than sports, what are some hobbies of yours?
[Some hobbies of mine are] paint balling, gaming, sleeping [and] watching YouTube.
What are your future aspirations after high school?
After high school I want to attend a university and get my masters in sports management and make the NFL.
Would you happen to know what college you would like to attend after high school?
I am open to any college that feels like home to me and shows me they are interested in me.
Tyjaune, what’s your mind set when you are on the field?
I am always calm and can take the pressure in very well.
Have you had any serious injuries? If so, how did you deal with these and overcome the obstacles?
I broke my leg playing football and I had to sit out a whole year. I handled the situation by staying in the gym and grinding.
What’s your favorite sports TV show or movie and why?
My favorite show to watch is Last Chance U, because I can learn from them not to make the mistakes they have done in the past.
Is it difficult for you to balance sports with schoolwork?
No, it isn’t difficult for me to balance sports with schoolwork.
What is a typical day like in the life of Tyjaune?
[I] wake up eat a good breakfast. [Then I] go to weightlifting. Then [I] go to practice. Then it’s time for some recovery time.
How does being an athlete make you a better person?
Being an athlete makes me a better person because I know that there are younger kids looking up to me. I am held to high expectations so there isn’t [any] room for me to mess up at all.
What would you say the role of a sports parent is?
The role of a sports parent is to be there for their children and support and help make big decisions.
Tyjaune, how would your teammates describe you?
[My teammates would say I’m] hardworking, funny, [and] dedicated.
Finally, Tyjaune, what are some words of encouragement you would give a younger athlete?
Don’t cheat yourself and always go 100%. You never know whose watching. [Also] stay focused in the classroom.
Know a local athlete that you believe is The Ultimate? Tell us who you would like spotlighted by completing the form here, at gocorn.org/athlete.
Note: Interviews maybe edited for length and clarity.