Not many kids have the mindframe that Hamilton's Bryce Wilson and Andy Bird are blessed with. They are extremely dedicated to their craft and love each and every second of it.
A pair of young track and field stars from Hamilton have been making some noise in their young careers. Bryce Wilson and Andy Bird eat, sleep and breathe the sport they love, pushing each other every day to get better and succeed. What makes it so special for them is the brotherly bond of two best friends.
Andy Bird: "Not a whole lot of kids want to do track and me and Bryce have always wanted to be good at track especially him this year and especially me in the last couple of years."
Bryce Wilson: "It's extremely cool. It seems like we're the best there is around here, you know? We've been competing good and getting those wins for our school. We got to all these tracks meets together, it's a one-two punch."
A perfect way to put it. The dynamic duo has been remarkable this summer. Wilson, only entering his eight grade year at Hamilton needs to buy a bookcase to start collecting his medals. Both will be on their way to the AAU Junior Olympics in Des Moines at the end of the month. Wilson will compete in the 100 and 200 meter dash along with the long jump. Bird, entering his freshman season, earned his way through the shot-put.
Wilson: "I want to see how good this competition is. Because you know what, there's going to be a lot of kids like me who are real fast. And it's going to be fun to run against them. It's a great feeling to be beating all these older guys. Being 1A, a little small school and beating all these older guys."
Bird: "Right now, me and Bryce are working on a lot of form. Getting our form down and keeping it that way. Like, with me in shot-put I have to spin, I have to work on my footwork, where my feet land, how I release it. With Bryce, he always struggles with the blocks and he's getting a lot better at it. So right now up until then, up until about a week left we're working real hard on form, staying in shape and getting in the weightroom."
Wilson: "In the afternoon we do two miles and sprint workouts and he does a little bit of a shot. We help each other out, tell each other what we're doing wrong and in the afternoon we go out and run two miles together at the end of the day. Six miles a day."
Bird: "I want to set an example for other kids because you don't see a lot of other kids in the weightroom. You see a lot of high schoolers that are already in high school, juniors or sophomores. But you don't see a lot of eighth graders. There's only like three or four of us that go there consistently. Bryce is out here everyday working with me or without me whenever I can be there. He's running extra, he's doing extra stuff to make sure he's prepared for high school and for this Junior Olympics in Des Moines."
Both have lofty expectations for Des Moines as well as their future. And at the top of that list, making their parents and community proud of all their hard work.
Bird: "It's a good feeling when you win a track meet or you get second and do really good to know that you're wearing the Hamilton singlet, jersey and that you represented your school well."
Wilson: "My parents are always going to my meets and stuff, My grandparents, Randy and Mona, they always go to my stuff. My Aunt, she always cheers me on. My cousin, Dalton Hayes, they are always there for me."
Bird: "We just feed off each other in a way that when one person succeeds we want to succeed with them. When we go back to say from DeKalb to Hamilton, we can say we it. And we continue our hardwork for the Junior Olympics and for his upcoming eighth grade track year and my freshman year."
Wilson: "We're just going to act like it's one of these track meets. We're all alone, just worry about ourselves and worry about how good we can do."