Toledo High School Senior Grant McEwen drives for a lay-in against Onalaska last week. McEwen was a part of a state championship team two years ago and a squad that finished in sixth place last year.
Second fiddle? Could the local high sports savant accuse Grant McEwen of being a second fiddle in two sports?
Clearly, his impact on two high-achieving Toledo High School teams cannot be ignored.
McEwen has been best known as the ferocious defender, thief and rebounder on the Indian basketball team, but many were surprised to also witness his impact on the THS football team.
Sure the name of Indian football was Taylor Hicks, but McEwen added a receiving element that went for score after score through a season that saw Toledo go all the way to the WIAA state semi-final.
"I never played an organized sport until I moved to Toledo in the fifth grade," McEwen admits. He played each year from that point until his sophomore when he turned a lot of heads with his athleticism and adherence to fundamentals
As a junior, he decided to concentrate on basketball all year, but this last fall his mind returned to the gridiron.
"This football season was one to remember and I am happy that I turned out," he confirmed.
Now it is basketball season and he is looking forward to a deep run for the Indians at the district and state playoffs with long time senior teammates Brent Wood, Forrest Wallace, Donevin Merly, Riley Bowen and Isaiah Johnson.
McEwen decided that basketball deserved more of his attention.
"This summer was my first year of AAU," said McEwen. "I played for Josh Wilson at Roots Academy in Longview. I luckily had the opportunity to travel all over the country this summer. I played in Bellevue, Salem (Ore.), Boise, Las Vegas, and Indiana in a senior showcase representing Washington State."
McEwen says that his hometown has taught him a lot about being a citizen.
"The great thing about playing for Toledo is that you learn a lot of non-basketball things," he said. "[It starts] from learning to put on a tie to showing respect and representing yourself and your town."
Through all the years of basketball, one memory is firmly implanted in his brain.
"My favorite experience playing basketball was down in Kalama when Brent [Wood] hit the game winning buzzer beater to win it," he said.
Of course there is life to consider after high school and McEwen is holding out for some options and this coming basketball season may have a lot to do with the opportunities.
"I'm not a 100% set on what I want to do after high school," he said. "I want to attend a four year university and pursue a degree in teaching and hopefully becoming a coach."
In the meantime, there is a long basketball season for McEwen and a very special group of seniors at Toledo High School.