GussStrong Movement Lives On

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GussStrong Movement Lives On

Students gather around Gussler during halftime of a 2013-14 Thomas Worthington basketball game.

Students gather around Gussler during halftime of a 2013-14 Thomas Worthington basketball game.

Bernie Fernandez

Students gather around Gussler during halftime of a 2013-14 Thomas Worthington basketball game.

Bernie Fernandez

Bernie Fernandez

Students gather around Gussler during halftime of a 2013-14 Thomas Worthington basketball game.

Andrew Craig, Editor

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Many students eagerly anticipate their post-high school years. The opportunity to experience independent living and a new town/city is exciting. Every student carries on many things from their high school years, however. Work ethic, interests, and personality top the list of qualities which transfer on to the next level. Alumni of Thomas Worthington High School have the privilege of carrying on one more very important entity: the GussStrong legacy. Entering either college or the workforce challenges nearly every 18 or 19 year old kid. College students face more homework than ever before. Additionally, temptations arise for these newly liberated young adults to squander the opportunity they’ve been given. After all, parents have no way to regulate their child’s behavior in the wee hours of the morning. The path of least resistance for these kids is to ease off the proverbial gas pedal. No one is any longer around to ensure that a child stays in line. Similarly, young workers face a grind unlike they’ve ever seen. In high school, tardiness was punished by a tick mark on a piece of paper and an occasional after-hours detention. In the workforce, this lack of professionalism can lead to a pink slip stating that the offender’s services are no longer required. Regardless of post-secondary choice, the end of adolescence signals a time of greater difficulty for almost all involved.

Enter the lasting words, wisdom, and spirit of Stephen Gussler. “Many complain about the daily grind,” Gussler famously declared in 2011. “I look forward to it.” This same central idea – to embrace life regardless of what is thrown at you – has carried on into college towns across the country thanks to Gussler and former Cardinals. Thanks to social media, following this trend has become easier than ever. GussStrong tributes have popped at a near ice-bucket-challenge rate. Class of 2014 Student Body President Jasmine Singh slides on an “OTS (short for one of Gussler’s favorite mantras: only the strong)” armband before her soccer games at Queens University in New York. Marietta College freshman basketball player Jenna Anderson shared that she sported a GussStrong t-shirt for her first collegiate athletic workout. Kegan Lanter, also of the class of 2014, will suit up for the Otterbein Cardinals in Gussler’s #15 on the baseball diamond this spring. Countless more have dedicated their collegiate pursuits to Gussler’s memory. Group photos at colleges filled with Thomas Worthington alumni, such as Ohio State, Ohio University, and Cincinnati, and Miami, have filled Twitter and Instagram the last couple of years. Casey Keegan has stretched the iconic shirt, and thus the story, as far west as Colorado College.

Obviously, Stephen Gussler was was the heart of the GussStrong movement. Thomas Worthington alumni are its feet.

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