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Gist plans return to family business after college

Editor’s Note: Franklin’s Future is a regular feature spotlighting a high school senior in Franklin County and what they have planned for life after graduation.

Caps have been tossed in the air and diplomas have been given out as the Russellville High School class of 2010 ends their grade school careers and head to the next level.

Recent RHS graduate Jacob Gist, 17, plans to hit the lakes this summer before heading north to Lebanon, Tenn., to play football for the Cumberland University Bulldogs next season.

Jacob Gist

“The plan is to move up there the first of August,” he said. “I’m just ready to see what college life is all about.”

Gist said although football is one of the main reasons he will be attending Cumberland, getting an engineering degree has been deemed as the main priority.

“I love football and I want to play it as much as possible, but I don’t believe it will be the career path for me,” he said. “I hope to come away with a degree in mechanical engineering then come back here and work for the family business.”

Gist’s grandfather and father serve as president and vice-president over the industrial conglomerate G&G Steel in Russellville and he hopes to come back to the business once his college career is over.

“I’d like to be able to perform some of the tasks they do out in the shop,” he said. “I want to build bridges and big machines. It’s something I have always wanted to do. It seems fun and I wouldn’t mind playing with the big toys they have out there.”

In 10 years, Gist sees himself working steadily for the company, while living out in the country on his own piece of land with a wife and kids “maybe,” he said.

Gist describes his perfect day to be “out piddling on the farm, not doing much of nothing, then later that night go out with a girl or hang out with friends while trying to find something to do.”

Gist said he loves hunting, fishing, trap shooting and riding four-wheelers in his spare time and admits to being “creped out” by dolls, spiders and bugs.

Friends describe Gist as “laid back” and “easy going.”

If he could travel to any place in the world, Gist would choose some place tropical because of his passion for the sand and surf.

“Not too hot, not too cold and pretty water, that’s where I’d like to be,” he said.

Gist said the one thing he wants to accomplish some day is to ride a bull.

“I’ve rode calves and even hopped on a mechanical bull, but I have never got up enough courage to get on a real bull,” he said. “That’s something I’d like to do in the future.”

Gist said the biggest thing he will miss about RHS would be football, along with friends and some teachers. If he could change anything about the school it would be some of the strict rules and drama.

“I would definitely get rid of all the drama that goes on in high school, but I know that’s just the way high school is,” he said.

Gist believes it will take a total of four years to get through with college and said he has no idea if he will ultimately end up with the family business one day.

“When I get back from college, I’m just going to go with the flow,” he said. “If something happens to where I have to take over the company, I’ll do my best to keep it going. But I am sure that will be a long-long time from now and I will decide then what I will do.”

For now, Gist said his focus is fun until August then he will share in the excitement as he suits up as a Cumberland Bulldog and hits the gridiron.