Atmosphere makes BHS special to Tittle
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.
There are many different activities for students to participate in during those four years of high school, but for Belgreen’s Jake Tittle, high school has centered around one very important thing – basketball.
The 18-year-old senior has played basketball for as long as he can remember and has been a part of the school’s basketball team since the ninth grade.
“Playing basketball is just something I love to do,” he said. “I’m pretty competitive so I like that aspect of the game but I also enjoy getting to be around my teammates and my coach. We’re all just like one big family.”
Since BHS doesn’t have a football team, basketball is the main event – a fact that Tittle said has made playing on the team even more enjoyable.
“Basketball is a big deal here and that’s something I’ve always loved about Belgreen,” he said. “Everybody always comes to the games and there’s so much school spirit. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of that.”
Tittle’s basketball games are also a time for family. He said his family – including his parents, Ray and Leeann Tittle; his sister, Whitney Sanders; and his grandparents, Pearly Tittle and Gene and Jane Devaney – comes to support him at every game.
“Besides just loving to play, basketball gives me a sense of accomplishment,” he said. “When I make a good shot or do something else good, I like to know I’ve made my family proud and that they’re there seeing me do well at something I really enjoy.”
And Tittle has definitely had a successful basketball career. Since he has been a part of the team, he has been named to All-County, All-Area twice, All-Fayette tournament twice, and has received the most improved, most chances taken and most rebounds awards.
With such success, it’s little wonder that Tittle is hoping basketball will play some part in his future, either in college or in coaching one day.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet where I want to go to college, but I have it narrowed down to Wallace, Northwest-Shoals Community College or the University of North Alabama,” he said. “I would love to get a basketball scholarship so I could keep playing in college, but we’ll see how that goes.”
Whether he’s on the court or not, Tittle said he was looking forward to the college experience even though there were things about high school he would miss.
“I’m going to miss not seeing my friends every day and not playing basketball with all my teammates that I’m used to playing with,” he said, “but I’m looking forward to meeting new people in college and making new friends. I’m also looking forward to getting one step closer to my career and my future.”
Tittle said he was still trying to make a decision on what exactly that future career would be and whether he wanted to become a physical therapist or a physical education teacher and a coach.
“I’ve had to go to physical therapy before and I know how much it helped me, so I thought that it would be good if I could do that one day and help other people,” he said. “One of my friends is having to go to a physical therapist and I know it’s an important job that really makes a difference so it’s definitely something I’m considering.”
Tittle said he would also love the chance to become a physical education teacher and coach basketball. He said his positive experience with sports has made him want to give other students the chance to have the same kind of experience.
“Coaching would give me the opportunity to still be around the sport but I would also be making a difference in those kids’ lives,” he said. “I know our coach has a great bond with our team and I’d like to be able to have that one day, too.”
Tittle said whether he was a physical therapist or a coach, he hoped to have a job somewhere close to home.
“I’ve liked growing up in Franklin County and living in the country,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll necessarily come back to live in Belgreen, but I definitely want to stay fairly close to home.”
In addition to being an active part of the BHS varsity basketball team, Tittle has also been involved in other clubs and organizations such as Future Business Leaders of America, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Beautification, Senior Scholar’s Bowl, the school’s fishing team and the school’s baseball team.
And if that doesn’t seem like enough for any high school senior to be involved in, Tittle is also active in the youth group at Divine Baptist Church and spent several months helping with the clean-up from the April 27 tornado in Phil Campbell.
“I have a friend that lives there who lost his house to the tornado,” he said. “Seeing something like that happen just changes your whole outlook on life and how in just a second everything can be gone.”
Before he heads off into the real world after graduation this May, Tittle said he plans to spend a lot of time fishing and hanging out with his friends.
“People in the lower grades better enjoy high school while it lasts because time flies and it’s over before you know it. Just make the most of your experience and you won’t have any regrets.”