February 21, 2024

The Unathletic

Hello. My name is Jared Larson, known colloquially as “Jar Lar” by friends, and this is my column.

I am not really sure where exactly I will take this in future columns, but it will involve sports. Perhaps commentary on how the two FBS teams in the state are doing or perhaps a story of a past sports event that I found interesting and perhaps you, the reader, would as well.

However, for this first column, I’d like to share some of my (un)athletic history. At 5′10″ currently, 5′11″ on my driver’s license and online, I played hockey for a year in kindergarten, before moving to flag football through the city of Ames until sixth grade.

In seventh and eighth grade football, I was the center on the C team, but also played nose tackle. Additionally in seventh grade, I was quarterback for a kneel down, as I asked my coach and future art teacher Ron Heinen if it was possible.

Following football, I went out for gymnastics, and as the only guy in it, it was unique trying to learn uneven bars, vault and balance beam. Having size 12-13 shoes makes balance beam super tricky.

Anyways, I tried out for basketball in eighth grade and my first lay up attempt went over the backboard and totally wasn’t embarrassing. I did, however, make one 3-point basket during the student teacher game while being closely guarded by Rob Kain, a member of the thousand point club for Wartburg and state champion with Fred Hoiberg in 1991.

The summer of my freshman year is when I hung up the cleats for football, then I became the student manager known as “Hollywood” after getting a haircut. I became remain the manager of Ames High varsity football my sophomore year, while also being a member of the front ensemble and drumline until my graduation in 2015.

However, to fill the athletic void, I joined drill team, due to both an all-male team and wanting to get back into doing physical activity (PE exemption was also nice, even though I still did PE for Peers) and being part of a team environment that would compete for state titles.

Additionally, I managed track and field my freshman year and soccer my senior year. My favorite memory from managing track involves going to a conference track meet that didn’t start until midnight due to severe weather in the area.

After graduation, and after my second year of college, I decided to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft, despite riding the bench on an E team, I wasn’t drafted.

However, I can confidently say I’m a free agent in the NBA.