While looking around in the family shed, Josh Garner found a tennis racket and ball and began aimlessly playing against the house. From that first swing of the racket at age 14, Garner has worked to improve his talents good enough to advance to the Class 6A state tournament this spring.
“I started out playing singles in junior high and my first tournament results weren’t anything to cheer about, 13th out of 13 players,” Garner recalled with a laugh. “It has taken a lot of time and hard work including early mornings and late night hours of practice to reach my goals. Even after six hours of practice, hitting four baskets of serves, you can always do better.”
The dedication of Garner allowed the Muskogee High School graduate to pair with Preston Callahan and together earn their spot on the #1 doubles ladder in the state meet while the Roughers #2 duo of Kyran English and Gavin Wynn also advanced to the Class 6A tournament.
“Doubles is much more exciting because it’s fast paced and complex to play,” explained Garner. “You’ve got two guys on the other side of the net playing two different styles forcing you to constantly adjust to their returns and serves. You have to work good together with your partner and communicate. You’re constantly strategizing calling signs on where to serve and if to poach or not.”
In addition to his success on the tennis courts, Josh has been a four-year member of the RougherTV Stream Team that have produced professional quality livestream broadcasts of the Roughers football and basketball games.
“In addition to learning more about the broadcasting industry, I’ve enjoyed the countless memories made on road trips,” said “Joshie Poo”, a nametag given by his Stream Team counterparts. “Friday away games were the highlight of my week.”
Garner graduated Magna Cum Laude from Muskogee posting a 4.289 GPA and ranking number ten in the 2021 senior class. His many honors of achievement include National and Oklahoma Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars and winning first place in Advance Math at the 2020 Muskogee Math and Engineering competition. Garner will begin his college career at Northeastern State University before transferring to the University of Oklahoma to pursue a degree in Engineering, Business or Finance.
Giving credit to his parents for their inspiration for excellence through hard work, Garner’s strives to do the right thing even when no one is watching or will ever know what you did.
“I hope my legacy as a Rougher will be remembered as a positive person and no matter the circumstance was always looking for the good in others and was optimistic about the future.”
Without question, Josh Garner proved by his actions as well as helping others how to win everyday the Muskogee Way by making every day a great day to be a Rougher.