This was a busy summer for Mountain View High School’s Justice Summerset. The junior attended five football camps, competed in three Junior Olympic track meets and met with some college coaching staffs. He won a national title, got a jump on some academic work, but most importantly, got to spend some time with his father.
The two traveled nearly 9,000 miles going from various camps and competitions. Needless to say, it was a great bonding experience for father and son.
“Me and him really bonded this summer,” said Robert Summerset, who is also the Mountain Lions offensive coordinator. “We travelled about 8,800 miles.”
The pair had long drives to California, Colorado and a 13-hour haul to Houston. Most of the trips were just Justice and Robert.
“It was just me and him, so we had a chance to talk,” said Justice. “We listened to music. We just bonded that whole time. It was really fun.”
Summerset went to football camps at San Diego State, UCLA, Arizona and Northern Arizona, using the UCLA trip as a chance to visit with the Bruins track and field coaches. A Junior Olympic Track meet in Colorado also let him go to the University of Colorado’s football camp.
The highlight though was a national high jump championship. Summerset won the Boy’s 15-16 Division High Jump title at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Humble, Texas. He won the title with a jump of 2.05 Meters.
“It was definitely great and the competition was really good, so it was nice,” he said of the national championship.
Now his attention is turned back to football and the Mountain Lions’ upcoming season. Summerset has been on the varsity squad since he was a freshman and will now see his role increase even more this season. He will once again start at safety, and is one of four players competing at quarterback.
He has a lot of pressure on him, not only because he is a vital player on the Mountain Lions’ defense, but the added pressure of having his father be one of his coaches.
“He’s definately a lot harder on me than the other players just because his expectations are a little higher,” Justice said. “It challenges to makes me a better player.”
“Its special,” Robert said of coaching his son. “I stayed away from him when he was young so he would learn to love the game. Having him here and having him turn out to be a pretty good athlete is special.”
Justice admits that he and his father can turn football off when they get home.
“We talk about football in the car on the way home, “ Justice explained. “We can leave it here and then when we get home he can be the father.”
According to Robert, it was evident early on that Justice was a good athlete.
“My older brother calls him the ‘golden child’ because he has it all,” Robert explained. “When he was younger we put him in anything and anything we put him in he was good at it.”
Robert also credits his wife and Justice’s personality for helping shape Justice into the hardworking athlete that he is today.
“He’s humble, first things,” Robert said. “I credit my wife for that. Being a high school coach you are away from home a lot. When he was younger he learned what it took to be an athlete and to be good at it, but to also be humble. He knows hard work pays off.”
Right now football is the focus, though high jumping is always on his mind. He knows one of the two will likely be his ticket to college. He may also try his hand at basketball, which Robert believes could be his best sport.
He says the goal is to get back to the playoffs and make a deep run. He knows his leadership skills will be needed, as well as his athleticism. Having a tight bond with his coach can’t hurt either.