“I’d like to be a role model, the standard for young high schoolers in every way.” SENIOR Jowon Briggs said that was the “something” he wanted the students of WHHS to know about him. Briggs is more than the student we see in the halls.
He stands at 6 feet 2 inches tall and 295 pounds. Including the fact that he is a senior, he looks unapproachable. But Briggs wants to be seen past his exterior.
Since seventh grade, Briggs has been playing football for WHHS. But unlike many players of the game, he did not dream of playing professional or even collegiate football. “I did not see it as a future I wanted to have,” he said.
The University of Virginia had other plans. “The coaching staff is exemplary, and the schooling…” convinced him to change his mind. On June 22, 2018, Briggs committed to the Cavaliers, with a full-tuition football scholarship.
Schools like University of Alabama, University of Michigan, Ohio State University and 13 others also wanted to have the defensive tackle on their team. Many offers were given to him during his junior year.
The scouting process for him was “not overwhelming, but was a lot.”
Briggs’s last high school game was Oct. 26. He felt mixed emotions on the day, comparing it to “the feeling of finishing a book that you put down before satisfaction, with droplets of sadness.”
But beginning next fall, Briggs becomes number 72 on Virginia’s football team: a new step in his life.
“All of the people in my family are artistic. My sisters are all great singers so I just followed suit.””
— SENIOR Jowon Briggs
Briggs has accomplished a lot in football. He ranked in the top 100 recruits in the nation, which led to his achievement of playing in the 2019 Under Armour All American Football game, an honor only given to the elite.
“I love competition, so it’ll be great to go against other players in the country,” he said.
While being a top-notch athlete, Briggs also participates in the WHHS Music Department’s Senior Ensemble and in musical theatre.
For years, he hadn’t been a part of the music program at WHHS. But when the opportunity of Ragtime, the 2017 Senior High Musical, came upon him, he took the chance.
“All of the people in my family are artistic,” he said. “My sisters are all great singers, so I just followed suit.”
Ragtime led to Anthony Nims, Senior Ensemble director, recognizing Briggs’s perfect pitch, the ability to memorize musical notes. Briggs was recruited to the WHHS choir program, and is now a part of Senior Ensemble. His surprising ability led to a discovery of another side to Briggs.
Everyone sees the big tough football player, but in reality, Briggs’s talents and passions go beyond the football field. He is a man with great musical talent, and he wants to be a programmer, hoping to study computer science at the University of Virginia. That future programmer, musician and football player wants to be the epitome of a student for WHHS.