Sherando’s Whiteside signs with Air Force Academy

Sherando senior Trevor Whiteside, center, signs with Air Force Academy for coross country and track on Tuesday at the Sherando library. His father, Guy, is on the left, and his mother, Terri, on the right. Tommy Keeler Jr./Daily

STEPHENS CITY — Trevor Whiteside has always dreamed of going into the military, and on Tuesday he moved a little closer to that dream.

The Sherando senior signed his letter of intent to run cross country and track and field at the Air Force Academy on Tuesday in the Sherando library. Whitside said the letter isn’t binding. He said it doesn’t mean he’s 100 percent in, but if he goes in then he will be able to run with the cross country and track team.

“It feels great,” Whiteside said. “It’s a great accomplishment. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.”

Whiteside said that his dream was always to go to the Naval Academy, but in July he received some interest from the Air Force and began to consider them as well.

“I want to be a pilot,” Whiteside said. “So it was either going to the Navy and being a pilot, or going to the Air Force and being a pilot. The Air Force they specialize in pilots. They have a lot of spots for pilots. That was one factor that got me thinking about the Air Force instead of the Naval Academy.”

Whiteside said he went on an official visit on Oct. 8-10 and met with the coach, and then he knew that Air Force is where he wanted to be.

He said it’s a good feeling knowing he will be able to run in college.

“I wanted to continue my running career ever since I started competing in track and started getting better, and noticing that I started getting better,” Whiteside said. “That’s when I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Last weekend Whiteside finished 11th in a time of 16:44 in the Group 4A state cross country meet, earning all-state honors and leading the Warriors to a third-place finish as a team.

Whiteside didn’t run cross country until his sophomore year, but quickly found success and has continued to get better.

“He’s a kid that when he came in from the cross country aspect it was kind of new, and every year he kind of learned a little more and he grew a little more,” Sherando cross country coach Jamie McCarty said. “He understood the work that he had to put in, and he became more and more driven. Those are all the qualities that you have to have to be a really good cross county runner, and also make you a really good person. And I think it’s going to make him a really good officer when he’s in the Air Force.”

Whiteside, who has run track in his first three years at Sherando, was second in the Group 4A 800-meter run last spring.

He said that he’s very grateful to his coaches, which include McCarty and Tom Grim and Tim Ritter.

“I couldn’t have done it without my coaches, especially because they’re the ones that pushed me through doing something that I didn’t think I could do,” Whiteside said. “That’s the best thing that a coach could ever do for somebody.”

McCarty said that he isn’t sure what events he would likely do in track, but he has a lot of options because there are a lot of events he is capable of running. He said cross country will be another challenge for Whiteside, but he’s sure he can handle it.

“It will be another adjustment, because you’re jumping up to the five mile race – the 8K distance – and once again it’s going to take a little bit of a transition. And then even 10K when they run championship wise,” McCarty said. “I think he’s going to be fine with that. I think it’s something he’s shown he can handle.

“I’m looking forward to watching his progress. I think he’s going to have a good four years out there.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or