Darrin Gantt, of the Charlotte Observer wrote a great piece on Panther rookie Trent Guy’s amazing story in Sunday’s paper.
Here is an excerpt:
Elaine Guy wanted two things for her son: To get an education, and to be safe.
That wasn’t always easy growing up in Woodruff Place, a community tucked between Freedom Drive and Beatties Ford Road.
Guy shrugged when asked if he felt safe growing up. Not really a good area, he says, a place where temptation and danger were close enough to be found, if you were looking. He didn’t hear gunshots every night, but he knew they were possible.
“It wasn’t dangerous in that sense,” Elaine Guy says. “But there was always the potential for a young man to go the wrong way.”
That’s why she kept her son’s schedule tightly packed. Football in the fall. Basketball all winter. Track in the spring and summer.
“Trenton didn’t have the opportunity to go wrong,” she says, using the birth name that she still calls her son. “If you don’t have the opportunity to make bad decisions, they’re harder to make.”
The speed was easy to see, but he also had that drive. Sports became a focus, and sports made him focus on his schoolwork.
A broken arm in ninth grade kept him from participating, and his grades dipped below the required 2.0 grade point average he’d need to be eligible.
Hanging around with some friends of questionable intent, Guy was at a track meet when another voice stepped in. The uncle he was named for, Trent Guy Sr., was then the track coach at Harding. His uncle took a microphone and informed the crowd that his nephew was ineligible, and everyone should make a point to ask him why he wasn’t running.
“Trenton got a little off track,” his mother says. “Then his uncle, he shamed Trenton. But he wasn’t going to let that talent go to waste.”
While his father wasn’t always there – his parents split up when he was 4 – his uncle was, as the coach who’d develop his speed and be the mentor he needed.
Soon after, the grades returned, and attention mounted. Bobby Petrino, then the coach at Louisville, came to see West Charlotte cornerback Rod Council and also found this little quick kid named Guy.
Guy committed to Louisville before his official visit. The hope was that stepping away from the neighborhood was the best thing for everyone.
The danger was too close.