Spartan Spotlight: Senior Joey Acton plans to work his way up the corporate ladder

Under normal circumstances, Joey Acton and the St. Joseph-Ogden baseball team would have traveled to Mahomet to face the Bulldogs in a non-conference varsity baseball game yesterday. Acton would have probably came in to close out the game for the pitching W and the rest of the team would have returned home with a 8-5 win under their belts.

I say probably because the spring sport season is still on hold while the country prepares for the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Time is running out for Acton to throw strikes, pick off batters and pad his personal pitching record with wins in what would be his final year of varsity baseball at SJO.

If you ask, the senior would probably tell you he thinks the mixture of spring and baseball is as good as it gets. Almost no one can argue with that point of view after almost five months of basketball and dreary central Illinois winter weather. But, with the state under a shelter-in-place order and the Illinois High School Association's hold on spring sports, all he can do is wait.

While Acton said his greatest memories at SJO have been on a baseball diamond, he was also three-year veteran golfer and die one tour on gridiron playing football for the Spartans.

Despite not yet taking the field this season, he said he has really enjoyed all of the great moments with his team during all four years of high school baseball.

Fortunately, he did compete in one other varsity sport his senior year. Months before the Coronavirus made the jump from what scientists believe to be a bat species to humans, Acton represented St. Joseph-Ogden playing golf.

Joey's advice to SJO students
"Always stay ahead on homework and stay focused"
Finishing with an 89 at the Oakwood regional tournament, he advanced to the El Paso-Gridley sectional with a shot at advancing to state in the balance. Unfortunately, he did not make the final cut shooting 48 on the front nine and 59 on the back for a final tally of 107 stokes.

With graduation just a few short weeks away, Acton, who has made the Honor Roll all three quarters this year, plans to attend Illinois State University to major in business.

"In ten years I hope to be working my way up the ranks of a corporate sales team for some big business somewhere," said Acton, who lives in St. Joseph with his mom, dad, and younger sister, Alyssa. "I see myself having a wife and a stable job with a beautiful house to come home to."

To be successful in the business world, most people need mentors. When asked to name three people he would like to share a meal and what he want to learn from them, Acton replied with a sports superstar and two of the world's most successful names in business innovation.

"If I could have a meal with three different people, I would choose Kobe Bryant, Elon Musk and Bill Gates," he said. "I would choose Kobe to learn his work ethic. I would choose Elon Musk and Bill Gates to gain knowledge of the business world and what it has to offer."

Given the changes that will happen once America's current battle with the Covid-19 virus is brought under control, there will be a great deal of changes and innovations needed to keep the economy strong. In addition to the virus effect on the business sphere, Action acknowledges other changes to life as we know it.

"I believe this virus will change life in America for the better," he said. "It will teach us to not be selfish, whether it be going out when you aren’t supposed to or not taking every roll of toilet paper at the store so grandpa and grandma can have some."

With the focus on hygiene as a method to avoid a coronavirus infection, Acton thinks that the changes we'll see is a good thing.

"I also believe it will clean up America. Everyone will continue to wash their hands frequently and clean off surfaces that may be touched by many people often. This continued use of cleaning techniques will keep America illness free and healthier as a whole."

While at SJO, Acton was also a member of the Maroon Platoon and Spanish Club.

"I can piece together some Spanish when I really think about it - thanks to Señor Sutton!" he said. "If I could speak languages fluently I would chose Mandarin and Spanish so I could use them to my advantage in the business world."

His favorite class at SJO was trig with math teacher Kiel Duval during his junior year and includes his Spanish teacher Zak Sutton as one of his favorite teachers in high school.

During 3rd grade and 6th grade at St. Joseph Grade School and St. Joseph Middle School, Mrs. Mabry was his favorite teacher before high school.

Acton's hobbies include playing Wiffle ball, video games, and enjoying spending time outdoors.

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