Fitzpatrick displays promising qualities in the community


Fitzpatrick plans to attend the University of Wyoming, pursuing teaching education or exercise science. Along with academics, he plans to continue running in college due to his love for track. (Photo courtesy Alicia Ford)

   The Sheridan High School Broncs have been seeing continuous success for the past couple of years, specifically in Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field led by head coach Taylor Kelting. Throughout the journey, many athletes have progressed through the program and grew not only as athletes but as people. One that excels in these qualities is Senior Nathan Fitzpatrick. 

   Fitzpatrick was born and raised in Sheridan, Wyo. and has developed a love for the outdoors. Fitzpatrick finds joy in being outside, among the fresh air and various wildlife. “I just love being outside, swimming, biking, hiking, and hanging out with friends,” said Fitzpatrick. 

   Around the halls and the community, he is always seen walking with classmates and teammates enjoying his time spent with those close to him.  At school, Fitzpatrick is always expressing himself in a way that brightens the days of those around him. Within the community, Fitzpatrick volunteers with the Youth Group at First Prebyterian Church and helps out at the annual Christmas Stroll in Sheridan. In the past summer, they helped remodel houses in the small town of Story, Wyo. just south of Sheridan.

   Although Fitzpatrick competed in sports like football, soccer, and baseball in Junior High School, he has developed a love for track. Fitzpatrick has fixed his mindset to focus on Indoor and Outdoor Track and plans to continue running in college. Within the track and field program, Fitzpatrick competes as part of the middle distance group. Fitzpatrick is involved in the 200-, 400-, 800-, and 4×400-meter relay races, excelling especially in the 400-meter run. Fitzpatrick would like to continue his competitive nature with running in colleges like the University of Wyoming or Black Hills State University. On the educational side of schooling, Fitzpatrick would like to pursue teaching education or exercise science. 

   At the beginning of each track season coaches decide on a team motto. For example, last year’s Outdoor Track and Field motto was “strive to be better,” which was printed on a team wristband given to participants. This year Kelting chose the team’s motto to be “JUST.LIVE” influenced by NFL quarterback Alex Smith. A video was shown to the athletes of Smith talking about how he got through his devastating leg injury and his process of getting back onto the field. Kelting urges athletes to “let go of the stress” and do what the motto says: just live. Fitzpatrick views this motto as a way to be free saying, “Don’t overthink things and don’t get in your own head,” said Fitzpatrick. “Why not try as hard as you can.”   

   Fitzpatrick has been raised in a family of seven and feels his biggest life inspiration is his father Howie Fitzpatrick, who serves as a city police officer and the Sheridan Junior High School’s resource officer. “Just the way he treats people and how hard he works,” is why he admires his father, said Fitzpatrick. From the athletic perspective, his older brother, Brandon, inspires him on the track. Brandon has now graduated, but Nathan remembers him as someone who “never let anyone get in his head or work harder than him,” as well as always giving his best effort when faced with a challenge. 

   Head coach Taylor Kelting enjoys the presence of Fitzpatrick on and off the track. “He has phenomenal leadership, it’s almost like having an assistant coach out there,” said Kelting. Fitzpatrick coaches his teammates throughout practice along with giving the team speeches before practice and meets reminding athletes to go out and compete. “He is a tremendous teammate; he is always pushing his teammates,” said Kelting. Fitzpatrick has been battling a lower back injury from track, yet he still pushes himself while encouraging others to compete at their highest level. Kelting feels that Fitzpatrick brings a lot to the table. Kelting praises “the way he lives his days and how great of a role model he is,” while “he represents a good student, good athlete, and a good person,” said Kelting. Many feel that way as he is a well-beloved student-athlete and family member. “Fitzpatrick is driven, resilient, and pleasant,” yet, Kelting said Fitzpatrick’s best quality is his ability to be resilient, he has been through a ton in his life yet he still keeps going.” Fitzpatrick will be missed by his fellow teammates and classmates as well as his coaches as he progresses into the next chapter of his life.

   Nathan Fitzpatrick is the son of Howie and Sandy Fitzpatrick.