Jon Lanford looks like an average high school sophomore, but there's nothing average about him; Jon's the number-one-ranked fourteen-and-under racquetball player in the country. At the beginning, racquetball was just a hobby.
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"I play racquetball and I just started winning and so, it's just the high rate of success," said Lanford.
"He started hitting with the guys at the Bartley YMCA and he just slowly picked up the game, his momentum picked up," said his father Randy.
His momentum carried on because he took the sport more seriously. Jon spent countless hours improving his game.
"Whatever he sets his mind to and focuses on, he really can hit if out of the park," said the senior Lanford.
"I'm at the YMCA about four times a week for a couple hours," said Jon. "It takes a lot of practice and dedication like anything."
John's success hasn't come alone. Along the way, Jon worked with many coaches to reach his full potential. His coach at the YMCA, Elias Aguirre, said his job is to "help Jon perform better in his sport. He's becoming more competitive. Keep him stronger, keep him from getting injured, and overall make him faster."
There's no doubt Jon's a excellent racquetball player. Besides racquetball, he excels off the court in much more.
"Journalism and the yearbook stuff he loves so much is tremendous," said his father. "He's scored in the top 99 percent nationally in his mathematics side."
"I'm pretty set in what I do," Jon said. "I go to school, I come and do homework, come to the YMCA. It's just a way of life."
Even though he's the best in the nation, he has higher goals. Someday Jon wants to play for the US National Racquetball Team.