Nooksack Valley boys' track and field coach Robb Myhre relishes Aaron Bosscher's winning experiences, such as the one he enjoyed during the Bedlington Track Meet on Friday, March 21.
"He just has natural ability," Myhre said. "No. 1, Aaron's biggest deal is just believing in himself. He is not one of those kids that comes across and says, 'I'm going to be really competitive, I'm going to be the best player on the basketball court.' You have to talk him into this thing. 'Aaron, you could be really good.'"
Bosscher has displayed his natural athleticism during his nearly two years at Nooksack Valley High, competing in cross country, football, basketball and track and field.
Coaches have seen what he can become. The only trouble they have is making Bosscher believe in his own abilities.
Myhre knows, though, that every time Bosscher enjoys success his confidence grows. The Bedlington Track Meet served as a perfect example.
Bosscher won the high jump, clearing a height of 6-feet. It marked a personal best and stands as the early mark to beat in the Northwest Conference.
"Normally I'm not the most confident person in the world," he said. "I'm never the kind of person to be outgoing. I've always been setback, nervous, shy of everything, but doing sports I became more and more confident."
How Bosscher won the high jump is proof the sophomore's confidence is growing.
He missed at 5-4 twice before clearing it during his third and final attempt. He missed 5-6 twice before finally clearing it. He missed 5-8 twice and then cleared the third time and repeated the process at 5-10 and finally 6-feet.
"Every time he made it on his third attempt," Myhre said. "That says he's not backing down."
Bosscher will be one of a few strong contributors on this year's Nooksack Valley boys' track and field team, and Bosscher's athletic abilities allow him to compete in both the 800 and 1,600, as well as the high jump.
He began track and field in eighth grade and ran cross country as a freshman before deciding to play football this past fall, but he made it clear his true passion is basketball. It's fitting, then, the high jump is the soft-spoken sophomore's favorite event.
"High jump is my priority," he said. "That's what I came into track trying to do. Distance, I guess, is to get into shape for jumping, but high jump helps me with basketball and all that."
It didn't take long for Bosscher to unearth his high jumping potential. When asked when he first recognized he could have success in the event, he gave a brief response: "First meet, eighth grade."
He's carried that success over to the high school ranks and figures to be a serious contender to advance to state and possibly medal, given a jump of 6-feet was good enough for a fourth-place finish at last year's Class 1A State Championships.
But a lot of Bosscher's development and postseason success will boil down to his ability to evolve his technique as the season wears on.
"If you get a good technique, you could jump a foot lower than the best jumper, but if he doesn't have a good technique, you're going to be winning every event, because in every event technique comes in big when you get to the higher heights," Bosscher said.
On the track side, Bosscher aspires to run the 1,600 in under five minutes. So far his personal best is a 5-minute, 1.68-second mile he ran during last season.
While Bosscher might not be glowing with confidence quite yet, Myhre believes his athlete will soon develop that competitive drive. And when he does, there's no telling what his ceiling could be.
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.