by David Allen
WAKE FOREST — Oftentimes in life you get to run into truly remarkable people. Among the talent pool that is Wake Forest High School, there is an individual who stands out.
Senior Bryce Love is a top-ranked running back at 5 feet, 9-inches, 180 pounds, a track and field star and outstanding academic scholar. He is the epitome of the scholar-athlete, in the spotlight for achievements on and off the field or track. Ask him how it all began, he’ll say it started with his family.
Love grew up surrounded by athletes. “My family has always been a football family,” Love said. “We always played sports, so I felt like it was normal to go out there. I fell in love with it. And since flag football I have been playing ever since.”
He played with his brother, Chris, during Chris’ time at Wake Forest. The two running backs could be seen on the field during games, swapping back and forth as the coaches called plays.
His success hasn’t gone to his head, however. After a game he can be seen smiling and talking to younger players who ask him for tips about how to play football well.
When asked what he says to them, he says he talks about how everything is possible for those who push themselves.
“I grew up here just like them,” Love said. “We could have had the same experiences and even gone to the same schools. I learned to sacrifice for what I love doing.”
Whenever asked about how he plays so well, he is quick to say the whole team makes whatever he does possible. He points out his teammates on the line for blocking or says it is his coaches.
Head coach Reggie Lucas says it’s Bryce’s hard work on and off the field that is key to his success.
“He takes pride in everything he is involved in, and his work ethic in the weight room is exceptional,” Lucas said. “This is what makes him so special.”
According to Lucas, Love is able to bench press 330 pounds, squat 450 pounds and power clean 285 pounds, which he says is great for a running back of Love’s size.
According to Bryce’s teachers, he works just as hard behind a desk as he does under a barbell.
“Bryce is a fun-loving young man with a good sense of humor who doesn’t take himself too seriously,” English teacher Geoff Belcher said. “He has done an excellent job of staying grounded despite the attention he receives. He is a conscientious student and a student who takes his studies seriously.”
Belcher says Bryce’s work ethic from the football field transfers into the classroom, and he takes feedback and puts that information to work.
“He is consistently prepared for class, having completed his outside reading,” Belcher said.
Sports and Entertainment marketing teacher Kristi Walker also noted Bryce’s attention to detail in the classroom.
“I have witnessed Bryce working diligently on college essays the last few weeks,” Walker said. “How many top Division 1 recruits do you know who are spending endless hours working with their English teacher to ensure their college essays are perfect and worthy of entrance on their own?”
Walker said in spite of Bryce’s time in the spotlight, he can be just as nervous as the next high-schooler. She talked about his humility when he joined the DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) chapter, and how he works hard to better himself.
“He always comes to class with a positive attitude and smile,” Walker said. “He strives hard to do his best, asking questions if he is unsure, and he’s engaged in class discussions. I feel he wants to learn for the love of learning, and he is truly interested in bettering himself.”