Northwest Christian senior takes part in sports, service and leadership
Dustin Inness is a busy young man.
Many student athletes may not have much free time, especially when they play multiple sports, as Inness does. The Northwest Christian senior plays football, baseball and basketball, which all keep him occupied. But he also is his school’s student body president. And the vice president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club. And he helps with service projects and charities. And he has a 4.45 GPA. And he sings in a choir. And he is leader in a group called WyldLife.
His parents both work at his school, a K-through-12 school in Phoenix. His mom, Doris, is a media tech and yearbook teacher, while his Dad, David, is the athletic director and the varsity football coach.
“I guess I just got really involved with my school from my parents working there,” Inness said. “When I was young, I was just stuck there all the time, so I really got involved with the school and got to love it. Opportunities came. I started doing student council, and then with that comes a lot of this service stuff like J.B. Sutton and helping out with those families and those schools. I liked student council a lot, so I just kept doing it.”
J.B. Sutton is a school-wide initiative that helps five other schools with food drives and food-packing. It’s named for J.B. Sutton Elementary in Phoenix’s Isaac School District, the district that contains the five schools that the initiative helps. In Inness’ role as student body president, he’s tasked with overseeing the J.B. Sutton program. They also provide toys to those other schools around Christmas time.
Inness is also involved with an organization called Andre House, which provides food, clothing, supplies and services to homeless people. He volunteers there in Phoenix, but also coordinated a drive for the organization through his school’s “Hoopcoming,” a basketball game wherein food and clothing donations were accepted as admission.
“My mom just took me [to Andre House] and I loved it,” he said. “It’s crazy — when you drive in, there’s so many homeless people, I’ve never seen anything like it before. There’s like barely anywhere to drive on the street, there’s just so many people around there. … It was eye-opening. So I just kept going back.”
He’s a leader in an organization called WyldLife — the middle school segment of YoungLife — a faith-based organization that reaches adolescents and students through activities, meetings and camps. Inness attended WyldLife camps himself, and eventually came to be a leader there when he grew older.
As far as sports are concerned, Inness plays H-back on offense and safety in football, has played both guard and big man in basketball and plays left field in baseball. He hopes to get a scholarship to play college football when he’s done with high school, and explained that his involvement and interest in sports in particular came from his dad coaching him his whole life.
“He teaches me a lot, just about character and how to play the game the right way in each sport,” Inness said.
Of course, doing so many things creates a conflict in scheduling sometimes. Inness manages that the best he can. For example, FCA meets on Monday nights at 7 p.m. and he has basketball that night from 5 to 7.
“It gets tough sometimes and schedules always conflict, but I just try and get there and I’ll just put my homework — do that later at night, because that’s the thing you can move.”