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Hard work and a Coach’s Philosophy help Warberg earn MCHS’ top honor

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Growing up a University of Memphis Basketball fan, MCHS' 2013 Valedictorian Darrell Warberg will attend the college starting this fall. Warberg will major in Civil Engineering.

Growing up a University of Memphis Basketball fan, MCHS’ 2013 Valedictorian Darrell Warberg will attend the college starting this fall. Warberg will major in Civil Engineering.

Even good students need good coaching.
For Class of 2013 Millington Central High School Valedictorian Darrell Warberg his love of sports has been natured by his parents James and Karroll. And growing up in his native Millington, Warberg was influenced by community leaders and youth league coaches like Louis Hale.
And following advice and wisdom from people like Hale, Warberg earned the top spot for his class at MCHS.
“It just means I’m that much closer to being done,” Warberg said jokingly about being valedictorian. “That’s the truth.
“It wasn’t really anything I was aiming for in particular,” he added. “In the community there is a coach, Louis Hale. I had him for two years in seventh and eighth grade. His philosophy was, ‘Do your best and whatever happens, happens.’”
Warberg said Hale taught him the importance of hard work day in and day out.
“It’s practice makes perfect,” Warberg noted. “You have to work at it and work at it. You’re not going to always be great but as long as you work at it.”
With influences from Hale and MCHS instructors like Rhonda Barkley and John Price Warberg has earned a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the ACT 30-Plus Club. Warberg was a four-year member of the Knowledge Bowl team being the captain the last two years.
Warberg’s academic career started in the halls of E.A. Harrold Elementary School under Principal Tanya Mabry. Then he attended Millington Middle School.
While at MCHS Warberg became a member of National Honor Society and Beta Club. With the guidance of Barkley in her AP English class, Warberg achieved a top score of 5 on the AP Language and Composition test. He also netted a 5 on the AP History exam. Warberg’s talent for writing and love of history helped him win first play in the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Christopher Colombus Essay Contest. When Warberg isn’t winning awards and working on classwork, he escapes into another world with sports, cheering on teams like the Millington Trojans, Seattle Seahawks and Memphis Tigers.
“With academics its been two things, a stress reliever because it’s always fun to go home and watch the ‘Big Game,’” Warberg said. “And it’s been an example seeing the athletes going out working hard so they can show off and look good in front of the audience.”
Warberg said he’s taken an athletic mindset to his approach to his studies.
“It’s my way of taking the practice of studies and doing work to get results,” he said.
His standout performances on tests and in classes afforded Warberg many options for college. But his heart was set on the Blue and Gray.
“It played in my deccision a little bit,” he said about Tiger Sports. “When you’re growing up and you watch them blow the National Championship, you go through the ups and downs of the season. You feel kind of connected. But the really big thing about choosing a college is the money issue. You get paid to live on campus seemed like a really good deal.”
Witnessing the Tigers drop the 2008 NCAA Tournament championship game to Kansas made Warberg a die-hard Memphis fan. His passion to be a civil engineer made The University of Memphis the ideal spot. And once Warberg steps on the campus he plans on keeping his everyday approach that made him a success at Millington Central. On any given day, Warberg can be found chatting about sports with classmate Jaymie Chism, running errands for Office Manager Linda Garcia or blending into the crowd in the cafeteria.
“I wanted to be the normal student doing the best that I can,” he said. “If that’s what people recognize me for, then so be it. I didn’t want to be the Dungeons and Dragons kid, just a normal kid who tells terrible, funny jokes.”
There might be some of those jokes in his speech Friday night during the MCHS Commencement which starts at 7 p.m. in the Hope Presbyterian Church.
“It’s still swirling around,” Warberg said about ideas on his speech. “As we get closer I’m getting a general idea.
“The summary of it would be generally success because they did get to graduation,” he continued. “As for the speech, maybe something on the line of where you’ve been and how it effects where you’re going. And put in what lessons did you learn from people like Mrs. Barkley and Mr. Price. And if you incorporate that in the work force, it doesn’t matter what job you’re working.”
Warberg might visit Google and search some famous coaching quotes to add to his speech. But most of his sage advice will come from those who directly influenced his life.
“There were definitely days you come in with your eyes dragging from only two hours of sleep,” he recalled. “And you say, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ But then you go through another one of their lessons and you realize that they’re there to help you be your best. You say, ‘It’s Ok, you can get sleep later. You can do better. Just finish the week out and do well.’
“I would have been a very different person if I didn’t have those strong, positive influences,” Warberg concluded. “I probably would be here but especially not in the position of valedictorian. It’s in a person’s nature to kind of be lazy. The people around me pushed me.”

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