Always on the Right Track
by Cate Murway
Life lessons are learned on the track. Keep your eyes on the goal and never look back!
“I never looked back but I miss the river and the wharf area and everything right around the corner,” admitted Steve Johnson.
Extraordinary sprinter, E3 Airman 1st Class Steven Philip Johnson, BHS ‘06/ St. Francis University, Loretto, PA started his college experience as an Occupational Therapy major.
“Reach higher..Go far!” is the University logo.
How far you go in life depends a lot on how high you reach. Currently, Steve has reached Louisiana with the Air Force but his Criminal Justice degree has given him background to pursue a wide range of justice careers. He may “go federal” with the FBI or CIA tackling the important job of keeping America safe.
“uncertain game of chance
but I'll see it through in time”
Steve [meaning “victorious”] Johnson always remained on a conscientious, focused path. “I trained to be an athlete and I stayed an athlete. It [athletics] became my profession. Track became my life.” The overriding theme that he consistently shared was his fun and outgoing approach to the sport. This helped everyone have a positive and enjoyable experience.
Per his BHS running coach, James William [Jim] Jones, Jr, BHS ’59, who also enlisted in the Air Force after graduation,
“Steve is self driven and always wanted to do the best he could. He always worked hard to strive and succeed.”
Steve would someday “love to coach with Jimmy Jones”. The admiration is reciprocal.
“Mr. Jones was like a second father to me. He kept me in line and “on track”. He’s a well- balanced coach. I was prepared for the college workouts. Any athlete is lucky to have him as a coach. He was a mentor to me.”
Steve’s athletic accomplishments exemplify the depth of his talent. He left behind an incredible list of accomplishments, holding the BHS team records in the 100m, 200m, and 400m. On May 26- May 27, 2006 at Shippensburg University, Bristol came in 18th /83 schools with 13 points that Athlete #71 [Steve] had contributed. His last scholastic events were the 200m [21.93], 2nd in the state and the 400m [49.48], 4th in the state.
Later that summer, June 28, - July 01, 2006 at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, he represented the Three Amigos, running an 11.18 in the 100m in the AAU Region II Championships, placing 6th.
Steve’s honors include First team in the Courier Times Golden Teams and qualifications for the Meet of Champions.
His advice to new student athletes is to decide what is important and make time for those passions. “Pick your friends well and know who your true good friends are.”
Attitude shapes so much of who we are and what we do every day and Steve, a solid athlete always offering insight and support, feels that he holds himself to the highest standards and embraces personal accountability.
BHS volunteer assistant track coach Carl Vincent Waxmonsky, BHS ‘06/ BCCC ’09 was a BHS mid-distance and distance athlete and he found a great training partner in Steve.
Carl recalled a time that Steve finished a B.A.L. sprint race, coming in first place and Steve explained with no cockiness, as was his way, that he was “disappointed with the competition.”
A winner is an athlete that has the desire for excellence and is willing to extend him or herself in the process.
Carl wasn’t surprised when Steve told him about entering the Air Force. “He always wanted to take a step forward and meet a challenge.”
Parents of the athletes of neighboring schools felt that Steve was always an inspiration to not only the male athletes but the female athletes as well. He made a daily impact.
“Steven is an outstanding, positive, and goal-oriented leader who always aimed for the highest standard of achievement. Based on his accomplishments, he can truly be considered a role model for his peers and associates. His dedication to serve his community and country is evidenced by the career path that he has chosen by currently serving in the US Air Force.
A winner is someone who sets his goals, commits himself to those goals, and then pursues his goals with all the ability given him. Steven is certainly a winner.”
Newly retired J&J Research fellow, Dr. Elaine Valerie Knight, mother of sprint athlete, Camille Gene-Ann Knight, VJM ‘06/SJU’10.
“Steve was an intense competitor, gracious in winning or losing. He was outgoing and personable and very respectful toward other competitors and the officials. He was always willing to share his knowledge of the sport with anyone and he always congratulated his opponents, win or lose!”
Nurse Practitioner, Diane Rother, mother of mid-distance/distance/relay records holder Megan Allison Rother, VJM ‘09/USC ‘13
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."
Steve is an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist,
loading and maintaining weapons on a B-52, a long-range,
heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions.
For more than 40 years B-52 Stratofortresses have been
the backbone of the manned strategic bomber force
for the United States.
His parents, owner of “Quality Computer Repair” Steven Philip
and Marie Sebrina [Gartner] Johnson and his sister,
freelance photographer Tidia Marie, BHS ‘03 are extremely proud.
“He continues to impress us!”
He is stationed in the Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, LA.
Steve shared, “If I do not receive orders to go to Korea,
I will switch to the National Guard.”
“Far is solace in the maddening pace”
On his holiday trip home, he once again savored his mom’s lasagne and amazing macaroni and cheese dishes. He misses the “small, perfect little town” and “likes Bristol just the way it is!” but truly feels that “Bristol has untapped potential”.
Steve’s races are completed but he has miles to go, demonstrating his exceptional character and sportsmanship with his humble and generous attitude.
“I’m an adult. I have to do things now. My feet are on the ground and the possibilities are limitless.”
“I'll be here a while, ain't going nowhere”
Italicized “I'll Be Here A While” lyrics by 311,
a favorite song of E3 Airman 1st Class Steven Johnson.
Recommend a “Spotlight”: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
"I have known Steve for 8 years and he has always strived for greatness. He has been a good friend to me and always done his best at handling anything that has come his way. I am so proud to see the brave and caring person he has become since joining the Air Force." 100HH recordholder Kerriann Prinz, VJM '06/Misericordia '10