Student Spotlight: AJ Starkins

Student+Spotlight%3A+AJ+Starkins

Johnathan Thompson, Student Life Editor

Do you know who drives the oldest car in the school? It’s the same kid rocking out on stage at Poetry Live on guitar solo and the starting outside hitter on the regional champions boys volleyball team. The answer is AJ Starkins, one very multi-talented senior at WHS. He is a student athlete, avid car enthusiast and a musician.

Since he was 10 years old, AJ has played the popular sport, volleyball, his favorite sports.

“I used to play with my parents all the time and it just manifested to a passion,” AJ Starkins, senior, said.

Currently, AJ is a starter on the WHS Wolverines Volleyball team and has experienced quite a track record of success ever since starting his career his freshman year.

“On all four years, JV included, I went on two undefeated seasons, went to states once [and] won districts once for JV,” AJ said.

Besides having a passion for volleyball, AJ also has a passion for vintage cars.

“They’ve [his parents] always had nice old cars. They just got me into it, and then are collection keeps growing.”

Out of all the cars that students drive to school, he drives the oldest: a beige 1963 Ford Falcon. AJ has always been a car enthusiast for as long as he can remember

“I’ve always had my Falcon. My Falcon was my first car. It’s 52 years old now and still running fine,” he states.

He and his parents have bought some unique vehicles over time. As of right now, they have a collection of five cars, including his Falcon.

“There’s a 1974 [Dodge] Dart, a 1988 Mustang, a 2003 [Mercury] Marauder and a 2013 Hyundai.”

Not only does he buy the cars, but he also works on them, doing restoration jobs.

“We do most of the work ourselves, actually all the work we can,” AJ adds.

One of his projects was putting a new transmission into the Falcon and tuning  his other vehicles.

One cool thing about AJ is that he is a self-taught musician and he has performed in many of the school talent productions such as Poetry Live and Talent Unplugged.

“I’ve been in 8 shows in the past 3 years.”

He recalls his first time in a show.

“The first time I performed I messed up a lot because of all the adrenaline rushing through my veins… but after that, I took a breathe and just went up there.”

In every show, AJ’s instrument of choice is the guitar. Whether if it is acoustic or electric, he plays like a pro.

“What first got me playing guitar was just my mom’s friend’s son. I went over to his house one day and he just taught me a few things, and then I just picked it up myself and taught myself everything that I know.”

Basically, everything that a person needs to know about what makes AJ Starkins are his three passions.

“Guitars, volleyball and cars are basically the biggest parts of my life.” Just look for the tall kid with blond hair and boardshorts; that’s AJ Starkins.