American Press Male Scholar Athlete of the Year: Iowa benefits from Guillory’s leadership

Published 9:20 am Saturday, July 6, 2024

In his four years at Iowa High School, Luke Guillory grew into a leader everywhere he went.

His academic excellence and athletic skills landed him a coveted spot at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and earned him the American Press Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.

“He is an amazing young man,” Iowa Principal Luke Dietz said. “In everything he does, he works as hard in the classroom as he works on the playing field.

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“In everything he does, he wants to be truly excel. He puts the work in to be able to do that. He is just a blessing to have here at the school. He has such high character.

“Even with all the success he has had in academics and athletics, I truly believe his best attributes are probably his character, work ethic and moral beliefs. He bases everything he does around those three things. It drives him to succeed in everything he does.”

Guillory started his six weeks of basic cadet training last week. He will be required to serve at least five years of active duty and three years as an inactive reserve after graduation.

Guillory ranked fourth in his class senior class at Iowa of 140. He scored a 32 on the American College Testing exam and a 4.36 grade point average.

He was a member of the National Honor Society, student council and helped start a chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the school.

His influence extends into the community where he volunteers for Special Olympics and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“That kid is off the charts and in the community,” Iowa head football coach Tommy Johns said. “Anytime you needed him for something, he was going to show up. He was the guy that would get everybody else to show up with him. If Luke Guillory walked into the locker room and said, ‘We are going to help this organization,’ everybody got up and followed. Nobody had any questions. That is the kind of person he is.

“All of it comes from his parents. He was raised right. His parents have a very structured home. They demand excellence out of their kids. It has been very impressive. We are definitely going to miss him, not only the football player but the person.”

Johns said Guillory started at defensive end but found his place at tight end and turned into a top pass catcher with 36 for 420 yards and six touchdowns for the state quarterfinalist Yellow Jackets.

“When he first stepped on to our campus he was shy and a little timid,” Johns said, “but you could tell he had the body and the brain to be a great player. He is very, very intelligent. He progressed along.

“I remember after his freshman year he was questioning if he really wanted to play ball. We had a long, long talk in my office, and he decided to stick with it. From that day forward, he turned into a man. He has been our leader the last two or three years. He is a wonderful person.

“Everybody in the school respects him. They flock to him. He earned that. He is a tremendous asset to Iowa High School, the entire community and our program.”

His intelligence and athletic skills helped him to become a force in the lane for the Yellow Jackets’ 2023-2024 basketball Nonselect Division II state runner-up team. He was a second-team all-District 3-3A forward.

“He is so mobile,” Johns said. “I thought he was a little stiff when he was younger, but so is every other kid for the most part. For somebody to carry around that kind of frame and that kind of weight and move like he could was very impressive.”