One isn't exactly common Folk, and the other is definitely a rare Bird.
Those simple descriptions lend a perfect insight into Augusta Preparatory Day School's Thomas Folk and Taylor Bird.
"If I had 12 players like Thomas Folk and Taylor Bird, we'd be very successful," Augusta Prep basketball coach Kevin Furtado said of the senior co-captains. "They are ideal student-athletes, and they're really good role models for our middle-school kids and the younger high-school players."
For Bird and Folk, focus and commitment are the keys to success on the court and in the classroom.
"They are competitive and very self-motivated," Furtado said. "You don't have to push them. You know that they'll give a consistent effort at practice and in games. They've worked hard to improve their basketball skills, and each one of them has gotten better every single year."
Folk is a starting guard/forward for the Cavaliers, and he gives his team a boost with accurate shooting from the perimeter.
"When I'm playing I just try to know what the team needs from me, and I work to get the most out of my ability," said Folk, who has attained that goal academically, as evidenced by his 4.0 grade-point average.
Bird also cracks the books and sports a 3.7 GPA. He plays center and forward for Prep, and though he has to match up with some monsters under the boards, he usually finds a way to haul down the rebound or score a bucket.
"Taylor is probably the grittiest player we've had here in a long time," Furtado said. "I've seen him go against some big, strong players, and he's competed extremely well. He just gets after it."
For Bird, full speed is the only way to fly.
"I just try to hustle and play hard all the time," he said. "We've come a long way in basketball in the four years I've been here. We're trying to become competitive in the region and state, and we want to earn respect. I'm just trying to help us get there as fast as we can."
Folk can sense that his senior basketball season will be special, and he plans to savor every minute of it.
"I'm going to remember the camaraderie and the team mostly, just the time hanging out with my friends," he said. "When we go out on the court this year, we feel we can beat just about anybody if we have a good day."
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