WHS Iron Indians sophomore Caleb High

EDITOR’S NOTE: To help celebrate Waxahachie ISD athletes who are following the R.E.A.L. Leader philosophy brought in by Indians head football coach Jon Kitna and adopted by athletic director Greg Reed, Waxahachie athletic coaches have picked top athletes who exhibit the ability to Reject passivity, Empathize with others, Accept responsibility and Lead courageously.

A R.E.A.L. Leader Q&A will appear in the Daily Light sports section each week’s Sunday Sports Extra, allowing coaches from all sports to share and brag about their stand-up athletes. This week, Rocky Robinson, the Waxahachie High School Iron Indians head powerlifting coach, named sophomore Caleb High, a 16-year Waxahachie resident, the R.E.A.L. Leader of the week for his uplifting attitude and infectious work ethic. High considers his Kitna his role model.

“I’ve only known him for a year, but in a short time span I’ve learned a lot from him,” High said. “He’s taught me many of the qualities of being a R.E.A.L. man as well as guide me spiritually in life.”

Coach Robinson, you recognized High was a R.E.A.L. Leader for the week. What did this leader do that stood out to you and what made you choose him as a real Leader?


Robinson: Caleb is very coachable and does whatever he is told to do without question. Being only a sophomore, he makes it his job to make sure everyone is on track with workouts and doing what they’re supposed to do.


How does this athlete live the four pillars of being a R.E.AL. Leader?


Robinson: Caleb will reject passivity by asking for clarification if he doesn’t understand something. He never passes judgment on his peers. If he makes a mistake, he is first to take responsibility, never does he blame someone else.

As for being a leader, he practices what he preaches and his teammates know this, so when Caleb speaks everyone listens. That goes for those in the seniors class, too.


The R.E.A.L. Leaders philosophy is based on the idea it takes a village to change a culture. How does High promote a positive culture inside the locker room and in the community, and encourage his peers to do the same?


Robinson: Caleb’s mom has done a great job teaching him to be humble despite his past athletic accomplishments. When our freshman see Caleb be respectful and coachable and make all A’s at school, it becomes the standard for our athletes.


In adulthood, accountability is a key component. How does he best personify that value to promote success in the classroom, in sporting events and in life?


Robinson: Everything that our program promotes is the same standard that the classroom requires and life demands. Qualities like hard work, dedication, desire, and discipline are not taken lightly and applauded often. Caleb is the poster board for these qualities.


What is one characteristic that High believes every leader should possess?


Robinson: Caleb believes a truthful leader would make the world a better place to live, especially if every leader did what he or she claimed to do.


What has been the impact of his attitude on the team’s success?


Robinson: With Caleb’s leadership, the team is coming together and “buying in” to the belief that with dedication, determination, desire, and discipline we can achieve any goal we set.