Sports by Frank Workman: Max Uhm is a very special Scot

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Max Uhm is "a very special Scot"
There are those rare athletes who can score thirty points a game, blast long home runs, or win all their races. And good for them. 

Rarer still are those who have the capacity to make their teammates better.

We all know people who are wonderfully skilled artists, singers, gardeners, woodworkers, or cooks.

But those individuals who can brighten everyone’s day by merely being present... those people are few and far between.

Max Uhm is a senior at Shorecrest.

Max is a student with autism.

When he was a freshman, it was unimaginable for his parents, Louis and Hayley, to envision him participating in all aspects of school life and being accepted by his peers, much less playing on several teams and riding the buses to away events, sitting among his teammates, laughing and joking, making memories.

Max wasn’t gifted with blazing speed, mad hops, or muscles on top of muscles.

What Max does possess is a unique ability to make everybody he comes into contact with better off for having done so, through his cheerful, optimistic nature and guileless innocence. He is constitutionally incapable of disliking anybody.

Shorectrest Principal Lisa Gonzalez gushed when asked to describe him.

“Max is the hyphiest Highlander on campus. He has embraced every opportunity to be involved at Shorecrest — participating in Wrestling, Track, and Cross Country for four years, while also being a member of our PALS club, Seattle Unified Soccer, and our Leadership program. 
"Students at Shorecrest know and love Max because he always brings a smile and positive attitude to everything he does. Max Uhm is a true Scot and all of Shorecrest has been made better by Max’s school spirit, kindness, and boundless energy.”

Mindy Dalziel is the girls soccer coach at Shorecrest. In the spring, she coaches Seattle Unified, a soccer team that enables kids with special needs to feel part of a team that represents Shorecrest. And it gives the general education students who help out with the team a chance to see a slice of the population they might not otherwise encounter, and develop empathy toward them.

Mindy says. “I love Max! He makes me a better person and a better coach. Soccer helps Max see others similar to him and compete against them, and his soccer aggression comes out. It’s the only place where it’s acceptable for him to be that way. Max warms my heart every time I see him.”

In Trent Mitchell’s Video Production class two years ago, two separate groups of students asked Max to be in their movies. In both cases, he played the lead, especially distinguishing himself in a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ parody, in which he played Charlie to three lovely young classmates.

Max has had Brent Busby as both his wrestling coach and home-room teacher for four years.

This past season, Max was voted ‘Most Inspirational’ by his wrestling teammates. 

Busby says, “It was not some sort of “feel good” or politically correct-type of moment when Max was unanimously chosen as Most Inspirational of the Shorecrest wrestling team. Max is the real deal and is the most pure and wholesome student I have ever met. 
"Max makes everyone’s day and helps others to keep everything in perspective. No other student has faithfully greeted me and demonstrated sincere appreciation like Max has… no student even comes close to inspiring me on a daily basis the way he does. 
"His positive attitude and cheerful heart are contagious attributes that bring out the best in everyone around him. Max has instilled in me, and many others of the Shorecrest community as well, a great example of what it means to give your best to others and to seek to radiate joy to those people who are all around us.”

Max has a friend who moved out of town a couple years ago. A week before he left, the friend arranged to take Max for one last jog around the track. After they were done, the two sat on a bench for one final chat.

“You know, Max,” his friend told him, “everybody loves you.”

“You’re right,” he replied. “I’m splendid.”

Judging by the impact he’s had on so many, I’d say he’s right.


Frank Kleyn May 4, 2019 at 6:54 PM  

Way to go Max! You were a great student way back at Highland Terrace.

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