Kansas student with Pratt connections accepted at West Point with athletic scholarship.
Talon Estes, a former Greensburg student, will be flying high for the next 4 years as the newest member of the Army Black Knights Track and Field team specializing in the High Jump. Estes, a senior at Bucklin High School, is beginning to realize his dreams of becoming a Division I college athlete, obtaining his engineering degree and ultimately, graduating as a Second Lieutenant in the world’s finest military.
“It’s humbling for sure. Thinking about walking the same halls as Patton, Grant, Eisenhower and so many more… these guys changed the world,” he said.
One might think that the Bucklin reared athlete could be a little overwhelmed by thoughts of moving to New York, the intense structure of the academy, military training, engineering curriculum and meeting the demands of an NCAA athlete, but not Talon.
“He’s wired for this type of thing and is excited to get started,” said his father, Brad Estes.
Track and Field opened the door to West Point when Army Assistant Coach Neil Baroody contacted Talon following last year’s State Track Meet.
“I had never considered West Point until Coach Baroody pointed me down this path. After some research, I knew that it would suit me perfectly if I could meet the demanding criteria,” he said.
Talon has prepared himself to seize opportunities by taking challenging classes, accepting leadership positions, co-owning and operating a full-service lawn care business and giving back to his community as often as possible.
These experiences are what he believes made the application/acceptance process less daunting. To be considered for admission every potential cadet must pass a series of physical, mental and fitness evaluations.
Write numerous essays demonstrating your desire, courage and grace under pressure while detailing critical events in your life.
Submit all academic records and ACT/SAT scores along with a detailed record of your community service and leadership activity.
“The application process is the most intense program that I’ve been through, and by the time you’ve completed it, the Army knows exactly who they are ,”he said.
The final step is to garner a Congressional Nomination from a sitting Senator or Congressman. Talon earned his nomination from Senator Jerry Moran.
“I was in the middle of Physics class and a number from Washington DC popped up on my phone, normally I wouldn’t take a call-in school, but my teacher encouraged me to take it and it turned out to be Senator Moran on the other end. He congratulated me, told me that he was proud that I would be representing Kansas and was confident that I would do well! I didn’t really know what to say other than, “Yes Sir, Thank You Sir!”, but I knew that in that moment, my path was set.”
When asked what advice Talon would give to others who may want to pursue the academies, he replied, “Do your best at everything that you do, do the details, challenge yourself, start the application process early, and finally, understand first and foremost, we are being trained to be leaders of men/women!”
Talon attributes much of his success in life and in high jump to his support system, namely his parents, Brad and Mishaun Estes, his brother Ridge, his Uncle Nathan Leeper (2000 Olympic High Jumper) who taught him how to high jump from age 10, and long time BHS Track Coach Rob Scott.