Jack McNamara cherishes his life surrounded by family and friends


Jack McNamara

Junior Jack McNamara’s dog has a knack for escaping. 

Jack’s family loves to travel and get out of the house; he and his family rent a cottage every year in Grand Haven. His dog, Ranger, a miniature Goldendoodle, loves to accompany the McNamaras on their family trips, especially to the beach.

In one instance, Ranger decided to take on her own little adventure. 

“We were at the beach, and I went back up to [the house to] get some stuff with a friend,” Jack said. “My dog really loves my mom, so she found the right opening [as we were leaving], headed through the door, and ran all the way down the stairs to the beach. It was a little sketchy because there was a lot of traffic where you cross to go to the beach, [but] she made it. That was very interesting.”

From anything but ordinary family trips, to surfing in Hawaii, to playing on the FHC football team, Jack McNamara loves every minute of his life spent surrounded by family and friends–and his dog. 

“My family and I are really close,” Jack said. “We do a lot of things together, [such as] going out Saturday morning to get donuts.” 

Along with frequently spending time with his close family and friends, Jack has been devoted to playing football for the high school since freshman year. 

Given all the time he spends with the close group of fellow football-lovers, he has truly felt a unique bond between the players on the team as the season evolved.

“With football at school, there’s just a really good connection [between] the players and the coaches,” Jack said. “[We are all] together and forming around one common goal.” 

Compared to some other sports that Jack has participated in, the FHC football experience has brought a refined sense of community for the avid athlete. He cherishes the relationships he has gained from playing under the bright, stadium lights with the FHC team. 

“It really united 50 [people] this year,” Jack said. “A group of guys [centered] around one thing, and I think it’s really special with a sport [because] that doesn’t happen in all high school sports.”

Accompanying his love for football is his passion for being out on the water. 

Skimboarding, the act of using a flat, small board to glide across the waves, is a lower level of surfing that Jack has taken a liking to. 

“I like skimboarding a lot just because it’s really easy to do in Lake Michigan,” Jack said, “but I really want to start getting into surfing.”

On a larger scale, Jack has surfed in various locations such as Hawaii and California, hoping to improve his skills. This sport contributes to his love of being active outside.

“[I’m] always doing something with activity and doing things outside,” said Jack, who is hoping to get his own surfboard for Christmas. 

[I’m] always doing something with activity and doing things outside.

— Jack McNamara

Due to COVID, Jack’s family was not able to venture on their trip to a quaint surf town called Tamarindo, in Costa Rica, over spring break last year. He hopes that this year the trip will be possible so he can put his surfing skills to the test in the Caribbean atmosphere. 

Planning for when he may not be able to play sports all the time as he gets older, Jack said that his love for the water and a relaxing beach life will not diminish.

“I’d probably want to live somewhere with a beach or somewhere I can access a beach all the time,” Jack said. “I just always connect with [and enjoy] being with nature and the outdoors.” 

Not neglecting the simple beauty found outdoors, a favorite part of Jack’s morning is something that many overlook. And it follows right in line with his affinity for all the little things that make up his vast life. 

“[I love] getting up early to see the sunrise,” Jack said. “That’s always a big thing I like to do just because it helps start my day off right. There’s just something about it.”