Josh Galbreath doesn't score touchdowns or hit home runs, but he is, nonetheless, a professional athlete. And now McDuffie County's resident wakeboarding expert has multiple titles under his belt.
Thomson's Josh Galbreath performs a trick.
When other kids his age were playing team sports, Mr. Galbreath found he enjoyed the independence of a sport that was in its very early stages at the time, wakeboarding.
"I like being on my own," he said, "not relying on others to win."
He was introduced to wakeboarding by his cousin, who brought out what was called a skurfer.
This early wakeboard was much like a smaller version of a surfboard with two foot straps.
Mr. Galbreath said that his natural talent became apparent after about 30 minutes on the board, when he was already performing his first tricks.
"That's the one thing I'm really good at," he said.
His recent results have proven this talent. Mr. Galbreath already has enough points to win the South Carolina state championship with one meet to go.
Mr. Galbreath cannot relax now that the championship is in hand, however, since he must now prepare for the national championships, held in Bakersville, Calif., in late October.
Between now and then, Mr. Galbreath will compete in various other tournaments, including one in Marathon, Fla., in September.
Mr. Galbreath is working on a sponsorship for that tournament with Tige¬¥, a wakeboard boat company.
A sponsorship is key to competing at the professional level, according to Mr. Galbreath, who said that boards get expensive.
"I go through a board a week sometimes," he said.
To prepare for the championship meet, he will continue his usual practice schedule which consists of several hours each day on the board.
"I'm just going to ride every day like usual," Mr. Galbreath said. "I try to relax and not think about (the national championship meet)."