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Will to learn: Student takes tractor to school

Harris Richards must be serious about his school work. Either that, or he loves his John Deere tractor.

tractor_guy1.jpg

Harris Richards leaves campus after class Sept. 28.

The Thomson High School Junior woke up on the morning of Sept. 28 to find a flat tire on his El Camino. With a test looming in John Barnett's U.S. History class, Harris didn't want to be late.

So he did what any Southern farm boy would do. He drove his tractor the nearly five miles to school.

"The jack wouldn't work, and I couldn't get a ride. That was the only thing I had to drive," Harris said. "One of my mom's friends was going to pick me up, but they went to the wrong house."

This isn't the first time Harris has driven his tractor into town. It's been all the way to Sonic before. But this time was different; Harris was in a hurry to make his test.

Harris spent much of first period attempting to fix his flat and then unhooking the hay lift that was connected to the tractor. By the time he cranked the tractor up, it was 9 a.m., and he had missed two-thirds of his history test.

"It took about 15 minutes unhooking the equipment that was on there because I didn't want to bring that," he said.

With the John Deere reaching a blazing speed of 20 miles per hour, the distance to school seemed to grow. After about 30 minutes on the road, Harris got to school as first period was ending.

His quest to take the history test had fallen short, but Coach Barnett did allow him to take it on Friday.

"He asked my why'd I even come since it was so late," Harris said.

At least Coach Barnett got a chuckle from the incident.

"I thought it was hilarious," he said. "It's one for the ages."

Harris has earned a nickname from the incident. Now his friends at school call him Tractor Boy.



Web posted on Thursday, October 7, 2004


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