As a sixth grader Tim was a starter on the middle school soccer team, which is a big accomplishment, and he scored in the first game. Seventh grade girls started calling him that night. The middle school environment, within the Spring Lake Heights Elementary School, was a great fit for Tim. The school was small enough for Timís soccer skills to allow him to become a valued player in sixth grade, and the freedom to change classes for every subject made school much more interesting for him. It also gave him the opportunity to walk in the halls rather than sit at one desk for long periods of time. In addition, the vice-principal began to develop a relationship with Tim, which I believe encouraged him to become a leader and a role model. I think it was also around this time that Tim became known for "the smile." When asked today, "What do you think of first when you think of Tim?" the most common response is, "His smile."
Tim also played on the junior varsity basketball team, composed of sixth and seventh graders who tried out and made the team. I strongly believe that the increased activity of playing school sports daily in the afternoons, as well as being able to move around during the school day, benefitted Tim greatly both in school and at home. I feel he was able to relax a little more at home rather than having to let off so much excess steam. One of my fondest memories of Tim was the two of us lying on the loveseat together watching TV when heíd come home and squeeze in next to me. We both wanted the inside, but I would give in and let him have the better spot.