'American Idol' tackles senior year at Garner Magnet

Posted October 5, 2011
Updated October 6, 2011

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— For more than a year, Garner’s Scotty McCreery has been living amid the hype of "American Idol." The Season 10 winner went on an international tour, recorded an album and filmed music videos.

Now, he is trying to do one more thing – graduate high school.

"I'm taking a full load because I’m planning on going to college," McCreery said of his classes at Garner Magnet High School. "This first semester, I’m kind of coasting, but next semester I am taking AP English, and I’m really kind of hitting the books hard."

On his first day back at school, McCreery said he felt like a freshman again.

"I was walking up with my mom to the principal’s office, and I think I looked at her and said, 'Mom, I hope this works,'" he said. "I was scared."

McCreery went to school that first day with a police escort. Two officers walked him to each of his classes. By the third day, the police escort wasn't necessary.

It didn’t take long before McCreery’s friends started protecting him themselves, especially in big crowds.

"When we walk in public, actually, we call it the Flying V, like on 'The Mighty Ducks' movie. They'll get like in a Flying V, and I'll get in the middle, and we’ll walk to our table and sit down real quick," McCreery said.

His friends are big part of the teen’s new music video for his second single, "The Trouble with Girls," filmed at Garner Magnet this past weekend.

"We had a lot of options of where to choose, and I said, 'Why don’t we just go to Garner and shoot with my people and my friends and people I’ve known all these years?'' McCreery said.

'Idol' winner goes back to school 'Idol' winner goes back to school

And when his songs play on the radio, McCreery said he still gets excited.

"I get pumped when I’m in the car, and I’m like, 'That's me, oh my goodness,' so it's fun," he said.

One of his favorite songs on his album, which was released Tuesday, is "Water Tower Town" because it reminds him of Garner.

"It talks about Friday night football games and sweet tea, and the water tower here is actually right across the train tracks from the baseball fields I grew up playing at," he said. "It's cool for me when I’m singing it because I’m seeing all this imagery."

McCreery said it is good to be home, where he can be just another teenager.

"I get to be me. I get to walk around in flip-flops and gym shorts and go to football games and stuff, so it’s been fun," he said.

McCreery said he hopes to return to the baseball diamond as well. 

"Coach said he won't play me unless I'm in shape, though, so I've got to start running," he said.

McCreery will be taking the stage Saturday at 11 a.m. at Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion in Raleigh for a special concert to celebrate his 18th birthday, which is Sunday, and his album release. WRAL is giving away tickets to the show.


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  • kcoco Oct 7, 2011

    YAY Scotty!!! Athens Drive HS is better tho!!! :0)

  • SmileyCoyote Oct 6, 2011

    Standard English accepts "graduate" as both a transitive and intransitive verb. The preposition is not necessary, although the intransitive sense is more common in general usage.

    That explanation should make sense to you if you "graduated high school" or "from" it.

  • happy2.0 Oct 6, 2011

    I'm a Garnerite and couldn't be prouder of how Scotty is representing the town! I drive past that water tower almost every day. Now it will have a special little meaning to it!

  • veyor Oct 6, 2011

    I would think Scotty wanted to graduate, not "high school". How about Scotty wants to graduate FROM high school.

  • ghostwriter924 Oct 6, 2011

    It's a shame that he has to be or feels the need to be "protected" while at school whether it's by his friends or law enforcement.

  • dgcreech Oct 6, 2011

    I am glad that he is still in school, and that he is trying to set an example, but at the same time one must ask: "Is this Top-Story worthy"? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that he had a dream, he set out and he achieved that dream and that he is doing well. I just don't see it as being "Top Story" worthy.

  • Jack Flash Oct 6, 2011

    I never watched the show and have never heard him sing, but I followed the story from afar and was glad to see a local boy make good. His story is a really cool one. I am prone to roll my eyes at things people flip out over, but Scotty seems like a really down-to-earth, nice guy, and the same thing comes across in this story. I'm very happy for him, for Garner, for NC, and basically think everything about this is very endearing.

  • Garnerwolf1 Oct 6, 2011

    Define short. He's at least 5'11". And warbirdlover, you're dead on. All some have is to bash others. And some do it only to get a rise out of his supporters. Is he the greatest singer ever? No, and he and his family will admit that. But he took a chance, and this is where it has taken him. Obviously there are some that think he's got some talent. And btw folks, "stars" don't come out of the womb that way. They all have to start from somewhere. Time will tell if he has longevity. For now people are buying his CD and radio stations are playing his songs. I for one wish him all the best in whatever the future holds for him.

  • LocalYokel Oct 6, 2011

    Scotty is a role model for all high school students in America and spoken like a true Idol: "This first semester, I’m kind of coasting..."

  • warbirdlover Oct 6, 2011

    I getting a bunch of negative Jealousy waves. Why do people have to be so negitive abount someone who makes it. Are they so dissatisfied with their own life that they have to put down everyone else. My wife is good friends with Scotty's Granddmother, they are all very good people. More young people need to be like Scotty instead of aspiring to be Gangsters.