'American Idol' tackles senior year at Garner Magnet

For more than a year, Garner's Scotty McCreery has been living amid the hype of "American Idol." Now, he is trying to do one more thing - graduate high school.

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GARNER, N.C. — 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.

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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