SBHS Senior Gymnast Flips into West Point

Max Rubin

Keyla Lopez, Contributor

SBHS Senior Max Rubin was four years old when he walked into the YMCA and saw a kid doing a backflip. That was all it took. 

“I said, I wanna do that,” said Rubin 

So he joined the local gymnastics team and started a hobby, something to do after school. His gymnastics became more competitive when his coach told him he was good enough to win and Rubin believed him. Cut to fourteen years later and his “hobby” has taken him to a place he never imagined he’d be headed– West Point.

With an acceptance rate of only 11%, West Point is the United States Military Academy, a cross between joining the army and going to college. It’s highly selective. There are about 10,000 students that start applications and only 1,000 are admitted. West Point was the only school Rubin applied to, and he was confident of getting in. Although he has a 4.9 GPA, is in the Cambridge Program, and his class rank is 27th, he still thinks he couldn’t have done it without his afterschool hobby.

“I don’t think I would’ve gotten accepted without gymnastics, ‘cus I’m not that smart,” he said. “If I didn’t get in, I would have probably gone to UCF.”

He says he applied to West Point because of the opportunities it has. His grandfather served in the military and his dad is a police officer, he but says he only considered applying after one of his teammates in gymnastics got accepted. He saw it as a chance to also get accepted. 

“I thought that if he could get in, then I could get in,” he said. 

While at the academy, each cadet is provided with an annual salary, room, and board, medical and dental care, along with fully funded education. Each cadet also receives a monthly stipend around $200-$525 a month.

“I think the monthly pay is really helpful, especially after college,” said Rubin.

He plans to either study systems engineering or cyber security and will continue gymnastics while at West Point if his “body can still do it.” He believes that after he serves in the army for five years, he’ll be set for life in every way.

“I’ll serve, get a job, then relax after that,” he said.