2022 Students of Distinction

Cole Rushforth has 2 million TikTok followers, leads school ASB

Posted on May 16th, 2022 By:

Gig Harbor Now is posting profiles of each of the 25 Students of Distinction being honored by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. The students will be honored during a banquet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Ocean5, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr.

Student: Cole Rushforth

School: Gig Harbor High School

Category: Athletic Achievement 

Cole Rushforth lives and breathes sports. He has lettered in football, track and basketball and has won an Academic Excellence award many times.

In his senior year alone, he was named first team All-South Sound Conference, voted team captain and won the offensive MVP award in football. He had football offers from six colleges and was selected to play in the “Cleats vs Cancer” state high school all star game. He finished the season with 600 receiving yards and that spot on the all-conference team.

Cole Rushforth

Cole Rushforth Contributed

He also found success in track and field, where he is among the top 10 all-time freshman triple jumpers.

He’s president of the ASB student body this year and was a class senator in the 9th, 10th and 11th grade.

In addition to all the sports trophies he’s collected, Cole is in the top one percent of TikTok contributors.

Cole with the Facts

His “Cole with the Facts” has millions of followers and more than 140 million views. He started the TikTok videos on a lark, when a friend bet him he couldn’t get more than 15,000 viewers over winter break.

He lost the bet, but when COVID hit, it gave him plenty of free time to polish his idea of making videos based on interesting, obscure facts and true stories. As of this spring, Cole with the Facts has more than 2.3 million TikTok followers.

His TikTok success, plus his football statistics, led to Cole being featured on KING-TV’s Prep Zone in November 2021. He considers that his biggest accomplishment in high school.

“I’m super blessed to have had the opportunity to be featured on the news and it’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget,” he said.

Student leader

His favorite high school experience was being elected ASB student body president this year.

“I’ve been in ASB all four years of high school and was previously elected as the ASB President at Voyager Elementary and Kopachuck Middle School,” he said. “Winning president my senior year was super special – definitely my favorite moment of high school.”

As it did for many of his classmates, coping with the COVID shutdown presented the biggest challenges. It was especially hard for him as an athlete because he lost his sophomore year of track and field, and couldn’t participate in any organized sports for a year.

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It was “super difficult” he said, but, like his classmates, he tried to see the bright side and used his free time to explore new hobbies — like making videos.

His middle school track coach and long-time family friend, Richard Walker, speaks highly of Cole. “He is hard working and results-oriented and focuses on the process,” Walker said. “He is a leader with a calm, competent demeanor that translates well in leadership roles. And he’s a person of integrity. I have great confidence that he will do the right thing every time he is presented with an option to do otherwise.”

This fall, Cole will join the football team at California Lutheran University where he plans to study business management. His goal is to become a social media marketing manager.

Cole’s advice to younger students is to set goals and work hard to achieve them. “There are going to be ups and downs in life, but if you work as hard as you can and never lose sight of what you want, anything is possible.”

Cole Rushforth

School: Gig Harbor High School

Category: Athletic Achievement

Parents: Troy and Cortney Rushforth

GPA: 3.904

Honors/Achievements: ASB Senator, grades 9, 10, 11; ASB Student Body president, grade 12; National Honor Society; DECA member; varsity letters in football, track and field, baseball; football team captain; MVP offensive award; South Sound Conference All League first team; Academic Excellence Awards – grades 9, 10, 11, 12; top eight runners in 100 meter – 4A SPSL league championship meet; record holder – top 10 All-time freshman triple jump

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Karen Kennedy-Floyd – UW English 131 teacher. “She not only has really helped me grow as a student but also as a person. She really shows that she cares about each and every one of her students, and I feel that I’ve been able to connect with her more than I have with any other teacher at GHHS.”

Best thing about GHHS: “There are several amazing aspects, but if I had to narrow it down to one specific thing, I would say ‘tradition.’ At GHHS we’re known to excel in athletics and academics, but we have a tradition of acceptance and belonging. I’ve developed incredible relationships with students and staff and truly feel at home and a part of a family while attending school. I believe that our slogan, ‘Once a Tide, Always a Tide,’ truly holds its value.