PALMETTO -- After weeks of being cheered on by America as he competed for the title of the next "American Idol," Sam Woolf had a different sort of crowd cheering for him Saturday.
Graduation is generally one of the highlights of a teenager's life. And for Sam, it was one he didn't want to miss.
Despite his strict "American Idol" schedule as he sets to go out on tour with the TV show's top 10, Woolf came home to walk across the stage for Braden River High School's graduation with his friends and fellow students, who cheered him on for weeks as he made it into the top five.
But on Saturday, he was just happy being your typical teenager.
"It is just great," Woolf said about being able to walk across the stage at graduation.
While he shared the spotlight with about 400 of his classmates Saturday, every speaker made reference to his recent success proudly.
Reflecting back on his time at Braden River before Saturday's ceremony, "just my friends" is what Sam said he will miss most.
Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.