The days of the dumb jock are long gone. The Class of 2013 in Whatcom County, which in many ways had unprecedented success on the fields of play the past four years, also was remarkably impressive in the classroom.
Of the 53 valedictorians announced by the 11 Whatcom County schools that had teams compete in Washington Interscholastic Activities Association sporting events this year, 29 of them participated in at least one sport during their senior year.
Even though the criteria for selecting valedictorians has changed in recent years, allowing for multiple honorees at the same school, it doesn't take away from an impressive list of young men and women that truly put the "student" in student athlete during their high school careers.
Time management and devotion are obviously necessary skills, as student athletes must balance school work and homework with practice time to be successful in both.
"For me, sports was probably beneficial," said Lynden valedictorian Maddi Hommes, who was one of two student athletes on the list that was a three-sport athlete at the varsity level. "It kept my post-school day pretty structured. I knew I only had a certain about of time to study, so I couldn't procrastinate. It almost forced me to become a more effective student."
Hommes plans to play volleyball and compete in the heptathlon at Seattle Pacific University next year. Besides volleyball and track, she also played on the girls' basketball team for the Lions.
Meagan McIntyre also participated in three sports at Sehome - cross country, basketball and softball. She plans to attend Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., and compete for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps cross country and softball teams.
In all, 14 student athletes competed on the varsity level in more than one sport and earned valedictorian honors this year.
LC COACH HONORED
After leading the Lynden Christian boys' golf team to a second-place finish this spring at the Class 1A State Championships, coach Dana Hagen has been selected the 2013 Washington State Coaches' Association Coach of the Year.
The Lyncs placed third in a tight race for the Northwest Conference title this year, successfully defended their 1A tri-district title and sent five golfers through to state.
At state, LC had three golfers place in the top 15, led by Willy Scholten's fourth-place showing, and scored 98 points to finish behind Ilwaco's 1321/2.
PIONEERS PLACE 2 ON ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Nooksack Valley junior outfielder Hailey Hunt and junior infielder/outfielder Chloe Gardner were selected to the Class 1A All-State Softball Tournament team.
The Pioneers beat Elma in the first round of the tournament, before falling to Lakeside in the state quartefinals and Hoquiam in a consolation game.
Reach David Rasbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2286.
STUDENT ATHLETE STANDOUTS
Whatcom County valedictorians from the Class of 2013 that played on the varsity level of at least one sport during their senior school years:
Monica Ziels Basketball
Emily Grayston Tennis
Bret DeGraaff Football, basketball
Madison Hommes Volleyball, basketball, track
Michelle Navis Cross country, softball
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN Sports
Toby Dalla Santa Tennis, soccer
Trevor Dalla Santa Tennis, soccer
Tyler Reardon Cross country, track
Hunter Weinert Cross country, soccer
Tucker Bronkema Baseball
MOUNT BAKER Sports
Sarah Finger Soccer
NOOKSACK VALLEY Sports
Melissa Stadt Soccer, basketball
Kristen Chalmers Tennis
Charles Linneman Basketball, Soccer
Meagan McIntyre Cross country, basketball, softball
Nicola Morrow Tennis
Zoe Sheinkopf Swimming
Liam Toney Cross country, track
Riley Andert Golf
Andrea DeVere Soccer, track
Dylan Dubuque Cross country, track
Anthony Goo Tennis
Brock Jorgensen Football
Hannah Lewis Basketball
Zoe Peterson Soccer, track
Zoe Roberts Tennis
Lauren Wallace Soccer
Caroline Wilson Volleyball
Josh Yeend Cross country
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.