Most Valuable Player
Gavin Riddle, a priest in the Griffith Ward, Chicago Heights Illinois Stake, was honored as the most valuable player in the Winter Classic, a school basketball tournament held annually.
As the co-captain of the team, Gavin scored 44 points and had 31 rebounds in the two-game tournament. He played tough defense, holding the men he guarded to a combined 9 points in two games.
Gavin, a five-foot, ten-inch guard/forward was a three-year starter with the team. He is the only LDS student in his school.
First in Class
Jeff Bohn of Danville, California, is ranked number one in his high school graduating class. He has earned distinction as being one of the few students nationally to obtain a perfect 36 out of 36 in the mathematics portion of the ACT exam.
As a junior, Jeff won the academic decathlon in his high school, receiving the highest honor, “The Mustang Award,” normally given by the principal to a senior.
As a senior, Jeff represented his high school at the interscholastic academic decathlon competition and won a gold medal for mathematics, competing against students from 26 other California schools. He has also won many debate tournaments.
Jeff enjoys sports and is involved in community service with the Danville Youth Council. He earned his Eagle badge and attends early-morning seminary. He is first assistant in his priests quorum in the Danville Second Ward, Walnut Creek California Stake.
Rob Kimpel, 12, of Sparta, Wisconsin, knows how to endure to the end—to the end of a race that is. Rob loves to run and has been running and entering races for half his life.
His parents have never pushed their son to participate in running; he just enjoys it. Rob runs the 4 1/2 miles to school and is proud to announce that he is the best runner in class competitions. His accomplishments go beyond school races. He finished second in the 19-and-under division in the town’s nine-mile run. His goal is to be on the track team in junior high and high school and possibly someday run in the Olympics.
Rob is a good student and recently took fourth in a city-wide speech competition. He serves in the Sparta Wisconsin Branch of the Rochester Minnesota Stake as music director for sacrament meetings. He also plays the piano and violin and has performed in church.
Johnathan K. Kunz, 13, of the Edgemont Eighth Ward, Provo Utah Edgemont South Stake, has had his first published music composition. The piece, “Dreaming,” a duet for violin and piano, was published in Clavier’s Piano Explorer, which is used by music teachers and students. Johnathan’s composition was created as an entry for the PTA Reflections Contest.
Johnathan is an honor student and has completed the requirements for his Eagle. He is a deacon.
One hundred and fifty young men and women from the Friendswood Texas Stake made one last annual trip to the Mesa Temple. The stake had been assigned to that temple district. In the future, they will make the trip to the Dallas Temple.
All who participated returned buoyed up by their experiences in the temple. They were able to perform over 8,000 baptisms. During a testimony meeting in the temple chapel, many were moved to bear their testimonies for the first time before their friends. As a result, some of the planned recreational activities were canceled in favor of spending more time in the temple.
Three young men from the Darwin area seminary class have represented the Northern Territory of Australia in various sports.
Jason Beard and Geoffrey Coonan are cousins and represented the Northern Territory in the Australian under-15 field hockey championships. Jason plays goalie and Geoffrey plays centre half. They played against teams from all the Australian states.
Neil Ilett represented the Northern Territory in rugby, playing in the Australian schoolboys under-16 championships. Neil’s position is front row forward.
These three are part of the 12-member class in the Darwin seminary whose students come from Darwin, Palmerstone, and Casuarina branches. It is part of the Darwin/Northern Territory District, Australia Adelaide Mission.
Tracy Nelson of Idaho Falls, Idaho, excels in welding techniques. In high school he took first place in state competition and went on to place second in a national welding competition.
Tracy chose to attend Ricks College because of its outstanding Welding Engineering Technology program. He competed and took top honors in a college welding competition.
He said of his experiences in school, “At Ricks I have trained under instructors who have given me new ideas and trained me in new techniques. It is great to be a part of Ricks College. Here I find myself growing mentally, physically, and spiritually. It is helping me prepare for my mission.”
Tracy is now serving a mission.
Emilee Dolberg, 12, of Stockton, California, came out on top in several subjects in her grade. She placed first in the handwriting contest, first in spelling, first in the math contest, first in essay writing, and first in the talent competition (she plays the piano).
Emilee went on to compete with individual winners from other schools on a district level. She was first in handwriting, third in math, and first in essay writing. Her essay placed fourth nationally.
Emilee is secretary of her Beehive class in the Stockton Fourth Ward.
Artist in Training
Pat McGonegal has been attracting attention with his art work since junior high school. He qualified for an art class for gifted and talented students in Juneau, Alaska, where his family was living during his junior year. After they moved to Kona, Hawaii, Pat was appointed to represent his high school at an art seminar for artistically gifted and talented students.
Pat is attending an art school in Vicenza, Italy, as an exchange student and is taking sculpture, drawing, and technical drawing.
Pat has served in the presidencies of each of his priesthood quorums. He put his talent to good use by designing the cover for the Kona Hawaii Stake youth conference.
Woodra Woodward of the Ukiah California Second Ward is a popular student involved in student activities. She has lettered in three sports and is co-captain of her basketball team. She is senior class vice-president and a member of the speech team and writes for the school newspaper.
Woodra was also elected homecoming queen, the first time an LDS student has received the honor in her high school.
Woodra is the first counselor in her Laurel class presidency.
Mark Bryan Flanders of Fardale Ward, Caldwell New Jersey Stake, has been active in both sports and academic activities throughout high school. He was a semifinalist for a National Merit Scholarship. He served as student-body vice-president and was a member of the math, chemistry, and physics teams.
In addition, Mark played varsity football and track. He earned his Eagle Scout badge and served in leadership positions in his priesthood quorums.
Mark was a Presidential and Senatorial nominee to the United States Air Force Academy. He also earned his private pilot’s license.
Shannon Renee Spangler of Brookings, Oregon, was honored for academic achievement and participation in school and community activities by being named a finalist in the Miss America Co-Ed competition.
Shannon enjoys her participation in school. She serves as vice-president of seminary and is the first counselor in her Laurel class. Shannon is in the Brookings Ward, Coos Bay Oregon Stake.
A Top Scout
Troy Thompson, 14, of the Bear River Second Ward, Brigham City Utah North Stake, has an outstanding Scout record and is still going strong.
Troy earned his Eagle badge by the age of 12. He was chosen as one of the ten most outstanding district Eagle Scouts and is also a National Eagle Scout. He was tapped out for Order of the Arrow. He has earned his third palm and is working toward more.
Active in his ward, Troy has served as president of his deacons quorum. He is presently in the teachers quorum and serves as a home teacher.
He enjoys playing softball and basketball with the ward teams and is on the football team of his high school.
Laura Jensen of Jerome, Idaho, is proving to be one of the girls to watch at the Idaho A2 State Track championships. As a sophomore, Laura took first place in the South-Central Idaho Cross-Country Conference, in the Cross-State championship, and in the district cross-country championship.
Laura reached one of the goals she set for herself when she won the 3.1 mile state championship race. She crossed the finish line 55 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.
Laura is an honor student. She attends early-morning seminary and is first counselor in her Laurel class in the Jerome Idaho Third Ward.
While on an Explorer river running outing, 17-year-old Christopher Jacobs of Bountiful, Utah, saved the life of Steve Haslam, an adult leader. Steve Haslam lost control of his Sport Yak while running the rapids on the Colorado River. His life jacket became entangled in the oarlock, trapping him under water. Christopher saw the incident and dived into the water. While fighting stiff rapids, he was able to free Mr. Haslam.
Christopher was given the Honor Medal with crossed palms for heroism from the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America. His is only the sixth award given by the national court in two years. The award is given for demonstrating both unusual heroism and extraordinary resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save life at the extreme risk of self.
Christopher is a member of the Bountiful 46th Ward, Bountiful Utah Mueller Park Stake.
John T. Blasongame, an assistant in the priests quorum of the Anchorage Alaska Third Ward, won the boys’ division of the state spring board diving championship. In addition to five required dives, John performed six optional dives, scoring 17 cumulative points higher than the second place finisher, who was last year’s champion.
John, 18, has been diving competitively since eighth grade. Besides diving, John loves skiing, mountain climbing, and volleyball. He is a four-year seminary graduate.
Julene Anderson, 15, placed second in the girls’ diving competition during the same meet. She is the Mia Maid class president in the Anchorage Alaska Fifth Ward. She attends early-morning seminary and enjoys playing the piano.
Apples and Aprons
In celebrating the organization of the Young Ladies’ Retrenchment Association, the predecessor to the Young Women organization, the Provo Utah Edgemont South Stake held a program using the theme “Apples and Aprons.”
The theme came from the girls’ service activity that involved making aprons for missionary work. Each ward selected a different color of checked gingham, and each girl used her own pattern to make an apron with a pocket. Placed in the pocket was the girl’s written testimony along with her photograph and address. The aprons were sent to the missions presided over by members of the stake. They went to Denmark, Mexico, Argentina, and California.
The girls wore their aprons to the get-together, where they participated in activities that were common 116 years ago when Brigham Young organized the Retrenchment Association. These included a spelling bee, a cake walk, and jumping rope. Refreshments were also typical of that earlier time: milk, homemade bread, jam, honey butter, and apples. Raquel Lambert, one of the stake Young Women, said of the experience, “It encouraged us to be proud of our heritage, spread the seeds of our religion, and make new friends.”
Truth is a jewel which should not be painted over; but it may be set to advantage and shown in a good light.