Lakeland Union High School students have been busy during the fall and winter seasons, as evidenced by a recent pep assembly that honored students who have excelled in activities and athletics thus far this school year.
LUHS students and staff gathered in the field house to celebrate the successes of those individuals and groups excelling in their individual activities, as well as recognize the high percentage of students who are currently or plan to participate in a club, activity or sport this school year.
LUHS Principal Jim Bouché said that when the idea was tossed around to have a pep assembly to honor some of the successes of LUHS students, he wanted to get everybody in on the celebration.
“We wanted to include everybody, honoring all of our arts and athletics and identifying the things that we do here at LUHS so well,” he said.
And while LUHS has excelled in a variety of categories, including both sports and activities, what may be even more impressive is the sheer number of students who participated in a club, activity or sport in the fall or winter seasons, or who plan to do so in the spring.
Those students were invited to step out onto the gym floor at the end of the assembly, and the number of students involved in activities nearly filled the basketball court.
“I’m very proud, and knew very well with the data that we accrue all the time, that our numbers and participation in co-curriculars is great here, and that’s an exciting thing,” Bouché said. “That makes a student well-rounded.”
Bouché said the involvement in activities gives students the chance to supplement their education with a variety of activities.
“I’m always talking about the ‘triple-a’ student, the ‘triple-a’ meaning academics, arts and athletics,” Bouché said. “A student that is involved in all three of those things makes for a very well-rounded student.”
As Bouché said, the pep assembly allowed the school to showcase all the great things the students have accomplished this year.
“I was very happy for the opportunity to really applaud the efforts of our sports and club seasons,” he said.
Several individual athletes and complete teams were recognized for their efforts in the fall and winter sports seasons.
The boys’ and girls’ Nordic ski team was honored for bringing a state championship to Lakeland after both the boys’ and girls’ teams earned individua second place finishes and a combined first place overall finish at the Nordic ski state championship meet, held Feb. 8-9 at the Telemark Ski Resort in Cable.
The boys’ varsity team consisted of Mack FitzPatrick, Will Bodewes, Luke Bodewes, Keegan Mullen and Bryan Way; and the girls’ team was made up of Erin Bolger, Carli Capacio, Emily Kubisiak, Sophia Weiss and Lily Johnson.
Lakeland skiers were also individually recognized for top finishes at the state meet. On the boys’ side, FitzPatrick was recognized for earning second place overall after taking second in the day one skate race and first in the day two classic race. Will Bodewes also earned a podium finish for Lakeland, taking sixth overall after a ninth place skate race and a fourth place classic race.
On the girls’ side, Bolger brought home an individual state championship after winning the skate race by more than a minute and hanging on for a second place finish in the classic race. Weiss also medaled for Lakeland, taking tenth place after a thirteenth place skate race and a tenth place classic race.
Bolger was also recognized for earning a spot on the Midwest Junior National Nordic ski team; Bolger spent last week competing in Stowe, VT.
The ski team wasn’t the only sports team recognized at the assembly, as the boys’ swim team had recently returned from a strong showing at the WIAA Division II state swim meet in Madison.
Lakeland sent four swimmers to compete in five events at the state meet, led by junior Nick Garcia, who competed in four events.
Garcia took fourth in both the 100 and 200 freestyle at the state meet, setting a new LUHS record in the 100.
Nate Kellner, also a junior, swam in Lakeland’s other individual event at the meet, taking fourteenth in the 50 freestyle.
Lakeland qualified for two relays with the same foursome of swimmers: Garcia, Kellner, senior Sam Langheim and sophomore Evan Andrews.
In the 200 freestyle relay, the group took sixth place, earning a podium finish. The guys closed out the state meet with a school-record swim in the 400 freestyle relay.
The combined finishes in the five events earned Lakeland ninth place as a team.
Several athletes were also recognized for their performances during the fall sports season.
Andrew and Lauren Schilling were each presented with WJFW Player of the Week awards, earned for their performances in cross country in the fall. Lauren won the week of Oct. 25, while Andrew took home the award for the week of Nov. 1.
Lauren Schilling was also named the WJFW Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Katie Klappa (cross country) and Tom Bruckner (football) were also named 2013-2014 WIAA Scholar Athletes for their performances both on the field and in the classroom.
Lakeland also honored the many student accomplishments through the various clubs and activities so far this school year at the pep assembly.
Vansh Jain was awarded “Best Delegate” for his historical simulation at the Chicago International Model United Nations Conference. Jain was assigned the role of the Minister of Law and Justice of India (1971), and became the first LUHS student to win the “Best Delegate” award.
Jain, as well as Paige Barnard, were recognized for advancing to the state level at the Brain Bee competition. Jain made the finals and eventually took fourth place.
Members of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) were recognized ahead of their state competition next week. Berit Guthrie, Katelyn Neuberg, Kayla Houp, Maggie Treants, Brina Trapp, Wyatt Klimpke, Frank Scandin, Miriam Nei, Colleen Egan, Carli Boston, Ellie Ottoson and Andrew Schilling will all represent Lakeland at the state competition March 18-20, at Lake Geneva.
Several Lakeland drama students were recognized for qualifying for sectionals, including Ian Sheeley, Maya Petersen, Brenden Emmerich, Sydney Hayashi, Evelyn Johnson, Ali Pleasant, Nathan Ochocinski, Adam Rexroade, Katelyn Robbins, Clay Theis, Zach Steinberger and Patrick Rucinski.
The LUHS Forensics team also saw great success this season, and advanced 16 competitors from the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association sub-district competition to the district competition this month.
Evelyn Johnson, Camden Sinner, Amanda Brisk, Jameson Schultz, Carlo Rosillo, Ali Pleasant, Sophia Weiss, Sara Long, MyKeilah Holtz-Brown, Krystle Clark, Syndey Hayashi, Katie Koppa, Ian Sheely, Keyanna Steele, Hannah Conrad and Dorothy Grant all advanced to the district competition.
Lakeland Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) students will be competing at the state competition, including Katelyn Neuberg, Kayla Houp, Nathan Ochocinski, Maggie Treants, Maddy Melms and Ethan Metz.
Spirit of Excellence
LUHS also received recognition as the state of Wisconsin’s region two recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award.
Spirit of Excellence is a statewide award for schools that honors excellence in a variety of categories, including leadership development, school spirit, sportsmanship and service to school and community.
Members of the Wisconsin Association of Schools, Inc. (WASC), the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association, Wisconsin Parent Teacher Association, Rotary District 6250, WEA Trust and the Milwaukee Bucks form a selection committee that selects one high school from each of WASC’s six regions to receive the regional award.
Lakeland, in region two, competes against schools such as Rhinelander, Medford, Stevens Point, and the Wausau area schools.
LUHS was determined to be the winner of the region two award, one of six schools in the state to be recognized. From those six schools, one was chosen as the state recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award, and LUHS was named runner-up to Neenah.
Jim Oxley may be reached via email at email@example.com.