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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

Seniors, are you ready for the next step? Part 2

Jess Shut Up


Last week I started a peek into the Senior class which, before we know it, will be stepping out on stage and receiving that coveted paper that says, “Congratulations, you have met all the requirements …” and lets them know that the next step is totally up to them.

We are talking about young adults like Bubba Garcia, who decided his future last year when he swore an oath, entered into the armed forces and spent his summer at boot camp. With a focus and vigor, he knows what he wants and is fighting a very strong fight to achieve it. Bubba’s humor and laid-back style is what I will miss most about him. He has a way of entertaining a full room with just a smile.

I am also talking about Jocelyn Moore. A lady matured well beyond her years and about whom there is a lot to remember. But I will remember her saying “yes” to a young man who took a chance and went well beyond his comfort zone to ask her to prom. She could have said no, but her heart and mind are in the right place, and she did the right thing that was less about her and more about this young man, making him an overnight hero to his friends and peers. You see, she knew it was not about her, but about the future.

We cannot forget about Dallas Burris either. One of the most mature young men in his class, he quietly has big dreams and aspirations that reach well beyond his high school days. He knows the importance of doing the right thing. His personality is one that attracts adults from all ranges and he enjoys himself with them all. Constantly learning and seeking people he can help, he does not advertise his big heart but shows it in exactly the right time when someone needs kind words or a helping hand.

A state wrestling champ in Jacob Smith, the quiet leader in Jake Palmer, the Suicide Race champion Scott Abrahamson, and the ultimate cheerleader Tanya Ang all make up parts of this outstanding class. But those titles don’t define any of them. There is so much more, they can go so much deeper and the future looks bright because of it.

Then there are the ones we wish we had more time with. The ones who are quiet and we are just getting a glimpse of what the star-studded future holds for them. A young lady like Olivia Battise, whose brains are legit. We know that big things lie just around the corner for her. Also, a young man like Hunter Chapman, whose desire to be a great community member will gravitate him to make the world a better place for all. Plus, we will never forget the overall attitude of Kaden “Squirrel” Trotter. He has big plans too. We just wish we had more time with him before he moves on to make other people smile with his addictive humor and straightforward ideas. And then there’s the Golden Boy Michael Thomas. When I first met him, there were Olympic aspirations. Guess what, they are still there; they have just been altered a bit. Bubbles, Kung Fu Panda, Curry, Shooting, Sierra and those “Wild kids” all have left a legacy here at LR that won’t disappear anytime soon.

Of course, I can’t mention them all by name but I can wish them the most heartfelt farewell that I can. For most, I will do that in person, because tears on a newspaper make the paper tear and rip eventually, and these memories I want to last forever. Like the smiles of Lucinda Stensgar, Baylee Daniels and Michael Reyes, I want these everlasting memories to be the beginning of greatness in a world ready for them.

Most are prepared. Yes, a struggle will ensue, but these kids are all survivors, and they will teach future generations to survive, as well. God bless you all, class of 2016, and may your future shine so brightly that we all are required to wear shades.

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