Cross country team earns top academic honors

Left to right: Stephan Griss, Calen Thompson, Gary Johansen, Conor Smith, Alex Bennett, Nathan Reitz.

NASELLE - The Naselle-Grays River Valley boys cross country team has been selected for the Academic State Champion award. This is the first time a Comets team has won this honor, although they have come close in the past, with several district academic awards.

According to Naselle Athletic Director Brian Macy said, "The team/group with the highest average GPA for their activities and classification level is recognized as Academic State Champions. The varsity boys finished with a 3.805 GPA, which was the highest in the state among 2B schools. The GPAs are cumulative and were taken from the previous semester for all seven boys. The boys will receive their award on Saturday, during the state meet in Pasco."

The boys on the varsity team are: Conor Smith, Stephan Griss, Alex Bennett, Gary Johansen, Drew Macy, Calen Thompson and Nathan Reitz.

In the words of first place Comets' runner Nathan Reitz, a freshman: "We have a team that's full of bright kids. They always seem to be trying their best no matter what. They look to the goal ahead, rather than looking behind."

Cross country coach Scott Smith adds: "We are lucky to have a bunch of hard workers and good kids."

Superintendent Alan Bennett stated, "As superintendent, I am very thankful to have such students represent our district. They demonstrate the mission of athletics here at Naselle which is ... to teach and encourage students to compete in a manner that promotes personal development, fosters teamwork and teaches important life skills necessary for becoming a valued member of society. We value and enjoy watching sports and the competitive atmosphere is invigorating. It's nice to see however that the real reason we go to school, to learn, isn't lost in the process."

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