Last one to leave town…

OK, so whose turn is it this week to make sure the lights are off and the doors are locked in town?

This year it has seemed there has almost been a monthly, lately a weekly, tide of people heading out of New Prague to support our students and athletes. While the winter sports teams are winding down on incredible seasons, we’ve also seen a fantastic one for academics and the arts.

Earlier this month the New Prague High School one-act made its first state appearance since 1984, while two weeks ago eighth grader Nick Thompson qualified for the National Spelling Bee. Even more recently nine students from the middle school and high school participated in the Regional Science Fair with the majority qualifying for state.

It seems this area is one where most parents realize a well-rounded education is one that has three As – Academics, Athletics and the Arts. Not every student shines in all three, but their parents at least encourage them to try. One example is senior Katie Morris, daughter of Robb and Dr. Sandy Morris of New Prague. Katie has been a member of the gymnastics team for years and she was among the students at the Regional Science Fair. This year Katie, along with classmate Rena Weis, not only qualified for the State Science Fair, but they also qualified for international competition, for the third year.

Speaking of the gymnastics team, I’d like to add my congratulations on a wonderful ending to the season. I’d also like to mention a memory I have of Matt Shetka.

Years ago at a home meet, I took a photo of Matt consoling one of the girls after she took a bad fall from the uneven bars. The gymnast had an arm in a sling, trying to hold back tears, and Matt had his arm around her, telling her things would be all right. Editor Chuck Kajer and I debated about using the photo, but decided against it.

As far as I know the photo was lost to a computer crash, but to me it showed Matt for the person he was. He was a coach who drove his athletes to work hard, but also cared what happened to them and was there to help when things didn’t go right.