Lessons learned in athletics will carry through life seniors told

Conceive, believe, achieve…

Major Jerry Farnsworth told athletes graduating from Sweet Home High School that following those principles would take them far in life.

Farnsworth should know.

The 1987 SHHS graduate has gone on to distinguish himself, first as a student/athlete at West Point Military Academy and over the last 10 years as a officer and teacher for the U.S. Army.

Farnsworth, the son of Jerry and Dora Farnsworth now teaches chemistry at West Point. He has received numerous military accolades for his work as an Army engineer both in the United States and in Europe.

“To conceive means to be mentally prepared,” Major Farnsworth said. “To believe means you have to set goals to make the journey and to achieve means you need to be able to compete to win. Everyone here is an achiever.”

Major Farnsworth praised the group because they have already achieved as athletes.

“This will probably be the last time all of you are assembled as a group of athletes. You understand what it means to sacrifice blood, sweat, time. You are a winning team, first class citizens.”

After moving to Sweet Home as an incoming freshman, Major Farnsworth said he was at first hesitant to become involved in athletics.

“My first experience on Husky field as playing in the band,” he said.

To succeed in life, Major Farnsworth said, one needs to overcome fears and anxiety.

Sweet Home, he said, is known statewide as a community that produces outstanding athletes.

“You are role models in this community. As athletes you are leaders, you lead by example,” Major Farnsworth said.

When interviewing staff for job assignments, Major Farnsworth said he always asks if the person played competitive sports in high school or college.

“I believe it’s important to know,” he said. “If the person competed in sports, I know they understand what it means to work as a team. They have also experienced victory and defeat.”

Major Farnsworth challenged the athletes to succeed in life and to be happy.

SHHS athletic director Larry Johnson, presiding at his last senior banquet in that position, said 29 athletes were nominated for the special awards.

Named to the Husky Hall of Fame were wrestler David Helfrich, swimmer Rhys Birky and dancer Tracee Scott.

Helfrich has had an outstanding career as a Husky wrestler. He qualified for the state tournament four times and was state champion his senior year at 171 pounds.

Helfrich earned the team’s workhorse award, was second at district as freshman district champion his sophomore through senior years.

He was named outstanding district wrestler his junior and senior years and was second at state as a junior.

In Greco Roman wrestling he was fourth, second and third at state. He was eighth at the Cadet National Greco Roman tournament, was an All American honorable mention athlete, Cultural Exchange Trials champ and was fourth at the Junior Northwest Regional tournament.

Birky has been a driving force for the Husky swimming teams.

He holds school records in the 500 freestyle and 100 freestyle.

He earned the underclassman award as a freshman and sophomore, was MVP his junior and senior years, team captain his junior and senior years, was on the 400 relay team that was first at state and set a state record his sophomore year.

400 relay team third at state his junior year, 200 medley relay second at state his freshman, sophomore and junior years; 200 medley relay that was first at state his sophomore year; 100 breast stroke, fifth as a freshman, fourth as a sophomore and champion as a senior; 200 IM, six as a freshman, champion sophomore and senior, second as a junior; 100 freestyle, third at at state as a junior.

He was named to the Top 10 academic team all state as a sophomore.

In water polo he was team captain his junior and senior years and co-captain his freshman and sophomore years.

Tracee Scott has worked tirelessly for years to perfect his art form of dancing. She becomes the first dancer inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame.

Scott was a state dance team all star all four years and was all state her senior year.

She was named a state Scholar Athlete and has received a full dance scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University.

She is a four-year letter winner, was team captain and choreographer.

Other awards included:

USMC Scholar Athlete: K.C. Stokes and Kaci Trask.

Army Scholar Athlete: Megan Foucht and Chad Emmert.

Greg Hagle Memorial Scholarship: Heather Wall.

Norm Davis Scholarship: Keegan Burnett.

Booster Club Boy and Girl: Amanda Burcham and David Helfrich.

Moe Award: Amanda Burcham, Chad Emmert, Crystal Fowler.