Sweet Home High School names freshmen of the year

Benny Westcott

Max Klumph and Lydia Wright have been named Sweet Home High School’s Freshman Boy and Girl of the Year for 2020-21.

Klumph, 15, is the son of Brent and the late Melissa Klumph. He has one brother, Cannon, 13.

Wright, 15, is the daughter of Garrett and Heather Wright. Her siblings are Seth, 21, Corbin, 19, Micah, 17, and Selah, 13.

“I was really excited that I was chosen as freshman boy,” Klumph said.

He earned a 4.0 this year, all while playing soccer, his favorite sport; basketball; and track and field. Klumph said he is considering playing football as well.

He also is in the school’s Leadership class and participated in the Rural Development Initiative leadership program that took place earlier this year.

Klumph said he enjoys going to the lake and hanging out with friends in his free time, and doing “odd jobs here and there.”

He said he’s worked in paving, helped people move, mowed lawns, and has assisted at the Wright Family Farm.

Klumph said he enjoyed taking Spanish in particular this year.

“I’d never taken a Spanish class before, and I like the teacher and the people that were in the class,” he noted.

“I’d like to think that I’m getting better at Spanish.”

Asked why he thinks he received the award, Klumph spoke a bit for Wright as well.

“We both got good grades, and this year, with COVID, there weren’t a whole lot of freshmen boys or girls getting out and doing stuff,” he said.

Klumph took a more active approach than many of his peers.

“I thought, ‘I’m only in high school for four years, and then I have to leave,'” he said.

“So I figured that I might as well say yes to everything and do what I can during the four years that I’m here.”

He added that he and Wright had roles in planning May Week and Homecoming Court at the high school.

Klumph said appreciates the people in his life who serve as inspirations.

“My role model is definitely my dad,” he said. “He helps me out a lot and I look up to him.”

In school, Klumph said he most looks up to science teacher Michelle Synder.

His advice to incoming freshmen would be to “just do as much as you can. This is going to sound kind of mean, but no one really expects a whole lot from the freshmen. So if you do anything, it will seem better than normal. Might as well get out there and go for it.”

Over the next three years, Klumph said he would like to work to be valedictorian and go to college.

He also said, “I’d like to do pretty well in sports at least one year.”

After college, Klumph said “I’d like to work outdoors somehow. I’m not sure what that would imply, but I don’t want to stay inside all the time.”

Klumph points to his family culture as helping him stay motivated to succeed through the unusual circumstance of taking online classes this previous school year.

“My family’s pretty educationally oriented,” he said. “So it wasn’t that hard to stay engaged, but it was a little difficult to get everything done sometimes.”

This summer, Klumph plans on visiting Montana and Astoria, and, more locally, the Linn County Fair.

Wright said she “was really surprised” when she heard she had won Freshman Girl of the Year and “didn’t know that it was actually a thing.”

Wright also has earned a 4.00 during her first year in high school, and participates in track and field, where her best events have been the 200 and 400.

She is also in the Leadership class at Sweet Home High School as well.

Wright said her favorite class at the high school was Leadership, “because it was the most fun and we actually did hands-on stuff in it.”

Wright credited the Leadership class for helping her stay active and involved in school functions during the pandemic.

“I got a phone call saying that I had a chance to be in Leadership class, and I just kind of did whatever they were doing in that, which helped,” she said.

Wright said the key to her success is trying her hardest and not giving up.

In addition, she said that “all of her family” is her role model, and that they’ve pushed her to be the best version of herself.

At the high school, “Mr. (Tomas) Rosa helped a lot,” she said. Rosa teaches language arts.

“He helped us figure out things to do and try to get back to a normal school year.”

Wright said she sells sheep at the Linn County Fair. Her family owns a local farm, Wright Farm, where she helps out.

“I just like being outdoors,” she said.

Wright’s advice to incoming freshmen would be “don’t let the doubters get to you.”

Her goals for the rest of her high school career are to get better in track and try to make it to state, as well as continue to achieve academically.

Wright said that for a career, she is either considering going to the military or continuing her grandparents’ ranch.

Asked what about the military appeals to her, Wright said ,”I guess movies kind of help. I do like my war movies.”

Wright noted that taking classes behind a computer screen was tough, but snacks helped her persevere. “It was rough,” Wright said. “Food helped a lot. When I was by my computer I always had some sort of food by me.”

Wright said she plans to spend time this summer babysitting for other families, spending time with family, and also showing and selling a market lamb at the Linn County Fair later this month.