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True scholar-athletes

Sac-Joaquin Section awards Placer’s Ross, two Forest Lake Christian athletes Lacky scholarships
By: Todd Mordhorst, Journal Sports Editor
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Anyone involved with the Placer High athletic program already knew Matt Ross was one of the top student-athletes in the Sac-Joaquin Section (SJS). The senior was officially recognized as such recently when he was awarded an A. Dale Lacky Scholarship from the section office. Ross was one of 10 student athletes from the section to win $1,000 college scholarships. Forty other SJS athletes were awarded $600 scholarships, including Forest Lake Christian’s Elyse Vierra and Dawson Young. Ross’ athletic achievements are well documented. He earned all-Pioneer Valley League honors on the football field after guiding Placer’s dramatic trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title game. The quarterback passed for 1,482 yards and 17 touchdowns and also rushed for another six TDs. Despite starting basketball a month late due to football season, Ross earned all-PVL second team honors. On the baseball field, Ross is a two-time all-PVL pick and is the team’s ace pitcher and starting shortstop. The Hillmen are currently in first place in the PVL at 6-0. In the classroom, Ross is one of the top students in his class and plans on studying business administration and management at San Diego State University next fall. Ross is also involved with youth football camps, church functions and town projects, He is a member of the California Scholarship Federation and was chosen as a California American Legion Boys State Participant last year. Vierra is a stellar defender and a captain on the Falcons’ outstanding soccer team. She is a four-year varsity letter winner and also participated in cross country and volleyball at Forest Lake. Vierra was an all-Central Valley Christian League second team selection last season. Vierra has been involved with mission trips to Mexico and San Francisco throughout her high school years and has been involved in student leadership and other student organizations. Vierra, who has a 4.00 grade point average, plans to attend George Fox University in Oregon or Dartmouth, an Ivy League school in New Hampshire, to pursue a career in the medical research field. Young was a key forward on the Falcons’ Sac-Joaquin Section Division V basketball champion last season and a leader on this year’s section finalist. He teaches Sunday school at his church and volunteers at an Alzheimer’s home. He also coaches inner-city youth sports, plays the piano and sings. Young has maintained a 4.00 grade point average and was selected to attend American Legion Boys State. He plans on pursuing an engineering degree in college. The Lacky Scholarships are funded through the section’s foundation games, which are held at the beginning of the girls volleyball and boys and girls basketball seasons. More than $22,000 was generated from the foundation games in 2008 while $12,000 more was raised through the section’s annual golf tournament and other sponsors.