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48 earn aid toward pursuing education

Some of the Stanislaus District's top athletes are tops in academics as well.

The Sac-Joaquin Section announced $32,800 in scholarships given to 48 student-athletes, its annual Dale Lacky Scholarship honorees. The Stanislaus District saw 13 athletes take home $7,500 in scholarships.

The checks will be issued at a breakfast at Elkhorn Country Club in Stockton on April 18 at 9 a.m.

THE $1,000 winners:

Katie Drueen, Modesto: Drueen is a four-year cross country runner who carries a 4.7 GPA -- tops in her class. She won her age group in two marathons and qualified for this year's Boston Marathon on April 21. She's the founder of Modesto High's Purling Panthers Knitting Club and plans to study to be a doctor. She hasn't chosen a college.

Rodney Pereira, Oakdale: An All-District receiver for the Mustangs' section-champion football team, Pereira also played basketball and runs track. He carries a 3.87 GPA and will major in finance at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo while playing football next fall. He's also a volunteer coach and referee for local youth basketball programs.

THE $500 winners:

Kortne Bacca, Denair: She's a four-year softball standout who made the all-league team three times. She's on the National Honor Roll and carries a 4.05 GPA. Bacca is bound for the University of Vermont in September, where she'll major in dietetics.

Ariana Beadle, Mountain Oaks: Beadle earned a varsity letter in volleyball, basketball and track all four years, a rarity in this age of specialized athletes. She's the head referee for the Calaveras Youth Basketball Association and carries a 4.0 GPA. She hopes to continue playing basketball at Miramar College in San Diego.

Alison Chabot, Sonora: She earned varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and track the last three years. She was named the Valley Oak League volleyball MVP. Chabot is heavily involved with her school and is a member of the Youth Leadership of Tuolumne County. Chabot has a 4.32 GPA and hopes to play volleyball at Cal Poly SLO while majoring in business.

Briana DeVries, Ripon Christian: DeVries is a four-year varsity softball player who also played basketball and volleyball. She was a big part of the Knights' section championship volleyball team in the fall. She's involved with her school's Close-Up Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. DeVries has a 4.15 GPA and will major in accounting at Fresno Pacific.

Megan Stroup, Hilmar: Stroup earned varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and track and was the track MVP as a junior. Stroup also coaches youth basketball, is a 4-H counselor and helped organize the Hilmar Udder Run. She has a 4.15 GPA (No. 1 in her class) and will major in journalism or pre-law in college.

Morgan Vigil, Golden Valley: Vigil lettered in cross country, golf and track, where she's the returning CCC pole vault champion. She coaches and referees for local youth soccer teams. Vigil carries a 4.59 GPA (No. 2 in her class) and is a National Merit Scholar. She'll major in either computer science, physics or engineering in college.

Kyle Birchall, Hughson: He earned varsity letters in football, basketball and tennis; he's a two-time all-league tennis player. He's an Eagle Scout who plays in Hughson High's jazz, symphonic and pep bands. He'll go to Brigham Young University next fall.

Jordan Dickson, Davis: He's a four-year basketball player and was a team captain all four years. He's the Davis student body president and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. He carries a 4.47 GPA and plans to attend either Stanford or Harvard, where he'll major in politics or law.

Corey Felber, Orestimba: Felber played five sports over the years: football, basketball, track, baseball and golf. He's active in Student Council and is his school's student body treasurer. He maintains a 4.04 GPA and plans to attend the University of San Diego, where he'll major in mathematics.

Marcus Garcia, Turlock Christian: He was a four-year starter for the soccer team and played basketball for the last two years. He's served as his school's rally commissioner and spirit club president. He also owns an automobile detailing business. He has a 4.17 GPA and plans to major in law.

Andrew Ray, Buhach Colony: He's a four-year varsity participant in cross country and track. He serves in his school's 4-H club (he's also a summer camp counselor and volunteer), FFA, California Scholarship Federation and school government. He has a 4.0 GPA and plans to study environmental management and protection in college.

JOHANSEN senior Emily Myers signed a national letter-of-intent to play volleyball for the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Myers, a setter, averaged two kills, 1.3 aces, two blocks and 8.2 assists per game as Johansen's top option. She was a Modesto Bee second-team All-District selection.

"It was a great fit. Right when I got to Omaha I knew it was the place for me," Myers said. "Even when I was visiting other colleges, I kept thinking back to Omaha."

She said she'll play setter for Nebraska-Omaha, a member of the NCAA's Division II North Central Conference.

"They told me I have a high chance of playing right away," Myers said.

Will DeBoard's high schools column appears Thursdays. E-mail him at, write him at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto, CA 95352-5256, call 578-2300 or fax 238-4551.