Two students with diversified skills and talents have been presented “Triple A” honors at Pelican Rapids High School –for performance in athletics, arts and academics.
Viking “Triple A” winners are seniors Jacob Gottenborg and Morgan Berg.
“Being involved in the arts, athletics, and academics has had a huge impact on my life,” stated Berg, in her statements in the AAA nomination form. Her future plans are to pursue a degree in marine biology.
With a perfect 4.0 grade point average for much of her high school career, Berg has also participated on the Knowledge Bowl team, with the SADD chapter, and the Honor Society.
As a senior, Berg is president of the Student Council.
“These things have all taught me very important skills for my future, including teamwork and how to manage multiple tasks at once,” stated Berg.
On stage, Berg performed in the school play as Lady Macbeth as a junior. Her senior year, she was part of the “Charlie Brown” cast. She has also played in the band.
“The arts have taught me how to step outside my comfort zone. People won’t judge you on trying something different,” stated Berg. “The arts have also taught me patience while learning how to play an instrument.”
Berg has lettered through high school
On the court, Berg lettered in volleyball and basketball. Athletic honors include “Most Valuable Team Player” and “Most Improved.” As a golfer, she has lettered since the ninth grade.
“In athletics, I became more confident in myself. I also learned valuable skills including teamwork and problem solving,” wrote Berg. “Participating in sports along with school work has made me a much better multi-tasker and helped me grow in my study skills…Academics have made me understand how much hard work pays off. It has taught me that I need to focus on the job at hand and not procrastinate.”
A good example for teammates, youth
Commenting on Berg’s involvement in basketball, Coach Lee Larson noted, “she sets a good example to other students of what a focused, successful student is. Not only does she provide leadership in modeling positive behaviors, she’s also eager to help fellow students directly….always ready with a smile and an encouraging word.”
“She is very conscientious and looks for ways to help her teammates in any way she can,” stated Coach Larson. “She is always the first to volunteer her time to the youth basketball program, tournaments, and summer programs. I can always count on a positive attitude nd a work ethic second to none.”
Gottenborg: “Sports doesn’t last forever…education lasts a lifetime”
Senior Gottenborg “likes a challenge.” That’s why he endured the daily struggle of calculus–along with the daily challenges in athletic endeavors.
“Grades are important to me; my parents have always told me that sports don’t last forever, but an education lasts a lifetime,” stated Gottenborg.
Next year, Gottenborg will be attending Valley City State University in North Dakota, where he was awarded an athletic scholarship to play football.
“Education has taught me …how to work hard,” stated Gottenborg in his nomination responses. As a letter winner in Knowledge Bowl, Gottenborg has enjoyed the quizzing on random facts in competitions. He was also elected president of the Honor Society. As far as the arts, Gottenborg views his involvement in band as a “break in my day where most of the pressure is gone.”
“Band is a whole different world than sports,” said Gottenborg, who also took five years of piano lessons. His involvement in music has taught him discipline in an area outside of sports and academics.
“Perseverance, leadership, humility and time management are benefits I have gained by being involved in arts, athletics and academics,” said Gottenborg.
Winning the “Mr. Basketball” honor is different than “Most Valuable Player,” noted Gottenborg. “It takes into account your skill, but also recognizes how you areas a person and leader.”
Academic All State a high honor A high honor for Gottenborg was the Academic All-State Award he won in football his senior year.
“Sports has taught me to be competitive. The general desire to win has influenced my grades which is kind of a passive competition where everyone who applies themselves succeeds,” stated Gottenborg, who has also been active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Challenges athletically have ranged from losing seasons to spraining an ankle to injuring his knee and shoulder.
“I love playing the game. Losing has made me humble,” said Gottenborg. “I never take a win for granted. I appreciate any success we have as a team. I’ve learned balance; I don’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows.”
Little things count in life, as much as big things
“In life there are big things, and there are small things…It’s the small day to day things that really make life fun and give life a sense of purpose. In sports or band, a tiny thing like playing a sharp instead of a flat can make a world of difference to the overall effect.”
Commenting on Gottenborg, basketball coach Jon Gullingsrud said, “One of the core principles that we try to develop and impart is that all of them have the ability to be leaders, now and in the future. Jacob has embraced this challenge that wfe have set out…and voluntarily seeks out opportunities to develop his leadership skills.
The motto of our school is that everyone is a leader, and every leader values integrity, shows respect, and acts responsibly. I definitey feel that Jacob is what we are striving for our students to be, as he exhibits all of these qualities.”
“So often, people just look at the big picture; being a leader means reminding others of the little things and keeping everyone on track. The best leader doesn’t just say it, but he shows it in his own actions.”