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For over twenty years, the mission of the Foundation has been to strengthen the education and extra-curricular opportunities of district students by generating financial support and leadership through our alumni and community.

Since 1990, the Foundation has supported its mission by providing financial resources for:

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Hard work pays off for KHS grad

Freya Block becomes first division-one athlete to become All-American in Kewanee High School history.

Matt Carlson

Sports Editor

From a little farm girl who didn’t want to do track, to an All-American, it’s been quite the journey for Freya Block.

She started throwing shot put and discus in sixth grade while she attended Neponset grade school. Track and field was not something that sounded very appealing to her and she had to be talked into joining by some of her peers.

“There’s a lot of running, that doesn’t sound like fun,” she recalled. “My brother had done it and he hated it so I figured I was going to hate it too. But I was really good at it so I just kept going.”

As a sixth grader, she was competitive against kids that were a year or two older than her and she realized this is something she was pretty good at. She credits growing up on a farm as giving her an early edge against the rest of the competition. From carrying buckets of water around to throwing around bails of hay, she developed a natural strength that most kids did not have yet at that age.

“I was always trying to help around the farm so that definitely helped in junior high and the first couple years of high school since I was probably stronger than most others,” she said.

During junior high and high school, Block threw both shot put and discus and had instant success. She went to state all four years of her high school career including a second place finish in both shot put, and discus her senior year.

She made it to state her freshman year, but didn’t advance past the opening round. Her sophomore year, she made the final round placing sixth overall. Her junior year she made it to state but didn’t advance to the finals and then her senior year she finished second. It wasn’t until the end of her senior year that she was even introduced to the hammer throw.

“I didn’t even know what it was,” she said with a laugh.

For those who don’t know, the hammer throw is where the athlete has a metal ball which is attached to a steel wire and grip, and they spin around a few times while building velocity and throw the ball as far as possible.

Her high school coach, Carl Anderson, was the one who introduced her to this throwing technique.

Hammer throw is not an IHSA regulated sport so Block didn’t start doing it until she got ready for college.

When she first started attempting it, she was throwing around 140-150 feet. By the time she was a senior in college,

her longest throw was 218 feet.

The 70 foot increase in distance was a result of improved technique, but also a lot of weight lifting and physical training.

Block attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and walked on the track and field team.

Once the official NCAA athletic season began, the vigorous training followed.

“We dove straight in,” Block said. “There was no putting your toe in the water.”

She started out doing the full workouts right away, but not as heavy of weight as most of her peers. Fast forward a year and a half, and she was bench pressing around 300 pounds.

Similar to high school, her college career was up and down.

Her freshman year, she made it to the USATF (United States of America Track and

                 Freya Block finished seventh overall in the hammer throw competition at the

2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

 

Field) Nationals. This is a nationwide event for athletes under the age of 20. She placed third overall in the hammer throw competition.

Her sophomore year, she earned all-conference honors thanks to her third place finish at the conference meet.

Block’s junior year was a bit of a down year, but it all came together her senior year. She won the conference championship for hammer throw and made it to the national track and field meet for the first time.

“The meet was a really cool experience,” she said. “It was huge.”

She opened the meet with a throw of 204 feet, and failed to improve on that for her second attempt.

Her first two throws were good compared to what she had been throwing for the most part of the season, but she sat outside of the top 9, which advanced to the final round.

“I was so nervous,” she recalled. “I just sat down and was just trying to breathe.”

For her final throw of the round, she ripped off a throw of 211 feet and 10 inches to advance her to the final round, making her an All-American.

She ended up finishing seventh overall in the event.

“It’s funny, I was a little disappointed at first,” she said. “The athlete in me was like, ‘dang, I wanted to get second or third.”

Looking back, she is very happy with the result. “It’s pretty awesome,” she said with a smile.

Block was a graduate of Kewanee High School in 2013. She already has her bachelor’s degree in general agriculture and will obtain her master’s degree in agribusiness economics by December of this year.

As her college career comes to an end, her track and field career will also be coming to an end.

“It’s bittersweet, but I’m so glad I did it. I have no regrets whatsoever,” the All-American said. “I’m okay with starting my career and that’s what I’ve been planning for.”

With a desire and work ethic like hers, there’s no doubt that this farm girl from Neponset will be successful with whatever she does in life.

Matt Carlson

 

KHS awards $81,000 in scholarships and awards at commencement on May 14, 2017

Diplomas were handed to 133 members of Kewanee High School’s Class of 2017 during commencement. Students winning awards and scholarships were: Carlos Garcia — Frank and Fannie Lay Kewanee High School Award, Martin Rapczak and Rodney Rogers Memorial Patriotism Award, Doctor Smith Loyalty Award Mayra Almanza — Frank and Fannie Lay Kewanee High School John Mott — Kiwanis Cup, Industrial Education Award and Galen and Mary Landis Plaque, Mason Lodge 159 Scholarship Award, Dean L. Bates Scholarship Bethany Witte — Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Council Award, Bradley Wessels Memorial Award, Dean L. Bates Scholarship, Robert E. Breedlove Scholarship, Kewanee High School Theater Scholarship Madison Cinnamon — Lions Club Plaque, Star Courier Journalism Award, Dean L. Bates Scholarship Victoria Crofton — Lions Club Plaque, St. Francis Alumni Association Scholarship, John Philip Sousa Band Award, Robert L. Petersen Memorial Award, Kewanee Rebekah Lodge 512 Scholarship, Reeser Family Scholarship Emanuel Damas — Lions Club Plaque, Tom Blake Memorial Award Zoey Murphy — Lions Club Plaque, National Arion Foundation Award for band, Barry Lee Ensley Memorial Award, National School Choral Award, Harriett McCarthy Math Scholarship Dillon Murphy — Chamber of Commerce Award Kali Olivia-Farrell — Mary Lee and H.T. Mercer Fine Arts Award Conner DeVilder — Mary Lee and H.T. Mercer Fine Arts Award, National Arion Foundation Award for choir, Katie Woods Creative Spirit Award, Hardt Family Memorial Scholarship, Kewanee High School Theater Scholarship Jessica German — Agricultural Advisory Council, FFA Alumni Scholarship, Ruth and Edmond Beauprez Memorial Scholarship Kayla Thomas — Odd Fellows Plaque Ezequiel Robleto — Pauline Scott Memorial Award, Ethel C. Tillman Scholarship Camron Rohrig — Joe Hill Memorial Award Joseph Westgerdes — Rumbled Family Farms Award, FFA Alumni Scholarship, DeKalb Agricultural Accomplishment Award, Vernon H. Charlet Memorial Award Ty Jones — Margaret Ririe Memorial Award, Chris R. Kerridge Memorial Journalism Award, Hilding Beck Scholarship, Dean L. Bates Scholarship, Adam Lazar Memorial Scholarship Lovie Christian — Susan Smith Memorial Plaque, Wayne and Hazel Zang Memorial Scholarship Cheyenne Bruno — Belle Alexander Dennis Scholarship Jessica Crofton — Adela Wesebaum Award, H. F. Brockton Memorial Athletic Award, Jerry Nell Memorial Award, Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, Richard A. Ruzas Jr. Memorial Track Award, Harriett McCarthy Math Scholarship Brenda Werderman — Rodney Rogers Memorial Medical Arts Award Emilee Giese — Grace Heiner Memorial Award, Geoffrey R. Schmidt Memorial Scholarship, Anonymous Scholarship 2017 Spencer Bailie — Woody Herman Jazz Award, Ken Fristad Memorial Golf Scholarship Even Neirynck — Class of 1934 Memorial Scholarship Award Brooke Vancil — Kathryn L. Kirley Memorial Scholarship Rebekah Dennison — Richard Mautino Memorial Government Service Learning Award Nicholas Sheets — Elks Trophy, Lions Club Plaque, DAR Good Citizen Award, David Hepner Football Memorial, Glidden Family Scholarship Jessica Fragoso — Hilding Beck Scholarship, Hardt Family Memorial Scholarship Seth Williams — Matthew Scott Memorial Award Valerie Rouse — Dr. Ronald Thompson Memorial Scholarship Hallie Cordrey — Bernie VanWassenhove-Johnson Scholarship Award Blair Bullock — Leo A. Saey Memorial Award, R. Lynn Saey Memorial Scholarship Jacob Anderson — Dean L. Bates Scholarship, Harriett McCarthy Math Scholarship, Dr. Robert Breedlove Memorial Athletics Scholarship Delaney Smith — Dean L. Bates Scholarship, Brian P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Eli Wentzel — American Legion Post 31 Scholarship Logan Bennison — Kewanee Park District Scholarship, Ken Fristad Memorial Golf Scholarship Sydney Baughman — Marvin Damron Memorial Scholarship Victor Robleto — Harriett McCarthy Math Scholarship, Bradley and Joanne Waugh Family Memorial Award Michael Huggins — Laurence Horler Scholarship Heather Hoadley — Heidi L. Goodbar Memorial Art Scholarship Carson Prescott — Zarvell Scholarship Hunter Hand — George Cernovich Auto Service Scholarship Dawson Stuckey — Troy Bryner Agriculture/Mechanic s Scholarship, Ken Fristad Memorial Golf Scholarship Bryce Nolan — Ken Sullens-James Golby Scholarship Rae Ann Hollis — James Golby Agri Business Scholarship Noah Jonmarker — Geoffrey R. Schmidt Memorial Scholarship Daphne Ahearn — Anna L. Sheahan Memorial Scholarship Lori French — Robert A. Grabbe Memorial Award Jack Young — Robert A. Grabbe Memorial Award.

 

 

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Project time!!!!! KEWANEE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES....Missy Vail-Frakes, KHS Counselor, is looking for pictures of former Kewanee High School graduates....it doesn't matter what year! Once a Boilermaker, always a Boilermaker! She would like pictures of the following: you on your college campus OR you working in your career. You can send the pictures to Kewanee High School, attn: Missy Vail-Frakes or email them to her at mvail@kcud229.org. If you send your picture and would like it returned, please make note of that when sent. By emailing or sending her your post-secondary pictures, you are giving her permission to post them in our school to showcase our alumni! Thank you!

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