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Bowers, Vander Molen earn Lacky Scholarship Award

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Bowers, Vander Molen earn Lacky Scholarship Award

Sierra High senior cross country and track distance runner John Bowers is one of the 50 student-athletes in the Sac-Joaquin Section to earn A. Dale Lacky Scholarship Awards.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED April 3, 2010 2:45 a.m.
Sierra and Ripon Christian high schools each have a student-athlete represented on the Sac-Joaquin Section’s list of A. Dale Lacky Scholarship Award winners for the second straight year.

Sierra senior cross country and track standout John Bowers is one of just 10 athletes section-wide to earn  a$1,000 scholarship, while Ripon Christian’s Steve Vander Molen is one of 40 to be awarded $600.

Last year, Sierra three-sport star Heather Scharmann (volleyball, basketball, softball) was one of the big-prize winners, and RC graduate Matt Unruh (baseball) was presented a $600 check. Scharmann and Unruh are now at Fresno State and Cal Baptist University, respectively.

The section will recognize the honorees during a breakfast ceremony April 20 at Elkhorn Country Club in Stockton. Sierra baseball coach Jack Thomson will also be recognized as one of the six model coach award winners.

The majority of the $34,000 that will be forked out to the 50 scholarship recipients was covered by the Foundation Games, which generated more than $25,000. During the volleyball and boys and girls basketball seasons, one day is reserved for schools to participate in the Foundation Games — contests that don’t count against records but benefit the A. Dale Lacky Scholarship Awards.

Bowers was named the Bulletin’s Cross Country Runner of the Year last fall after qualifying for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships. He was also a part of the school’s section-championship boys track team in 2008.

A three-time scholar-athlete award winner at Sierra, Bowers also shines in the classroom and the community. He carries a 3.955 GPA, volunteers as a Sunday school teacher at his church and volunteers his time in the community by helping organize youth track meets and marathon runs.

Bowers has been accepted to UC Davis and will major in computer or electrical engineering.

Vander Molen is a three-sport athlete who has played soccer, basketball and baseball at RC, earning all-Trans Valley League honors in each sport. In basketball he helped the Knights reach the SJS Division V playoffs championship round and the CIF Northern California regional tournament.

The 3.94 GPA student has been accepted to attend Azusa Pacific, Fresno Pacific and Calvin College in Michigan and aims to continue his baseball career at the next level.

Vander Molen is also heavily involved at his church, where he spends time as a junior counselor for the Cadet Club while travelling on short-term mission projects. He is also a volunteer cook at the Stockton Gospel Rescue Mission.

— Jonamar Jacinto
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