A pair of all-around standout athletes, who also were exceptional in the classroom, have been named winners of the 2020 Mike Keck Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to the top scholar-athlete in Klamath County.
Each was selected for their $1,000 scholarship by a panel of sports fans from throughout the county.
In winning the girls award, Raigan Loney also made history in joining her father, Tom, as the only parent-child Keck Scholarship winners.
The boys award went to Klamath Union’s Darius Holmes.
Each won in close voting.
Loney slipped past KU’s Shielteal Watah and Lost River’s Angela Taylor.
In the boys voting, Holmes finished slightly ahead of Lost River’s Aiden McAuliffe and Henley’s Braden Lawrie.
Loney was a three-sport standout at Henley who won first-team honors her senior season in both soccer and basketball. She also played softball for the Hornets, a sport her mother, Lana, had played in college.
Loney graduated with a 3.46 grade point average.
Holmes, who had a 3.47 GPA, had numerous first-team honors in football and basketball, also was solid in track and field with six district championships and all-state placements five times.
Both had solid letters of recommendation for the award, which now has been awarded since 1972, and named in honor of former Klamath Union standout athlete Mike Keck, who died in an automobile accident while a member of the Oregon State University men’s basketball team.
“Raigan was a student in my biology class and my field/aquatic biology class, and took it upon herself to organize my tutorial class twice a week. That is the kind of person she is,” Henley teacher and coach Brian Stock wrote in his letter of recommendation for Loney.
“I don’t think students like Raigan get enough credit for what they do academically, having 2-to-3 hour practices/games five or six days a week,” Stock wrote, “which forces them to learn time-management skills.
“Raigan is a leader,” Stock wrote. “In the most impressive way, she leads without having to say a lot because she plays so hard. I think the best thing I could say about her athletic accomplishment is that I would have loved to be her teammate.”
“Raigan was always someone you looked forward to seeing walk in the gym,” Henley girls basketball coach Shannon Carlson wrote in her letter. “She was positive to her coaches and teammates, was very coachable, taking constructive criticism very well.
“Raigan’s work ethic and drive to succeed carries over into the classroom. The diversity of successful interactions shows her superb social skills, teamwork and communication skills.”
Holmes had equally impressive recommendations.
“He is not afraid of a challenge, as witnessed by his insistence on taking the most advanced classes offered at Klamath Union,” Jared McCleve wrote in his letter for Holmes, who will become the first member of his family to attend college.
“Whenever any of his fellow students was having a difficult time or feeling down, he never dialed to step in with an encouraging word and smile. He is a strong leader in the student community, and a dedicated athlete.
“Darius has a deep love for language,” McCleve added.
“Darius is an excellent student,” KU track and field coach Rob Coffman wrote in his letter. “Obviously, Darius has mastered the principle of time management. This will serve him well in college and beyond.
“Darius is a ‘one in a generation’ athlete,” Coffman wrote. “He is very talented, but, again, what sets him apart is his work ethic. What impressed me the most, though, was Darius’ willingness to give up individual accolades for the success of teammates. He is a selfless leader.
“Darius has overcome many major obstacles during different periods in his life,” Coffman wrote. “Nothing has been given to him. It has been earned. I admire Darius for who he is and what he desires for his life.”
MIKE KECK SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS
(In 1988, the award was expanded to include a male and a female winner each year.)
1972 — Oliver Spires, Klamath Union.
1973 — Sandy Herbert, Klamath Union.
1974 — Tom Foster, Klamath Union.
1975 — Rosanne Cahill, Bonanza, and Tim Simmers, Henley.
1976 — Lee Webb, Bonanza.
1977 — Dan Keck, Klamath Union.
1978 — Dean Boyle, Gilchrist.
1979 — Gary “Pete” Whisler, Klamath Union.
1980 — Lisa Nicholson, Lost River.
1981 — Randy Whisler, Klamath Union.
1982 — Shari Collins, Chiloquin.
1983 — Robin Parker, Henley.
1984 — Brent Bowker, Henley.
1985 — Marnie Mason, Klamath Union.
1986 — Tom Loney, Klamath Union.
1987 — Jason Hisey, Klamath Union.
1988 — Scott Gottula, Klamath Union, and Laurie Northrop, Mazama.
1989 — Mike Allison, Mazama, and Allison Brite, Klamath Union.
1990 — Rex Underwood, Gilchrist; Aaron Hubler, Mazama; Josh Sellers, Klamath Union, and Jenny Bjerke, Klamath Union.
1991 — Tom Batsell, Mazama, and Shannon Radford, Henley.
1992 — Dave Beeson, Mazama, and Amy Wood, Mazama.
1993 — Travis Olson, Mazama, and Tara Harrington, Mazama.
1994 — Aaron Merhoff, Klamath Union, Ryan Lipe, Mazama, and Lydia Ledgerwood, Klamath Union.
1995 — Jeff Riggs, Henley, and Wendy Olson, Mazama.
1996 — J.J. Jedrykowski, Mazama, and Andrea Castaneda, Lost River.
1997 — Billy Montgomery, Henley, and Jessica Forbes, Klamath Union.
1998 — Charlie Kandra, Lost River, and Jessyca Arthur, Klamath Union.
1999 — Jason Harless, Bonanza, and Brady Lukkari, Klamath Union.
2000 — Ian Dobson, Klamath Union, and Dena Young, Mazama.
2001 — Michael Nunes, Henley, and Sam Gilbert, Klamath Union.
2002 — Luis Garcia, Klamath Union, and Sam Young, Henley.
2003 — Eric Brosterhous, Mazama, and Ivy Nelson, Bonanza.
2004 — Sean Anderson, Klamath Union, Katie Leary, Klamath Union, and Michelle Klaja, Henley.
2005 — Mike Nieraeth, Bonanza, and Jenni Ritter, Klamath Union.
2006 — Daniel Landrum, Klamath Union, and Danielle Stratton, Mazama.
2007 — Kyle Gomez, Bonanza, and Lexi Newman, Bonanza.
2008 — Danny Staats, Henley, and Katie Gilbert, Klamath Union.
2009 — Jon Amos, Klamath Union, and Taylor Wallace, Henley.
2010 — John Myers, Henley, and Cori Wallace, Henley.
2011 — Daniel Mathis, Mazama, and Rylee Carleton, Henley, and Karyssa Gomez, Bonanza.
2012 — Tasman ‘Zorg’ Loustalet, Henley, and Elle Morgan, Henley.
2013 — Ryan Stewart, Bonanza, and Hannah Reynolds, Mazama.
2014 — Gabe Ovgard, Klamath Union, and Sarah Estabrook, Triad.
2015 — Jacob Mangan, Henley, and Britanny Kochenderfer, Henley.
2016 — Andrew Taylor, Lost River, and Emily Parks, Lost River.
2017 — Michelangelo Luce, Klamath Union, and McKenna Armantrout, Henley.
2018 — Kyle Hadwick, Henley, and Rachel Parks, Lost River.
2019 — Jake Healy, Mazama, and Jessica Northcutt, Henley.
2020 — Darius Holmes, Klamath Union, and Raigan Loney, Henley.