ETCETERA - Ex-Wa-Hi athlete honors ‘brother's' memory with scholarship

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Former Walla Wallan Jessica "Jessi" Walters Boschma sponsors a $500 scholarship for local students in memory of her "big brother," John Eagon.

She plans to raise more funds for the award by running in the Coeur d'Alene marathon over Memorial Day weekend.

Applications are being accepted until Feb. 28.

"John was a tremendous athlete and an excellent student," said Jessi, who considered him as a brother. "He did not have a biological sister and I did not have a brother. When just young, we ‘took over' the brother/sister positions for one another and maintained this relationship until his death in 2001."

She said John valued education and athletics and they both believed in higher education and the importance of attending a four-year college or university.

Both athletes at Walla Walla High School, "we treasured the balance it gave to our academic studies. John played tennis, basketball, and football while I played soccer, tennis, and ran in cross-country.

John earned a degree in biology from Washington State University and published five laboratory textbooks during his undergraduate studies. Jessi completed my undergraduate and graduate studies at Whitworth College.

They both pursued a path as educators and coaches. John taught anatomy and physiology for the WAMI medical students at WSU and coached boy's high school tennis in Spokane and baseball in Walla Walla.

Jessica teaches math, French and leadership at University High School in Spokane and is ASB advisor.

"What many of our friends did not see," Jessi wrote, was that "John and I both faced obstacles while in high school and college. They proved to be difficult, as all challenges are, but together we found victory and became better people through the ‘stretching' process.

"The challenges young people face today seem overwhelming. Yet, what speaks even louder is the way we grow through the process.

In honor of John, Jessi wants to offer financial support to a scholar/athlete who has faced adversity and wants to continue collegiate study.

She and John wouldn't have attended college without financial support from others who believed in them.

She has generated funds for the scholarship through those who pledged dollars for the miles she ran in three different marathons.

She also ran a half marathon and raised funds with three of her students last spring.

"Running in marathons has seemed the perfect way to celebrate John's life - taking on an athletic challenge that would support academic achievement and allow another special person to achieve his or her collegiate goals," she wrote.

Applicants must provide an essay. More details are available from Jessi at marathonjessy@gmail.com or 509-475-5317.

‘We had a little bit of excitement at our place," Carolyn Hansen e-mailed at 11:50 a.m. Thursday from their place on Taumarson Road.

One indicator that it wasn't just another Thursday morning was that at 11 a.m. their horses wouldn't eat because they "were quite interested in something across the road," Carolyn said.

Husband Clark told her something across the road was holding the horses' interest. Then neighbor Dee Dee telephoned with an alert that moose were in the pasture across the street and that they were heading Carolyn's way.

Carolyn grabbed her camera and got a few shots, "but missed a good one of the momma moose filling the whole picture window to the back yard. The two calves started up our driveway and then the momma was looking like she wanted to get into the front pasture, but then followed her babies up the lane."

The threesome took their time until they were about halfway to the house, then they ran past it.

"I found them in the back yard as they jumped the fence between the garden and the back pasture and then they went on past (a neighbor's) ... We thought they might take out the fence but you should have seen them jump them. And then here came the fish and game officer," Carolyn said.

"Clark visited with him a bit and he seemed to be out of breath, as he and his partner had been following the two calves and momma moose on foot from the Stone Hunt" on Plaza Way and Tietan Street.

"It was quite exciting this morning," Carolyn added. "They came down Highland Road across Hal and Kathy Thomas' pasture and crossed Taumarson Road and up Hansen Lane around the house to the back pastures and then jumped the fence and headed toward Gray Lynn."

Carolyn's cousin Cindy and Mike Garton live on Peach Island in Milton-Freewater where the Walla Walla River goes around their place. Carolyn said the Gartons saw a cow and two calves last spring in their yard and she wondered if the moose from Thursday were the same three that they saw.

Michael Matthews, a cadet corporal in the Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Blue Devils Cadet Battalion received an immediate promotion to his current rank after being selected Cadet of the Month for January.

The 17-year-old junior was promoted after winning the top spot with a total score of 375 points, the presiding official on the board reported to the Walla Walla School District.

The top cadet was chosen from two candidates who were inspected and examined in oral interviews by a board of four advanced cadets, said Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, senior army instructor for the Wa-Hi JROTC program.

Michael joined JROTC to get experience in what the military will be like. He plans to pursue a Navy career once he finishes college. He enjoys football, swimming and being with friends.

"His strongest competitive category was his extremely well put together uniform," said Cadet Commander Sgt. Maj. Seth Thomas. "This Cadet of the Month was a close match, since both of the cadets' performances were outstanding. Cadet Cpl. Matthews won by one point."

Runner-up was Cadet Cpl. Nicholas Nelson, a 15-year-old sophomore, whose strongest suit was his confidence. It garnered him 374 points.

"After the board tallied the points and the winner was clear, we held a ceremony to promote the winning cadet one rank higher, to recognize him for his hard work and personal success," Bill said.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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