WHS announces ExCEL candidates

Waconia High School recently announced its 2013 ExCEL Award candidates. Juniors Lexi Willems and Tommy Gove were selected to represent the school and had to meet many requirements in order to be eligible. To qualify for the ExCEL Award, students must be juniors in high school that participate in a Minnesota State High School League sponsored art or athletic activity, hold a leadership position at school, and volunteer in their communities.
On the athletic pitch, Willems is on the cross country and track teams and has earned nine letters between the two sports. She is a five-time All-Conference cross country athlete and has qualified twice for state. In track, Willems went to state her freshman season and was an All-Conference honoree, qualified for the State Elite Meet as a seventh and eighth grader, and was named the team’s Most vaulable Runner last season.
A three-year member of the show choir, Willems is also in the chamber choir, cantible choir, and varsity choir programs at WHS. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Conservation Club, and the prom committee. In her community, Willems volunteers for Relay for Life, youth show choir camps, Chamber Choir Caroling, and participates in many choir-related service projects.
A long-standing member of the WHS ‘A’ honor roll, Willems maintains a 3.848 grade point average. She is the daughter of Brian and Theresa Willems.
Gove is a three-sport athlete, earning two letters each in football, basketball, and baseball thus far. He was a 2012 All-Conference athlete in baseball and football, and has been a member of two Wright County Conference title teams on the basketball court. He was a member of the 2011 section and state tournament Wildcats as well.
At Waconia High School, Gove is a member of the National Honor Society, Peer Mentors, Peer Helpers, Conservation Club, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has earned academic honors in both baseball and basketball, and holds a 3.609 GPA.
Gove is also heavily involved in the community, offering his time and talents to Feed My Starving Children, Waconia Food Drive, Toys for Tots, the Waconia Baseball Association. He has been a youth basketball coach and also volunteers at a variety of youth baseball and basketball camps in Waconia. He is the son of Rice and Molly Gove.
Gove and Willems’ nominations have been passed on to the MSHSL. An independent panel of judges will select 25 ExCEL winners in late January. The ExCEL program (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) aims to recognize outstanding high school juniors.

Contact Melissa Marohl at melissa.marohl@ecm-inc.com

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