Sam’s success celebrated four years strong


photo by Jeannine Rude

Madison Sapp and Sam VonBehren. “Last year, as a junior, Sam placed 3rd in English at regionals and his scores helped our team finish 4th in the state in our division. This year, Sam was a double medalist at regionals, placing 3rd in Math and 1st in English,” said Ms. Rude.

by Lydia Wiggins, Reporter

Double medalist at regionals, top individual in regular season, and he also made the All-Sectional team two years in a row. These are a few of Sam VonBehren’s many successes through his four years at Meridian.

VonBehren is in Scholastic Bowl and W.Y.S.E and has been in the top ten scorers of Merdian’s scholastic conference for all four years.

“My favorite thing about competing is a friendly rivalry. Kyler [Kantor] and I pushed each other to answer questions faster,” said VonBheren. VonBheren stated that paying attention in school and not letting himself get behind is what helps him in competition. “Focus in class. The less catching up you have to do, the less you have to do at home.”

Jeannine Rude, Scholastic bowl and W.Y.S.E coach, has known VonBehren his entire high school career.

“I have really enjoyed watching Sam improve over these four years. He doesn’t make excuses, and he is a great team leader! I am impressed by how much his teammates respect him,” said Rude. Rude has coached Scholastic Bowl and W.Y.S.E for 30 years and has also served on the IHSA Advisory Board for Scholastic Bowl.

“Sam seems to love to learn and his interests are varied. He has a phenomenal memory, and he knows a lot that he picked up outside of what he has learned in school,” says Rude.

Evan Kershner, junior varsity scholastic bowl coach, has known VonBehren since he was enrolled in Mr.Kershner’s Civics class freshman year.

“Sam has intelligence and wit about him that set him apart from other students. He displayed a strong work ethic and was a pleasant student to get to know,” said Kershner. This is Kershner’s first year working with Rude and he has had a “terrific year” and will “miss the seniors very much.”

“I am very appreciative that Sam was a leader in the group and was so welcoming of new members. Defeating Sam in a board game was always a hard-fought but impressive accomplishment. He bested me on numerous occasions. Sam’s smart sense of humor and positive attitude will be a loss for the school once he graduates,” Kershner said. “I am very proud of Sam setting a good example for younger students.”