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The LEAP Student Blog

Loryn Musgrove | Kelso HS: "What It Has Meant To Be A Hilander"

Author: Loryn Musgrove
Grade: Senior
School: Kelso HS
Mascot: Hilanders
League: Greater St. Helens
Classification: 3A


What It Has Meant To Be A Hilander

As my high school days are coming to an end, I can’t help but stop and look back through all of the countless memories that I have made during my journey through these high school years. As I look back at these precious four years, I realize how blessed I have been to be able to wear blue and gold with a “Kelso” written across my jersey. I know that something as simple as wearing “Kelso” or having a “Hilander” on the front of a jersey or sweatshirt may seem silly to so many people, but the amount of pride that I have while wearing them can hardly be explained, so I’ll do my best.

I will always remember the first day I walked into the front doors of Kelso High School. The rich traditions of the past generations before me practically flooded out of the doors as soon as I opened them. From that moment I knew I was accepted into the heart of student life and I was accepted into my new home. It feels like just yesterday I was a gangly, awkward freshman trying to find my way in my new environment and my new world, and all of a sudden here I am today, a not as gangly and a little less awkward senior trying to find the path for my next chapter into the real world. I guess what I am trying to really say, is from the moment that I walked into the doors of Kelso High School, I knew that forever more I would be proud to be a Hilander.

I love walking into the main street hallway and seeing the beautiful mural painted on the wall above the commons. I love walking into a home full of giant Hilander CLAN banners hanging proudly from the rafters, the colorful display cases showing the student life and all of the blue and gold everywhere. It’s just this weird and uncontrollable feeling of pride and school spirit that just floods through your veins. I have been taught by some of the most amazing faculty during my four years here at Kelso, but not only have I been taught about math and science and whatever other course I have taken, I was taught about character, heart, perseverance, and hard work. Some of the most important people in my life have been the ones in the front of the classroom, definitely pushing me and challenging me with their difficult courses, but giving me hope and time and showing me hard work pays off from helping me be the best that I could be even if it meant giving up some of their free time. There is just a family at Kelso that you feel in the atmosphere even in the teachers that are there to lead us to the start of a bright future. Because of their investment to your interest and of their interest in our future, you know how special it is to be a Hilander even in the classroom.

Not only do you feel what it’s like to be a Hilander in the classroom, but wearing that “Kelso” on your jersey or on a sweatshirt while playing a sport or going to a sporting event makes you proud to support the blue and gold. I have had the privilege to wear and play in a Kelso Hilander varsity jersey for soccer, basketball and track and field all four years of my high school career. Like opening the front doors of the school for the first time, putting on that Kelso jersey makes you want to play for everyone in the entire Kelso community. When you put on the blue and gold, you don’t play for yourself. You play for your coaches, your teammates, your family, the community, younger kids who look up to you, past generations who have worn those jersey’s before you… there’s just nothing like it anywhere else. Honoring the rich traditions of being a Kelso Hilander from years before me shows how generations behind me will honor the traditions from when I went to school here at Kelso. There’s just something special about a small, one high school town. All of the blood, lots of tears and LOTS of sweat from training and competing to be the best that you can be on and off the court and the pride of honoring the past while shaping the future when wearing that jersey, I can’t explain it. Kelso has helped shape me into the person that I am today, and the countless memories, and friendships made have shown me how truly special it has been to be a Hilander.

As graduation gets closer and closer everyday, and I think about closing this chapter of my life and opening the college chapter of my life, the gratitude I feel towards Kelso High School is infinite. Kelso High is it’s own community, it’s own family. The spirit and tradition flows into your body and you can practically see it plastered on the walls and inside the walls of Kelso. It really has been awfully hard thinking about my journey in high school coming to an end, but now that it is near the end, I truly understand what it has meant to be a Hilander. I will forever more bleed blue and gold throughout my heart and I have never been more proud to say that I was lucky enough to be able to say I was a Kelso Hilander. WE ARE *clap, clap* KELSO

From: John Gummel 4/22/2015 7:33 am

Loryn, you have held true to the standard set way before our time. Our legions of Hilanders are proud of the what you have done on and off the competition field. You have held true to the values, spirit, and heart that tradition demands. Your leadership and dedication will allow future Hilanders to look at you and say "I can be that also." I am proud of the young lady you have become. Although the course of your path must lead you away to new experiences, your departure will be a loss we feel daily. Your smile, your energy, your compassion for others will not be forgotten. You have set the bar high for others to follow, but our past would want it no other way. I wish you the best in your future. I know you will continue to honor us by always doing your best. You embody one of my favorite quotes, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters when compared to what lies within us." Thank you for what you have done for Kelso and for the memories you have left behind. You epitomize the heart of a Hilander!

From: Matt 4/23/2015 1:27 pm

Loryn, what you wrote is amazing! You mention everything from the first day to wearing the Kelso blue and gold, to having the name Kelso on your jersey. I don't think anyone could ever replace you, and what you stand for, and how far you have come. Even though I didn't go to kelso, I have seen the football team play a couple of times, against RAL, both at Kelso and at RAL, and you guys have a wonderful school spirit, and you have paved the way for future highlanders. I must say I can imagine myself being at a football game, or a basketball game the way you describe what it is like to put on that uniform that spells KELSO. I have heard this quote many times in movies, and books The quote is "No matter where you go after high school, or what you become, always remember where you came from, and what you have accomplished over the years." Kelso will miss you. Loryn, you have been a huge part of the sports scene at Kelso, and I wish you the very best of luck, where ever you may go. "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." Philippians 4:13. Never forget that quote.

From: Shannon Inman 4/24/2015 2:44 pm

Loryn, Thank you for being a laudatory role model for other youth within Kelso and to external communities. I felt your compassion for children across the world when you were young--I thought--she gets it! With sports and more, I know you try to do your best at all you attempt. You have accomplished in proportion to what you attempted! Congratulations on your high school Hilander years full of Heart, and Many Blessings on your future to come.

April 2015

4/30/2015 Cindy Huynh | Lindbergh HS: "Coach Rettmann"
4/8/2015 Loryn Musgrove | Kelso HS: "What It Has Meant To Be A Hilander"
4/7/2015 Mark Webber | Colfax HS: "Blessings Under the Bridge"

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