Versteeg is awarded All- American honor

Sam Sampson, Writer

Lane Versteeg, a senior at Owatonna High School, was awarded the Semper Fidelis  All- American award presented by the U.S Marines. This award focuses on three main criteria: academic performance, athletic performance and community involvement. Versteeg was able to conquer all of these and become the only winner from the state of Minnesota. He was presented with this award at OHS on November 19 by Mr. Archtekirch, but with COVID-19 still on the rise; they were forced to shrink the spectators allowed to attend.  Due to restrictions, this event was held with the family and mentor involved in Versteeg’s growth.   

Versteeg was granted this award because of his outstanding way of life. He is an athlete and a great student, but has pushed hard and made it to the top in both categories. Versteeg said, “I have emphasized service and leadership in my own life.” This comes from an honorable person as well as an outstanding leader in the community. This year COVID-19 made a large impact on the ceremony and the significance of the award overall. All who know of Versteeg’s award still see this as an astounding accomplishment, but not as many people have heard about it this year.

Versteeg was not alone through this long journey. Mr. Bob Waypa, the head coach for the boys soccer team, which Versteeg was a captain of, was his mentor. Coach Waypa first nominated Versteeg for this award and from there it was up to the judges. Coach Waypa said, Then how could I help him achieve those goals.  It’s a lot of little things you do over a period of time.” This shows the wisdom and strength of Versteeg’s mentor. Waypa is a well known soccer coach, but it seems he may be even better at helping kids like Versteeg become recognized for their greatness.

To some it may seem like just another award for an amazing young adult, but really this is an amazing accomplishment. He was the only person in Minnesota to win this award and Versteeg is a well rounded individual for being able to make his way to the title of a Semper Fidelis All -American. After all he has done for those around him, Versteeg is an outstanding person and the perfect candidate for the award.