By Chapin Jewell
KEYSER - If you’ve spent time around the playing fields and courts of Keyser High Athletics, or paid attention to the scholarly aspirations and community service work of the Class of 2020, chances are you’ve already heard of the names Logan Proud, Shawn See and Ryan Shoemaker.
If by chance you hadn’t known of their successes on the field, in the classroom and in the community, you most certainly became aware in late March as the three were announced as the nominees for the 75th J. Edward Kelley Award.
Athletics, scholarship and community service. Combined, these attributes describe each of the three nominees and their collective resumes perfectly.
In athletics, all three are accomplished multi-sport athletes. Proud, the son of Jeff and Tracy Proud, played football and basketball in grades 9 through 12, ran track as a freshman and had planned to as a senior.
See, the son of James and Rhea See, played football and basketball in grades 9-12, and participated in track as a freshman.
Shoemaker, the son of Corey and Mandy Shoemaker, played football, basketball and baseball in grades 9-12, and served as a captain in all three sports.
Scholastically, Proud has maintained a 4.19 grade point average, appeared on the honor roll all four years, is a Goldsworthy Scholar and recipient of the Promise Scholarship.
See has maintained a 3.4 grade point average and appeared on the honor roll all four years.
Shoemaker has maintained a 3.31 grade point average and appeared on the honor roll all four years.
In terms of community service, all three have been very active in their school and community. Proud has worked with the food pantry all four years, helped deconstruct the Wall that Heals, and performed church-related work like Rise Against Hunger, among participating in a variety of school activities.
See organized a large winter coat giveaway for local youth, volunteered at the VFW for Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day ceremonies, at the local food pantry, at deconstructing the Wall that Heals, and in his church’s youth programs. Shoemaker’s community service includes working with the food pantry and Coldwell Banker.
In April, Proud, See and Shoemaker were interviewed by Philip Biser of Tornado TV and asked to explain their thoughts on being nominated. The nominees’ words come from this interview.
First, each was asked their initial reaction upon receiving the call that they had been nominated for the Kelley Award. To a person, each expressed not only being excited and honored, but each also pointed out the fact that there were many, many talented senior student-athletes who could have been nominated as well.
"At first, I was shocked more than anything. Especially with quarantine and all going on, I wasn’t expecting it, I wasn’t thinking about it, it wasn’t on my mind. As soon as I got the call, I was honored, it’s a great honor to be a part of this. It was exciting," Proud stated.
According to See, "I was surprised at first because of how big an award it is. I was humbled, I mean, we have so many guys in our class that could have been nominated for this award. We have a very talented group of athletes and it could have been anyone."
"I was kind of surprised because I knew we had a ton of people up for it in our class, we have a lot of good kids. I was just surprised and excited honestly," Shoemaker stated.
Next, each nominee was asked whether being selected as a nominee for the Kelley Award had been a goal of theirs. As one would expect, each answered the question in the affirmative.
According to Proud, "It’s always been a goal. Ever since I heard about it, it’s something that I’ve wanted to do. I’m just happy that I have the opportunity to be part of it."
"It was a goal of mine. It should be a goal of every male student athlete at Keyser," See stated.
According to Shoemaker, "It definitely was, but I didn’t stress a lot about it. But it was a goal, 100 percent."
The third and fourth questions asked each nominee to describe not only what being nominated meant to each of them, but also to give any thank you or words of appreciation that were in order. The nominees each described being humbled and honored, and offered words of appreciation to family, coaches, teacher and friends.
"It means a lot to me. A lot of my family members in the past have been in the military. My grandfathers, my dad was a Marine, so it just means a lot to me military wise along with everything I’ve seen about it growing up. Seeing it, knowing Ed Kelley’s story, everything, it’s just an honor being a part of it," Proud explained.
According to Proud, "I want to thank everybody that helped me become the person that I am. Of course, my parents who have been with me all the time. Then there are coaches. Coach Biser, Coach Haines, Coach Furey, all the main ones. I would also like to thank my teachers and all my friends."
"It means a lot. It’s a huge honor and this program means a lot to everyone in this community. I’d like to thank my parents first off, all my coaches, friends, family and teachers," See explained.
"It means a lot, because my dad was up for it, and just wanting to follow in his footsteps, I also wanted to be up for it. There have been a lot of my family friends that have been up for it as well. It’s an honor," Shoemaker stated.
According to Shoemaker, "I definitely want to thank my family, my parents, my brother. All my coaches, Coach Haines, Coach Biser, Coach Rohrbaugh, all of them. Also, all the teachers at Keyser that I’ve got to know over the years, I can’t thank them enough."
While a winner for the 75th J. Edward Kelley Award will indeed be picked tonight, it’s safe to say that all three nominees, Logan Proud, Shawn See and Ryan Shoemaker, have demonstrated already they are winners in their own right.
In fact, through their own words, we know that the 2020 graduating class from Keyser High School is filled with student athletes with the same winning characteristics these three nominees display. Just like the award’s namesake himself, that’s something all of Keyser can be proud of.
NOTE: The 75th annual J. Edward Kelley Award ceremony will be live streamed at 6 p.m. tonight on the Tornado TV Facebook page.