Clay Stone’s last 6th Place Worthy Headline


Within an hour of my first day of public school, I wanted to leave. I knew no one, I felt like I didn’t belong, I sat at a lunch table by myself for the first week, and to top off the whole thing there was “Black, like my soul.” If you know, you know. But after that, it was mostly an uphill climb.


 I don’t think I have enough room to thank all the people that changed my mind about high school. But I’ll do my best at the end of this article.


I don’t know when I’m ever going to get a graduation ceremony, but when I do, I will graduate with a homecoming court nomination, four varsity letters, tied for number one GPA in my class, and a 31 on my ACT. None of it matters.


I’m serious, not one of those things actually matters at all.


For all the students or adults or anyone else who reads this, don’t make your identity in things that cheap. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. But that’s not what gives me worth, that’s not what gives anyone worth. As long as I’m satisfied to place my worth in what other people think of me or how smart I think I am, I won’t ever be enough


    I have chosen to put my worth in God. He created everything, and He loves all of us. One of the things I’m most proud of in high school is that I made a lot of friends. I’m not popular, but God has given me favor with my classmates. I think more than anyone I have to thank God most of all. He’s given me purpose and that means more to me than anything.


    I’ve been blessed with more role models and encouraging people in my life than I can count, during these four years. I won’t be able to get to everyone, but I really am so grateful for all of you. So without further adieu, thank you:


Mr. Butler, you were my first class of high school. You picked on me and you joked with me, you motivated me, and every year since then I have told kids how great a teacher and a guy you are. 


Señora Hartman got me to really like Spanish, I looked forward to that class every day of my freshman year. And Hache, I don’t know what NPHS will do without you. You put up with Juarez, Lobo, and me in Spanish 3, and you let us say that focas pueden volar in Español 4.


I can say without a doubt that Mr. Bruck embarrassed me more than any other teacher. But I learned so much from him, and I still have no good comebacks. Mr. Greene made me feel like my opinions mattered even if I was just a freshman. Mr. Werkmeister is not only one of the most thoughtful teachers I have ever met, but also one of the most thoughtful people in general. I am pretty upset that COVID-19 took away my last term with Mr. Stevens as a teacher. He asked if our class would respect him, very few people are as worthy of respect as he is.


Mrs. Allen’s classes (excluding basic comm., because Blart and I killed the debate,) kicked my butt. But that’s what I needed. Thank you for challenging me to work harder than I planned to. Ms. Larson, even though you taught me to be a better writer, words can’t say all the ways you encouraged me to be more than that. Thank you for all the advice you gave to me during the last four years. And also, I couldn’t be more thankful that I don’t have to go to State journalism this year! 


To Mrs. Florom and my whole Bulldog Time, I couldn’t have asked for a better group. Granted, none of us were close until the second term of this year, but I hated Wednesdays because it meant no Bulldog Time. You have no idea how crazy I’m going without “my daily wins.”


Thanks Will, for getting me to like you before you left for college. I wouldn’t be in journalism if it wasn’t for you. I wouldn’t be going to UNL if it wasn’t for you, I love you, bro. North Platte Street Gang, (formerly known as Lucky Charms Gang), I’d have a lot fewer friends if I didn’t meet you two. So, thank you for that. My youth group boys, I don’t know people more loyal. That’s a fact. My youth leaders, Mike and Phil, thanks for always caring. You are some of the most consistent people in my life and you always pray for me when I ask. Greg Bergeron, thank you for telling me to join tennis, fueling the fire of my adoration of Señor Wooly, and knowing me better than anyone. You’re one of the hardest workers, smartest students, and wittiest jokesters I know.

Thank you to Andrew Walker and Kristen Price for encouraging me to lead my peers towards Christ in the way I speak and in the way I act. God used both of you to grow me in my faith.


RIP Trav. You were the realest. Even though that one time in 8th grade you peed down the back of my new shirt while I was holding you.


Coach Hall and Coach Lehmer, your job was to help me get better at tennis and move me up the ladder if you saw fit. You guys did so much more than your job. I am a technically deficient tennis player, even though you guys tried to get me to fix my grip. But you pushed me to a second place singles finish on our team, and an appearance at State. You taught me to be a good leader and to push through bad days. I can’t thank you enough. To my tennis boys, you have all my admiration, we really were a team. Wish I could get a few more “game days”. Please beat McCook next year.



Coach Whitney, every year you told me to get a little better. And I did, thanks to you. Thank you for the three years I got on that soccer team. To my soccer boys, I was always the weak link, I knew that. Y’all used to drop eight goals in a game in AYSO, I used to drop eight on the season. But you guys still gave me respect, and I’m very grateful for that. Shell City had nothing on you guys if COVID hadn’t stolen your shot.


Mom and Dad, I’m not quite sure how I got where I am today. Y’all have always been my biggest supporters. All my life I have sought to earn and keep your trust. Even though you guys aren’t perfect, you set a pretty great example for me. I hope one day I get to be half the kind of parent that you guys are. You built me up in my confidence and in my love for the Lord which is more valuable to me than anything else. I love you, guys.