Midland Adventist Academy

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- Alumni Weekend 2011

More than 80 former Midland students and faculty (including 60 academy graduates of MAA) returned to Midland for the 2011 Alumni Reunion during February. They were joined by many current staff and students, as well as friends and family from the community.

The classes of 2001 and 2006 were recognized as honor classes, celebrating their 10 and five-year reunions. Members from 2001 who returned to campus included Yara Gomez, Aaron Purkeypile, Jennifer Reike, Jennifer Hamilton, Travis Harvey, Luke Hornbacker, Andrew Kruger, Elizabeth (Lovett) Panda, and Nick Wesselmann.

The five-year class of 2006 brought back Joel and Chelse (Archibeque) Cachero, Bo Seltman, Grace Escobar, Adriana Pech, Patrick Dahl, and Tyler Darrell.

The weekend began with a vespers on Friday evening, including a devotional thought by Pastor Luke Self, and special music from a variety of Midland alums. Vocal solos were provided by Azriel Peckham, Tracy Christian, and Yara Gomez. Katie (Hurcomb) Condori and her husband Daniels did a vocal duet, and Madison DeCamp and Joel Cachero combined for a electric violin/guitar duet.

On Sabbath morning, Mr. Vollmer and Teresa Seltman interviewed the members of the two honor classes, allowing them to share memories of their years at Midland. The honor classes also handed out roses to all of the teachers in the audience in thanks for their service in education. Special music was provided by Midland's choir, and Joel Cachero. Aaron Purkeypile gave a rousing overview of the accomplishments of both current and former Midland students, including the fact that more than 2/3rds of this year's students scored in the 80th percentile or higher on standardized testing.

Church service included the annual Midland roll call, led by the honor classes of 2001 (10 members present), 2006 (7 members) and last year's graduation class of 2010 (10 members). Before turning the Alumni presidency over to Yara Gomez, Jennifer Rieke took the time to recognize Mr. Keith Vollmer for his 40 years of service at Midland. When she invited all to come forward who had been privileged to have Mr. Vollmer as a teacher, more than 70 former students joined their former (and current) teacher on stage.

After a rendition of the Nigerian folksong Betelehemu by Midland's choir and drum trio, Pastor Purkeypile spoke from his heart about his experiences at Midland and Union, and how God lead him from an accounting major into the ministry. To close the program, all current and former members of Diversity were invited to the stage for the traditional anthem We Will Keep Our Faith Alive.

Alumni weekend concluded on Saturday night with the annual Midland vs Midland Alumni basketball games. The alumni lost both games last year, and returned to campus this year intent on returning the favor!

Prior to the girls game, Coach Paradise recognized seniors Abbey Adams, Kirbi Yelorda, and Hannah DeCamp for their contributions to Lady Mustang basketball during their years at Midland. Appropriately enough, Abbey scored the first points of the game with an early two-pointer.

The game was a nail-biter during the first three periods, with neither team able to grab more than a couple of points advantage. Alex Adams, currently a member of the Union College Warriors basketball team, played all 40 minutes for the alumni, and enjoyed playing against sister Abbey. With the game tied 21-21 going into the 4th quarter, it looked like anybody's game. But by this point, the defense for both teams was tiring, and the score rose quickly for both sides. The alumni team, coached by Richard Young, jumped out to several 8-point leads during the quarter, and when the contest ended, came away with a 35-29 victory over the home team.

It was also Senior night for the guys team, and honors went to Braden Frishman and Craig Christensen. Despite a sprained and taped ankle, Braden played for much of the game. Apparently the chance to play against brother Zach was an opportunity not to be missed! After the contest, Zach said "I had the chance to play against my brother Daniel when he was on the alumni; it was fun to play against Braden on the other side."

At the end of the first quarter, the alumni lead by a single basket, 15-13. But with enough players on the alumni bench to field two full squads, Coach Chad Seltman was able to swap his team in and out at will. The Mustangs began to tire under the constant pressure, and the alumni team went into the dressing room (?) at the half with a comfortable lead.

Mikey Archibeque started the scoring in the third quarter with a three-pointer from the right side of the court, bringing the alumni bench to its feet in cheers! He dropped in another bucket a minute later, and with a 42-21 lead, the Mustangs Alumni stayed on top for the remainder of the game for a comfortable 66-36 triumph.

And so ended another Alumni Reunion weekend - it's always fun to welcome our former students back to the campus where they spent so many years. We'll see you next February for the 14th edition!