The community and Payson High School can be proud that senior Isaac Cluff has received an appointment to West Point for the 2008 fall semester.
His parents, David and Cheryl, are excited and proud of their son for his accomplishments and the fact that he is the first student-athlete from Payson to be selected to West Point.
The selection process is extremely difficult. Academics are a top priority, with an emphasis in math and science.
Cluff's GPA for his four-year tenure in high school is almost a perfect 4.0 with a class load that included all the advanced placement courses in science and math.
He has been on the Principal's Honor Roll every semester since middle school and chose to pursue the most accelerated math and science courses during that time.
Being a student-athlete, his afterschool time for the entire calendar year is occupied with cross country, soccer, wrestling and track.
He is a multiple varsity letter-winner in all four sports.
He currently is one of the top 140 lbs. wrestlers in Arizona, having earned all-state recognition as a junior.
In the spring, he will be one of the mainstays on the Longhorn track team where he is an accomplished pole-vaulter, earning all-conference honors his sophomore and junior years.
Cluff also budgets his time efficiently, which has allowed him to be secretary for the Interact Club, which is a service organization on the PHS campus.
During the past six years, he has been active in the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the highest honor of Eagle Scout while being the assistant patrol leader.
These organizations are a natural fit for a young man who enjoys helping others to achieve their goals. These attributes are critical in the selection process to the military academies and focus on that powerful trait of leadership.
His goal of becoming a military helicopter pilot was only a dream 4 years ago as a freshman student, but now is one significant step closer toward reality with his appointment to West Point.
As a former coach, I recognized in Isaac the tenacity to succeed and the willingness to persevere when circumstances get a little tough.
Coach Don Heizer mentioned, "He has a determination to succeed no matter how tough the situation."
In the wrestling room, coach Dave LaMotte stated, "He gives everything he has physically to help the team to succeed."
These traits are monumental in the development of successful student-athletes, and Isaac Cluff's appointment to West Point is the perfect example of a dream come true with hard work, determination and perseverance.