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Hughes, More Than An Extrovert
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Named the top female scholar athlete at Riverbank High School for 2004, Katy Hughes appears on first acquaintance just another extrovert with a sunny smile.

At a first meeting, the young scholar-athlete livened up a rather dull pose of the golf team by reclining at full length in front of her teammates.

"Katy is right out there," said her English teacher Susan DeWitz. "She says what she thinks and what she feels. And she feels a lot."

"Katy's an incredible student and excels in sports too, especially tennis. She doesn't let anything faze or overwhelm her. She can be a lot of fun to be with and has a lot of fun," she added.

Her academic and athletic honors, however, are undisputed and she has achieved them by sheer hard work and concentration.

The daughter of Kirk and Nancy Hughes, Katy is a Golden State Scholar, a lifetime California Scholastic Federation member and on the National Honor Roll of Who's Who. She spoke as a valedictorian as she graduated Thursday with the highest honors, to go on to Cal State University at Long Beach,

At her school, she was treasurer of the Associated Student Body and Future Business Leaders of America Club, served on the academic decathlon team, and tutored freshmen students after hours. In the community, she helped at the Modesto Gospel Mission, worked in a Modesto restaurant, volunteered for the annual Riverbank Clean Up and was first runner up in the 2004 Miss Riverbank contest.

In athletics, Katy tried basketball and volleyball in her early years at RHS. Then she found her niche in golf where she was twice All Bruin. She excelled in tennis where she topped four years play by winning the girls singles title for the Trans Valley League.

Holding a grade point average of 4.14, Katy won straight As in advanced placement courses that included economics, English and calculus.

The young woman is remarkable for her enthusiasm and perseverance in whatever she is doing, said another teacher Yolanda Vera.

"She took math with me for two years. It was more rewarding for me than for her. She's so enthusiastic. Little things excite her. Even chocolate donuts excite her.

"And she's hard working. She works like no other. If she doesn't understand something, she works until she does. She's also a phenomenal team player," said Vera.

Katy was the leading player on scores and the captain for the RHS golf team.

"She made All League. She was only two strokes off being in the top 10," said her coach, John Bartlett. "She only played for her last two years. But she was rated one of the top golfers in the league. That's quite an achievement."

Bruce Edwards, who coached Katy at tennis also noted her enthusiasm.

"She gets so excited. It gets her into trouble sometimes. When she's trying to hit a tennis ball for instance," he said .

But Katy, he suggested, is not "a natural." She was not born with that great a talent for tennis, but honed her abilities by hard work and concentration.

News Editor John Branch may be contacted at 847-3021 or