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Outward Demeanor Covers Strong Abilities
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Alex Nabors was recognized as Riverbank High School boys' leading combination of scholar and athlete despite a quiet and almost shy demeanor that conceals his formidable abilities.

The son of Dennis and Colleen Nabors, who have seven children, Alex started taking high school math while still an 8th grader. He won straight As in five college-bound courses at RHS, graduated with the highest honors and will attend St. Mary's College in Moraga on a full, four-year scholarship.

But Nabors also went out for sports. After trying football and basketball as a freshman, he concentrated on track and cross country running. He became a skilled long distance runner and was part of a RHS team that reached the state finals in cross country.

"An over achiever," was how RHS English teacher Susan DeWitz' described Alex. "Always willing to go beyond what's requested. Quiet and productive in class, he regularly comes out with little pearls of wisdom."

Alex' other interests at school included the Trinity Christian Club led by teacher Jerry DeYoung, the academic decathlon team and the California Scholastic Federation group of scholars.

"He's very determined, very focused, intelligent and works very hard," said DeYoung, who was his AP economics teacher. "And he goes out for track too."

Yolanda Vera taught Alex mathematics for five years, from the time he started attending her geometry class while still an 8th grader at Cardozo Middle School.

"He's part of my life. I grew up with him. He's among my lunch time groupies," she said, referring to the group of students who even spend their lunch period in her classroom.

Alex, she added, is exceptionally intelligent, committed, works very hard and doesn't appear to appreciate just how talented he is.

"He never misses an assignment and is always on time for class," she said. "He's the son I'll always dream of having. I'm thankful I knew him."

In track, Alex ran the one mile and two mile events.

"Alex is the epitome of what we expect in an athlete, " said his coach, Monte Wood. "He's a good runner and he works so hard. A lot of kids just rely on their ability. But he works and works and works to improve. He's unselfish too. He would do anything for the team."

Cross country coach Bruce Edwards recalled how far Alex has advanced as a runner since he first met him.

"He tried football. But he's not built for that, skinny as he is. So he came out for cross country and I went jogging around the track with him. But he was breathing so hard after a few laps, I became worried."

Nevertheless, Alex persevered and became an experienced runner, and part of the team which reached the state championship.

"I hear he plans to continue running at St Mary's, which is a Division I school. I wish him luck; I'm very proud of him," said Edwards.

DeWitz spoke of both Alex and Katy Hughes, his female counterpart as a scholar athlete.

"They were both in my AP classes. They could be successful in anything they want to take on. I love them all as if they were my own children."

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