The Ridge Review

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Ridge Review

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Ridge Review

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Mountain Ridge Hall of Fame Ceremony 2024

cheerleaders pose with Jade Carey
Ashley Peace
Jade Carey with members of Varsity Ridge Cheer

Saturday, February 3rd of 2024 oversaw the induction ceremony for the Mountain Ridge Hall of Fame. It happened during the halftime of the Ridge girls’ soccer game, starting around 4:40 PM, with a brisk breeze welcoming the Ridge alumni. There were a grand total of 7 inductees, with one absent. Introductions listed the accomplishments of each person, showing how each person deserved to be inducted into the Mountain Ridge Hall of Fame.

Olympic gold medalist Jade Carey was the first to be recognized. Besides winning gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she is also a three-time World Champion, three-time World silver medalist, and bronze World medalist. Carey is the thirteenth NCAA Gymnast to have ever completed a Gymslam, meaning she scored perfectly for each event. Also attributing to the NCAA, Carey is the fourteenth NCAA All-American and the PAC-12 Gymnast-of-the-Year twice.

Matthew Liberatore was next to be honored, walking down the field with his family. Liberatore has won a gold medal with the U18 USA Team and qualified for the Olympics. He was also selected to start the MLB All-Star Futures Game, making his MLB debut on May 21st, 2022.

Ellie McCleave was next to be inducted and her accomplishments were numerous in swim. For instance, she was the 2008 State Champion in the 100-meter Butterfly. She was a member of the Ivy League Championship Team in 2012. Continuing the streak of Ivy League, McCleave won the Alice McCabe Award at Harvard.

Jason Perkins, a Track and Field athlete, was initiated, holding multiple titles to his name. Some of these include a two-time State Champion in Discus and three-time All-State Track and Field. Perkins has also set school records for his six foot four inch Shot Put and one hundred ninety foot and eleven-inch Discus and placed third place at the State final in Shot Put.

Mackenzie Whitten and her family were next to walk down the field, with her accomplishments announced through her walk. Whitten’s talents lie in multiple areas, as she was able to become the 1st State Champion in the Badminton program her senior year while also earning a Division 1 scholarship for Softball. Through that scholarship, she was given the All-American title for Phoenix College in Softball.

Skilled runner Jeremy Rasmussen was the next person to be recognized had earned Bronze Member of Ridge’s 1st school State Championship in Cross Country, and placed 2nd at the 1997 State Championships. Rasmussen has channeled his talent into helping others achieve their goals as a coach. He coached for 16 years at both ASU and the University of Illinois, having coached two NCAA championship teams as well as individual National Champions, All-Americans, Big Ten, and PAC-10/12 Champions.

Scott Pestka is a Mountain Ridge alumni who has focused his talents on running Cross Country. He is a three-time State Champion as a Cross Country Coach, as well as a five-time State Runner-up, finishes as Cross Country Coach. Pestka has helped more than 12 individuals get college scholarships and is well deserving of being inducted into Mountain Ridge’s Hall of Fame.

Jade Carey shared some of her thoughts on the induction ceremony and being back on campus.

“It feels great to be back here! It’s been a few years so it’s just nice to be back here and see all the people that I know,” Carey said with a smile.

When talking about being inducted into the Mountain Ridge Hall of Fame, she said, “It’s special to me. This place has meant a lot to me, and gave me the very unique opportunity to train at my level and still attend regular school. I’m really grateful for everything that they have given me.”

Overall, the Mountain Ridge Hall of Fame Ceremony was a great way for Ridge to congratulate their alumni who have done so much for the school and continue to exhibit success outside of Ridge.

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About the Contributor
Remi McKim
Remi McKim, Journalist
Remi McKim is a junior and this is her third year writing for the newspaper. She is the Vice President of the Student Government along with officer positions in five other clubs. She spends the majority of her time reading books and watching shows and movies- and even more time dissecting them.

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