Editor’s Note: The RVHS Class of 2020 held its graduation ceremony May 31. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the community was not able to attend the ceremony. Over the next several editions, the Gazette will be bringing some of those graduates to you. This is your chance to meet the graduates.

Benjamin Collins is moving about as far east from Minnesota as one can go and still be in the United States.

“Next year I am attending the University of Maine majoring in marine biology,” explained Collins. “I want to be a marine biologist for a program that rescues and releases marine life.”

The son of Cindy Wilson and Steve Collins has enjoyed his time as a student and an athlete at Redwood Valley, as he was able to be involved in activities of both a sports and academic nature.

He participated in football, hockey, tennis, concert choir and Knowledge Bowl at RVHS.

“I chose these because I love sports and loved all the sports I played,” explained Collins, “and I love to sing.”

Of those extra-curricular activities which were part of his high-school experience, Collins enjoyed hockey most. 

In hockey, Collins found a chance to bond with other players, which led to making friends with everyone on the team.

In the classroom, Collins appreciated his physics course, because it provided a chance for him to do a lot of fun experiments.

For two thirds of the year, Collins was is with a coach who has made a huge impact on his life – Eric Johnson.

“He coaches both football and tennis,” Collins explained. “He has taught me a lot about working hard and adjusting to what happens.”

In addition to these activities, Collins was a member of the National Honor Society, and he participated in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) program. For him, FCA is a great way for Christian athletes to get help with their faith.

Collins offered some words of wisdom for the students who will be at RVHS next year and in the future.

“Make sure you enjoy all you can, and never take anything for granted, because you never knew when it will be the last time you do it,” added Collins.

For Collins missing out on the final weeks of his senior year was sad, especially when he considers the fact that he might not be able to see his friends over the summer or play the sports he enjoys – maybe ever again.

Looking back on his time as a student at Redwood Valley High School, Collins indicated that his fondest memory is going out to eat with his friends Wednesdays and Fridays.