PUBLISHED: 5:11 PM on Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Annual derby scholarships provide students with 'golden' opportunity
Beyond waiting for that hefty line tug or the excited rush of reeling in the big catch, the Golden North Salmon Derby has a greater cause behind it all.

"He'd thought about it for a long time, and how he could present himself because he felt he met a lot of the criteria they were looking for. He's an outdoor guy and really into fishing and hunting," she said.

"They are looking for kids that support the concept of the Territorial Sportsmen, a love of the outdoors and the wildlife. (And), not necessarily from a conservation perspective but a usage perspective."

Photo courtesy of Paula Johnson
  Back row: Richard Matthews $10,000, Nick Marthallar, Vocab Scholarship $3000, Ryan Beason $10,000 and Tom Meiners $10,000. Front Row: Owen Kelley $10,000 and Kyle O'Brien $10,000. Not pictured: Evan Fritz $10,000, Christian Parker Vocab Scholarship $2,000 and Steven Gile Jr. Vocab Scholarship of Wrangell $3,000. Territorial Sportsmen raises money for scholarships each year at the Golden North Salmon Derby. For information about the derby, see special section inside this issue.
"He was excited that he could focus on being on a student and worry less about finances," Beauchamp said.

Additional winners of the $10,000 scholarships included Ryan Beason, Tom Meiners, Kyle O'Brien and Evan Fritz.

Looking back, 2005 vocational scholarship winner Cameron Metzgar is right where he wants to be. He used the $2,000 scholarship toward a master's degree in teaching at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

Since enrolling in an intense one-year master's program as well as receiving a teaching certification, he's now teaching in Nondalton, near Lake Illiamna. An Athabascan village, the population is about 220.

Hired through the Lake and Peninsula School District, Metzgar, 27, is teaching middle school to 10 students.

"I enjoy teaching, it's a lot of fun. I grew up in Juneau and always wanted to teach out in the 'bush' since was I was little," he said.

"(It's) a beautiful area-good hunting and fishing. I was pretty lucky to get hired out there."

He said as the master's program was expensive, the scholarship was a welcome addition.

"I knew how much the cost was, it was great to get extra help; I was pretty happy about it," Metzgar said.

For more information contact Territorial Sportsmen Scholarship Foundation at 789-9423.