The Mr. Ramona Handsome Pageant as it was called in its initial year was meant to be a parody of the Miss Ramona Beauty Pageant. I know because it was my idea to raise money for Ramona High School baseball.
The original winner was Saul Villagomez. Yes, that Saul Villagomez — the fire chief.
This year’s recipient is a parody of the parody. Alexander Shane Richardson is what every mother wishes for her son or sons. I tried to interview Alec but he was too busy and too modest to brag. He said, “How about if I send you the resume that I sent the Naval Academy? Then you can embellish on it like you do the other stories that you write.” He was joking, but it wasn’t a joke. Remember this is a parody.
Alec only wears hats when he is fulfilling his office as the Ramona High School NJROTC Commanding Officer or in his Boy Scout uniform. Hats are called covers in Navy speak. However, to use a trite cliché, Alec wears a lot of hats. Those hats include, athlete, Eagle Scout, scholar, leader, altruist, son and brother. It doesn’t matter what head gear he is donning. Alec is leading, working hard, achieving and doing all of the above with a sense of humor and a sense of community service.
Athlete: Alec almost single-handedly destroys the dumb jock image. He has been on the San Diego Union Tribune’s All Academic teams in cross country and track and field every semester that he has been eligible to make the squad. He is an A student and always has been.
He was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions for cross country. He was first team all CIF and North County in cross country. In his tenure the cross country teams have finished first, second and third in the CIF. He was awarded the CIF Section Sportsmanship award and the National Presidents Physical Fitness Award. He was named the 110% track and field athlete at RHS. He has earned Outstanding on the Navy Physical fitness tests every year that he has been in high school and has been among the top ten in NJROTC Drill Championships in curl ups and pushups. He can do more than just run. If you try to take away any of his awards or trophies, he says he will use his black belt skills in Kempo Karate on you. He said it as a joke but it is no joke. He knows what a parody is.
Scholar: Alec’s name has been on every honor roll at RHS since he arrived on campus. He has achieved National Distinguished and National Outstanding NJROTC academic awards every year he has been in NJROTC.
He has four NJROTC academic ribbons issued for National Academic Exams. He does not know which ribbons they are because he has more ribbons on his salad bar than most salads have leafs of lettuce.
Alec received an ROTC scholarship to attend Texas A&M University but he has other plans for college.
Leader: Another cliché is used here because it is appropriate: Alec is a leader among leaders. He is the commanding officer of the NJROTC. He has been the command master chief petty officer, the drill team commander, on the National Leadership Academy staff, the orienteering commander, and the basic leadership training staff cadet. He has attended a summer seminar in leadership at the United States Naval Academy to become a better leader. He has attended a seminar in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) at the University of San Diego. He has recceived leadership awards from the Order of the Purple Heart, the National Sojourners, The American Legion, and NJROTC Sail Academy. He was a member of the CyberPatriot national champions and a state nominee at Boys State. Alec has served an internship for Congressman Duncan D. Hunter.
He will attend the Naval Academy Prep School next year so that he can attend the United States Naval Academy. The Naval Academy is in the business of producing leaders. So far it has produced one President of the United States.
Alec has performed too much community service. He has done more cleaning than Oxy-Clean. Among his cleaning details are: the Ramona Community Fair, Main Street trash pick-up, and clean up after RHS football games at the Dawg Pound. Alex has served on Color Guard units at RHS athletic events, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ramona Rodeo and for Pearl Harbor survivors.
“It is a way to get into events free,” deadpans Alec.
Alec has participated in Celebrate Science, a program that teaches elementary school students about science. And he has supported a local team for the Susan G. Komen Walk for a Cure and he has helped the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Alec points out that he has not found a cure for cancer, yet. He also is quick to point out that he did not win Ramona Idol in 2008, “but I was a finalist.”
Alec also was in the award-winning RHS Jazz Band his frosh and soph years but insists that they won the awards in spite of him and his saxophone.
There are some things that Alec has not done. He has never missed a day of school and has 13 perfect attendance awards to prove it.
When asked what his favorite award was, he used some of the political skills that he learned when he was an intern for Hunter.
“I appreciate all of the honors that I have received. I try to be a well rounded individual. My main goal in life has been to attend the Naval Academy. That is why I turned down the ROTC scholarship to Texas A&M.
“I knew that to get to the academy I had to do well in school, be an athlete and learn to be a leader.
“However, being recognized as a Mr. Ramona is something that sets me apart. There are plenty of athletes, scholars and leaders. I have been officially recognized as a sexy athlete, scholar and leader and that means a lot to me. And it is something that I didn’t have to work on. It just comes natural. My dad says that it runs on his side of the family, a genetic trait, so to speak.”
Alec was joking but his father, U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bob Richardson, was not. Alec is a scholar, athlete and a leader. This column has been a parody but Alexander Shane Richardson is by no means a joke.