Best friends Benton Denny and Colten Dale will share the stage on Friday, May 10, as the pair represent the Colcord Class of 2019 as valedictorian and salutatorian respectively.

The class will graduate at 7 p.m., Friday, May 10, at the Hornet Arena in Colcord. The senior awards night takes place at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 9, also at Hornet Arena.

Photos of this year's graduating class may be found on page 2 in today's issue of The Delaware County Journal.

Valedictorian

Benton Denny, this year's valedictorian at Colcord High School, is setting his sights on a future involving agriculture.

The 18-year-old son of Fred and Tammy Denny and the grandson of Dale and Dorothy Hensley, Wayne Denny and Marsha Kirby, plans to pursue an associates degree at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, before pursuing his bachelor's degree at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

"Since I came from a small school, and it was a smaller school it seemed like the best fit for me," Denny said.

He plans to pursue first an animal science/animal nutrition associates degree before completing his bachelor's degree in animal nutrition.

He would like to work in poultry nutrition, somewhere in northeast Oklahoma or northwest Arkansas after graduation.

The other thing that attracted Denny to Eastern Oklahoma, is the school's feeder calf program.

During his two years on campus, Denny will have the opportunity to take out low interest loans to purchase and raise feeder calves on campus. His ultimate goal is to end each year with a profit ranging from $6,000 to $10,000.

It's an extension of Denny's current cow-calf operation. He raises 20 head of commercial cows and 15 calves on his family's farm. He also raises chickens and show pigs.

The president of the Colcord FFA chapter, Denny received his State FFA Degree at the State Convention earlier this month.

He is a member of the Colcord FFA poultry team, which qualified to compete at the national convention in November.

He is also involved in FCA and Indian Club, as well as football, weight lifting and track. He is involved with the Countryside Bible Church youth group.

Denny plans to speak to his classmates on Friday, using the school's motto "Just Wing It" as a basis of his talk.

"Sometimes you can wing it and get by, but if you want to be a success, you've got to keep your nose to the grindstone," Denny said. "You need to set goals. When you reach the goals, then you'll be satisfied where you end up in life."

Salutatorian

Like his best friend, Dale, 18, plans to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College, where he will also major in agriculture / animal science.

Dale is the son of Tiffany Dale and John Dale, and the grandson of Stan and Linda Cash.

Dale said he began to consider attending the school, after learning more about it from Denny.

"We share a lot of the same interests and it seemed like a good fit for me, like it was for him," Dale said.

Like Denny, Dale said the school's feeder calf program interested him. He hopes it might lead to a future as a stockman.

"We'll see how it goes during the first two years," Dale said, joking if he and Denny go into business - he'll be the one handing the finances.

The treasurer of Colcord FFA, Dale also received his State FFA Degree earlier this month. His project involves buying and selling livestock ranging from chickens and goats to pigs.

He is a member of the FCA and Indian Club, as well as part of the football, baseball and weightlifting programs. He attends Crossroads Fellowship Church.

Dale plans to incorporate reflections of the last four years at Colcord High School, as well as thanking people who helped him, into his salutatorian address.

One thing with Denny

One person who inspires you

My parents and coaches, because they push me. I probably wouldn't be sitting in this position if they hadn't pushed me to take advanced classes and keep my grades up.

One thing you can't live without

My friends. They keep me company and we share good laughs and good times together.

One thing people might not know about you

I'm pretty laid back. I'm pretty much an open book.

One piece of advice someone's given you

Set realistic goals. Don't set goals you know you cannot achieve.

One thing you'd want people to know

I am very hard working.

One thing with Dale

One person who inspires you

My mom and my coaches. They always push me to do my best and encourage me to try new things. They believed in me no matter what I did.

One thing you can't live without

My friends and my chickens. Cause they are fun to have around and they keep me out of trouble.

One thing people might not know about you

I'm a big softy. I'm tough and mean on the football field. But I have a big, soft heart. I cry over a bunch of stuff.

One piece of advice someone's given you

If whatever your doing isn't worth 100 percent, then don't do it at all.

One thing you'd want people to know

I'm a small town boy with big town plans.