Through friendly rivalry, North Summit grads reach new heights
May 19, 2015
It was their junior years and Matt Boyer and Corben Ruf sat in their math classroom, tallying numbers and plugging them into the equation.
But this arithmetic wasn’t for any homework assignment. Ever competitive, the duo was trying to figure out who was ahead in the race to become valedictorian of the North Summit High School class of 2015. Ruf had the slightly higher grade point average. Boyer’s ACT score was one point better. Each was pushing the other to strive for more.
"If one does something," Boyer said, "the other one’s got to try to one-up him."
"It’s all about the competition, I think," Ruf added. "He’s tall, I’m short. It’s always something. There’s a bit of a rivalry there. We’re both pretty competitive people, and since we’re friends, it makes that competitiveness come out that much more. We make each other better."
As it turned out, Boyer edged out Ruf and became valedictorian. Ruf, not far behind, was named salutatorian. But it didn’t really matter who won in the end. What was much more important was that they had both achieved something they likely wouldn’t have without the other’s influence.
"I don’t think I would have passed a lot of the classes I have without him," Ruf said. "Some of those classes are pretty difficult, and he picks up the slack for me. There are things that he understands and things I understand and we help each other out."
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While they have been friends since daycare, their relationship blossomed over the last four years at North Summit. They spent afternoons together on the football field and studied math in the evenings.
"We were at each other’s houses almost every night," Boyer said. "He’s helped me learn to push myself and surround myself with people that make me better."
Added Ruf: "A lot of times, we’d spend three hours talking and two hours doing math. We’d get off subject and just go."
But with Monday’s graduation, their time together at North Summit has come to a close. Ruf will attend the Air Force Academy in the fall. Boyer will serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
"For the last four years, we’ve seen each other every day," Boyer said. "It’s going to be really weird not to have that anymore."
While they will no longer share classes and study sessions, their competitive relationship will continue. They plan to push each other for as long as they both need it.
"High school may be over," Ruf said, "but we’re definitely going to stay in touch as much as possible."
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