Ceremony honors new Eagle Scouts

Several Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois boys had good reason to be excited last week when they were recognized at Southeast Missouri State University for a lot of hard work.

These boys achieved their Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America.

This is no easy task, and only 2 percent of all Scouts attain the rank. The boys must earn 21 merit badges, including 12 in specific skills, and complete a major service project.

Such a project years ago is why many drains in Cape Girardeau are marked as emptying into fresh water.

A more recent project was painting a 30-by-22-foot map of the United States on the playground at Blanchard Elementary School in Cape Girardeau.

Another boy refurbished 34 goal posts at Shawnee Sports Complex, landscaped a flower bed and painted and erected three maps of the facility.

The boys honored last week: Daniel J. Babb II and Andrew B. Defield of Charleston, Mo.; David J. Barnard, Joshua Parker, Billy Thompson and Justin T. Vandergriff of Jackson; Matthew T. Bottoms, Karl A. Bratcher, Keith L. Brennecke, William P. Browne, Robert Z. Dale, Blake Friedrich, Clayton T. Hill, Patrick F. Jernigan, Steve R. Miinch, Joshua K. Morris, Trevor D. Neels, Jordan Renaud, Justin L. Siemers, Michael Sprengel and Conrad F. Westrich of Cape Girardeau; Matthew S. Craig of Murphysboro, Ill.; Chad E. Doolen of Patterson, Mo.; Thomas G. Doss of Bonne Terre, Mo.; Justin D. Fulkerson and John J. Pavelonis of Harrisburg, Ill.; Jacob R. Heath of Carterville, Ill.; Timothy J. Howell of Sikeston, Mo.; Andrew T. Jackson and Jason O. Payton of Piedmont, Mo.; Jack T. Johnson of Gordonville; Brian Mabry and Robert G. O'Leary of Marion, Ill.; David Manley of Scott City; Jerrad W. Martin of Desloge, Mo.; Michael C. Painton of Oran; Jordan Timmermann of Herrin, Ill.; Steven D. Ulm of Dexter, Mo.; and Peter J. Unverferth of Perryville, Mo.

All of them deserve our praise and admiration. No doubt success lies ahead for young men who already have shown such potential.