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Red Level friends honored as val, sal

Red Level valedictorian Vincent McNemar befriended salutatorian Brian Sherman when he came to the school in junior high. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

When Vincent McNemar moved from New Jersey, Brian Sherman was the first person he became friends within Red Level.

Now, the two will walk across stage at tonight’s graduation as salutatorian and valedictorian.

Both boys said making good grades was a key goal for them, but each had a different reason.

“My parents were very strict about grades,” McNemar said. “They didn’t want me to be a slacker, but I always wanted to stand out. I’ve always wanted to strive to be the very best I could be.”

For Sherman it was the opposite.

“Mine was more of a personal goal,” he said. “I always set higher (goals) than possible. My parents were supportive. They pushed me by showing me examples of why I should push myself.”

McNemar and Sherman said they have always been competitive, but it was never overbearing.

“We both strived to do well,” McNemar said. “I have always said, ‘If it wasn’t going to be me, I wanted it to be him.’”

When the duo found out they had earned the recognition of valedictorian and salutatorian, they were ecstatic.

“I was pretty happy being name valedictorian,” McNemar said. “All the hard work we did, we finally get recognized in the end.”

Sherman agreed.

“I can’t believe all of my hard work paid off,” he said.

While not studying to keep their 4.0 GPAs, the pair were busy with a long list of activities.

McNemar was president of the SGA, member of the Beta Club, Peer Helpers, Mu Alpha Theta, math team, English team, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Sherman was president of JAG, member of the FFA, FCA, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, math and science clubs, Mu Alpha Theta and the drama team.

The two will go their separate ways after tonight.

McNemar will travel south to the University of South Alabama, where he plans to pursue a career in medicine.

“I’m not sure what kind of medicine, just whatever sparks my interest,” he said.

He has a full ride thanks to service in the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC).

Sherman will attend Wallace Community College, where he’ll major in nursing. He, too, has a full scholarship.

“My plans are to get my bachelor of science in nursing,” he said. “Then who knows what I’ll do.”

McNemar is the son of Vincent and Mary McNemar, and Sherman is the son of Marcus and Susan Sherman.