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OPRFHS to Present Excellence Awards to Comedian, Gold Medalist and Military Pilot

Annual Tradition of Excellence Awards to honor alumni who have distinguished themselves after graduating from OPRF.

Charles Hoag, Credit: Courtesy of OPRF
Charles Hoag, Credit: Courtesy of OPRF

Oak Park and River Forest High School on Friday will present the 2013 Tradition of Excellence awards for three alumni—a writer/comedian, an Olympic gold medalist and a senior military pilot.

Established by the class of 1982, the award is presented annually to alumni or former students who have distinguished themselves professionally and who, through their accomplishments, have brought great credit to their alma mater. These distinguished alumni are honored at a brunch following the awards presentation, held during back-to-back student assemblies during the school day.

This year’s honorees are:

Kevin Biggins, Class of 1997, Writer/Comedian

Kevin Biggins is a writer and comedian. After graduating from OPRF, Kevin went to Drake University, where he graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication. After college, he moved to Los Angeles, Calif., where he worked on the films “Seabiscuit,” “Cinderella Man,” and “Million Dollar Baby” as a member of The Inflatable Crowd Company. Kevin got his break in television when he was hired as a production assistant on FOX’s hit animated series “Family Guy,” where he is now a writer/producer. His other writing credits include “Frank TV,” “Seth MacFarland’s Cavalcade Of Cartoon Comedy,” “Tosh.0,” and “The Cleveland Show.” 

Kevin also is a stand-up comedian. In 2012, Comedy Central showcased him on “Comics to Watch,” and he performed at the channel’s New York City and South Beach comedy festivals. He and his writing partner, Travis Bowe, have created three television pilots for FOX: “Ditka,” “The Brew Crew,” and “School Of Fish,” which is in development for 2014. Kevin lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Korbi. (Watch the video above from his appearance on Comedy Central—just skip to about 6:00 to see his performance)

Charles M. Hoag (posthumous award), Class of 1949, Athlete

Charlie (aka Chuck) Hoag was a standout athlete at OPRF, lettering in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He went on to attend the University of Kansas (KU), where he lettered in football, basketball, and track and played baseball. He was a member of the 1952 KU basketball team that won the NCAA championship. He also played on the U.S. Olympic basketball team that beat the Soviet Union to win the gold medal at the 1952 Helsinki games.

Charlie was captain of the 1952 KU football team and earned kickoff return leader in 1950, 1951, and 1952 and receiving leader in 1952. His current KU football records include ninth in career all-purpose yards with 3,233 and 13th in career rushing with 1,914 yards. His Big Seven conference achievements include 1952 conference leader in receptions with 16 and All Big Seven Halfback in 1951 and 1952.

Though drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 1953 NFL Draft in the 26th round as the 311th overall pick, he did not play professional sports because of a career-ending knee injury suffered in the 1953 KU versus KSU football game. 

Charlie married Donna Carter, had four children, and worked as an insurance broker in Glenview, Ill., and Topeka, Kan. He later retired to Lawrence, Kan., where he enjoyed watching his Jayhawks and nine grandchildren grow up, many of whom are carrying on his sports legacy with college scholarships in football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, and track. Charlie’s wife, Karen Kosbab, and son Chuck Hoag will accept this posthumous award.

Maj. Javin C. Peterson, Class of 1995, Military Pilot

Maj. Javin C. Peterson is a senior pilot assigned to the 99th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Md. Currently, Maj. Peterson serves as the distinguished 89th Air Wing as an Air Force Two pilot. He provides airlift support to the vice president of the United States, first lady, secretary of defense, secretary of state, and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

While at OPRF, Maj. Peterson was a three-time letter winner, all-conference gymnast, captain of the Boys Gymnastics team, and a member of the senior class council. After graduating from OPRF, Maj. Peterson attended the U.S. Air Force Academy. He graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in human factors engineering and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. At the academy, he was a three-time All-American and two-time USA Gymnastics national still rings champion. 

Maj. Peterson served operational assignments with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.; the 351st Air Refueling Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom; and the 457th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Md. In these assignments he deployed to support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Maj. Peterson’s military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, five Air Medals, the Aerial Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Iraq Campaign Medal.

Additionally, he earned a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Oklahoma and a Legislative Studies certificate from Georgetown University. Maj. Peterson is married to Lt. Col. Stefanie Peterson of Fairfield, Calif.

Information courtesy of a news release from Oak Park and River Forest High School. 

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