By Rosemary Revell
Democrat staff writer
Jordan Rader, 18, of Shingle Springs has received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. In addition, he has been recruited for the academys water polo team.
Rader, a graduate of Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, became interested in attending college at the Air Force Academy at the end of his freshman year.
My parents really supported the idea, Rader said.
I started the application process at the end of my sophomore year on the Internet. I filled out an application of interest, he said.
Rader indicated that the application of interest was merely the first step in what he called a long process.
After indicating his interest, Rader began receiving materials from the Air Force Academy.
At the end of my junior year, I really got serious. he said.
In the September of his senior year, Rader had an interview with an admission liaison officer.
The interview lasted for three and a half hours because we started discussing all kinds of things, like water polo, not just the interview topics, said Rader who appeared to have found the interview entertaining and fun as opposed to stressful.
When I went through CFA (Candidate Fitness Assessment), they were impressed with my basketball throw, how far I threw the ball. The water polo coach was impressed by my swimming time. I got the call in November that I was recruited for the water polo team, and shortly after that, I got the congressional nomination from Congressman Tom McClintock, Rader said.
Rader said that he will receive his education, room and board and a monthly pay allowance as well as medical and dental care.
While Im at the academy, my days will be completely scheduled. Ill have classes in the morning, three hours of water polo practice in the afternoon while the others are in physical education, and then study in the evenings, Rader said.
Rader is planning on majoring in either military strategic studies or space operation and after four years will earn a Bachelor of Science degree at the academy. He will graduate as a commissioned officer.
After graduation, hopefully I will have qualified for pilot training. I want to fly. Thats my plan, said Rader.
Rader started swimming when he was 6 years old and playing water polo in the seventh grade. He became a starter on the Ponderosa water polo team in the ninth grade.
I received two individual records on the high school team, and I was part of three relays that were record breaking, said Rader.
Rader stated that in the four years he attended Ponderosa, the water polo team rewrote the entire mens record board.
There are no records older than 2009, so at least we are leaving a little legacy behind, Rader said and added that seven of the high school records he broke together with his best friend Ryan Pickett were league records.
Had Rader not been committed to college education at a military academy, he had other options. He has been accepted at the University of California, Davis, been offered a scholarship at the University of the Pacific in Stockton and been admitted to Occidental College in Anaheim and offered a place on Occidentals water polo team.
Had I not been accepted at the academy, I would have done ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) somewhere. Im just happy Ill come out the best officer I can possibly be, Rader said.
Rader is the son of Bill and Connie Rader of Shingle Springs.
To contact Rosemary Revell, e-mail email@example.com or phone 530-344-5068.