Vol 13: Your Holland Hall alumni news
The Holland Hall Dutch brought home two huge titles this year — and alumni coached both teams!
Tag Gross ‘87 and Greg Spencer ‘99 led Dutch Football and Dutch Cross Country Girls to their first state titles in 2020.
The football team was named 3A State Champs and Senior Libby Rowland dominated the field at the 4A State Cross Country Meet in early November, bringing home the State Cross Country individual title.Libby bested the runner-up finisher by over 6 seconds, winning four of her six races this fall. She broke the school record in the 2-mile by 14 seconds with a time of 11:36, a record held since 1992.
In football, the coaching staff includes assistant coaches Andrew Armstrong '04, Justin Butler '04, Chance Clements, Steve Dyer, Phil Muir, Brian Thompson, Brian Underwood, and Will Wright '12. Tag Gross was named District Coach of the Year, while Wallace Clark, son of alumnus Tim Clark ‘83, received District Player of the Year honors. The football program, including the managers, film crew, cheerleaders, drumline, and band, boasts over 17 children of alumni, 14 children of faculty, and a drumline lead by Nicholas Foster ‘10.
These state titles continue decades of Dutch excellence in the SPC, with even more opportunities for classmates, families and faculty to celebrate at local games. If you haven’t attended a Holland Hall game, come check one out. Schedules can be found at hollandhall.org.Support our alumni coaches and current students by making a gift to the Holland Hall Fund. Go Dutch!Give Now »
Dr. Jill Goff Wenger ’85 — On the frontlines of the pandemic
Exhaustion is evident in Jill Goff Wenger’s voice.It’s her day off, and she’s finally getting to her errands — including being interviewed for her alumni newsletter, the Clog Blog.“I have a lot of wonderful people — so many wonderful people — in my life,” she says, listing off several classmates from the Holland Hall class of ’85. “Everyone is checking on me.“I’ve been through a lot of Jameson. I have a wonderful husband. I work with wonderful people. The nurses in the ICU are just incredible people. My partners, the other doctors, are incredible, caring people.”As an ICU hospitalist at a Tulsa hospital, she’s right in the middle of the COVID-19 fight.“It’s pretty rough,” she says. “April was really bad. Basically, all of our patients died in April. We just didn’t have anything for them.”Now there are a few therapies. And the survival rate for the most serious of COVID patients in her ICU is a little better. But the numbers are still dismal.Yet, she wouldn’t be anywhere else.Jill graduated from Holland Hall in 1985, having had teachers like Ed Hooker, who fostered her love of biology. And as yearbook editor, she gained leadership experience. Both things served her well in her years as an undergrad at Penn, then in medical school at the University of Oklahoma.Her first 10 years in practice were as a traditional primary care doctor. But as a mother, she needed a more regular schedule, and she became one of the first female hospitalists at her hospital.“I’ve been in the ICU for a year and a half,” she said. “I really love it. I really love the work.”This year, she was awarded the Dr. H. William Allred Excellence in Ethics Award from her hospital.“To win that award is amazing during a pandemic when we’re making so many ethical decisions,” she said.Switching streams well into her career was difficult, Jill said. She had to relearn a lot of things and catch up on a lot. But her years in the business have helped her be a mentor to younger doctors during this pandemic.About half the patients she sees in the ICU right now have COVID. The other half are diabetes, pneumonia, heart attacks and strokes, “which is all still happening,” she said. “I worry about my stroke patients, my heart patients, getting the care they need.”Her message to her Holland Hall classmates and other alumni right now?Take everything seriously. Even as the vaccine makes its way through the community.“All these people making prognostications, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “We’ve never been here before. I’m hopeful they don’t have side effects, that they’re effective. But we only have four months of data on these.“I’m hopeful because it’s who I am.”
Dr. Clark Plost ‘09 - The teeth stick!
What did the boy who loved going to the dentist want to be when he grew up? A dentist, of course. “I used to ask my hygienist and dentist for a hand mirror so I could watch what they were doing during my appointments,” recalls Clark Plost, now the owner of his own dental practice. He can now appreciate how tolerant his childhood dental team was at the time. Despite three older brothers warning him that painful teeth cleanings and a multitude of shots came with every dental visit, Clark’s interest in the field never wavered.“I go back to seventh grade, in the ‘upper halls’ of the middle school, when I decided I thought I wanted to be a dentist. I had/have a lot of physicians in my family, but wanted to pave an uncharted path. This was during the same time that my orthodontist was working wonders on my horribly malaligned teeth. Ever since I went through braces, I remember becoming fascinated with teeth … not your normal fascination as a seventh-grader! To this day, teeth are the first thing I notice about a person. I may not always remember names, but for some reason, the teeth stick. I remember I used to want teeth shaped like Andrew Sprouse '08. If that's not the thought of a future dentist, I don't know what is!”With a degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Clark became one step closer to his lifelong dream when he attended the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and ultimately fulfilled his Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency. He served as Chief Resident until he found the practice that would finally bring him back home.Home for Clark was not just Tulsa, even though its cost of living and proximity to his mom was indeed a bonus. It was Holland Hall too. His mastery of the Greek alphabet song in Mrs. Fleming’s fifth-grade class has helped him with his Tulsa World crossword puzzles, among other things, and the camaraderie and life lessons learned on the football field have remained a big part of who he is today. Since his early days as a 3-year-old in Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Raines class, Clark has been all things Holland Hall. It was a big part of his identity and led him to where he is today.Similar to his own experiences as a child going to the dentist, Clark’s new practice, Plost Dental, “aims to have his patients expect a nonjudgemental, pain-free … and dare I say FUN dental experience!”Brush and floss! Go Dutch!