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Sugar House Journal

Highland High: a place for budding love

Feb 01, 2018 14h14 ● By Natalie Mollinet

Lauren Manzion and her husband Ben at his college graduation. (Photo/Lauren Manzion)

Every February, people’s thoughts turn to love. Couples give each other candy and flowers, and singles seek to find that spark with a special someone. Many people did find that spark here in Sugar House, and even met their true love at Highland High School, but didn’t find that spark until later. 

“He was my powderpuff coach when I was a freshman and he was a senior,” Emma Lawrence said about her now husband. Powderpuff used to be a part of HAW (Highland Association of Women) but was later stopped after it got a little “exciting.” But, in their case, it put two people together at the same place at the same time. Emma and her husband John, when out on the field, never spoke to each other. It was only until they ended up at a mutual friend’s house after he had gotten home from his church mission that they talked. Emma said first impressions weren’t favorable. 

“He thought I was whiny and annoying,” Emma laughed recalling the story. “The next night my friends wanted to hot tub at his house, but I didn’t want to go. I ended up going anyway.” 

It turned out that John didn’t want to hot tub and sat on the swing in the backyard. Emma joined him and the two ended up talking about random things for a while, while eating Otter Pops. 

“After that he decided he had misjudged me and asked me for my phone number,” Emma recalled. 

Many relationships at Highland start out with the two knowing that the other existed. That’s what happened between Lauren (formerly Hendriksen) and her now husband Ben Manzion. The two knew each other while at Highland but seldom talked. 

“We had seminary together during my sophomore year and his senior year,” Lauren said. “He signed my yearbook, ‘You’re a babe, have a great summer,’ but he didn’t really remember me.” 

Lauren’s only memories of Ben was when, as a student body officer, he dressed up as a caveman or when he ripped duct tape off his chest in assemblies. 

Like Lawrence’s story, the two didn’t reconnect until after Ben’s church mission when they ran into each other on the University of Utah campus. Lauren started talking with a friend from Highland and mentioned she thought Ben was cute. She didn’t know that her friend was also friends with Ben. 

“So, he texted Ben and told him that he should ask me out,” Lauren said. “The next time he saw me on campus he stopped me and got my number and we started talking whenever we saw each other.”

A few weeks later, Ben called and asked her out. Now eight years later they have a toddler and another baby on the way. 

“The crazy thing is that we went to the same elementary school, middle school and high school but didn’t really know each other until college,” Lauren explained. 

Not all relationships that sparked at Highland started in college, one started on the school bus on the way to Highland. Ariel Wilkins noticed a boy always looking at her on the bus ride to school.  

“I thought it was adorable,” Ariel said. 

One of Ariel’s bold friends, Katrina, was friends with this boy and he told her that he wanted Katrina to introduce him to her. So, she did just that. She walked up to Ariel as they were heading to the bus after school and told Ariel about Anthony, the boy who had been sneaking glances at her on the bus and noted that he wanted to talk to her. 

“So, me, being the extroverted person I was, wasted no time in talking to him,” Ariel said. She went into the bus and sat down next to him. He was surprised by her bluntness and as fate would have it, the two had the same book in their laps, “Eldest” from the Eragon series. They started dating a few months later and, according to Ariel, have been attached at the hip ever since. The two got married in 2011 and now live in Germany where Ariel works as a hair stylist and Anthony serves in the military.