By RON DEUTER
IRON MOUNTAIN - North Dickinson's Tim Hruska and Kingsford's Hannah Tresedder were named the 2014 Hometowne Lumber Athletes of the Year during a banquet held Wednesday evening at Pine Mountain.
Rand Hruska Photo
Hannah Tresedder and Tim Hruska stand between former Iron Mountain football coach Tom Wender (left) and Hometowne Lumber owner Joe Bronzyk after being named the 2014 Hometowne Lumber Athletes of the Year.
Hruska, who was named a Hometowne Lumber athlete of the month twice during the 2013-14 academic year, proved to be a gifted athlete and top-notch student, excelling in football, basketball and track. An All-U.P. grid talent, Hruska averaged nearly 10 yards per carry for the Nordics through the middle of the regular season before suffering a painful injury with a torn ligament in his ankle.
While he sat out the rest of the regular season, he held off on surgery in order to make an inspired return during the postseason. With nothing more than tape trying to hold a tendon in place against his bone, this devoted player returned in a pre-district, somehow ignored the pain, and racked up 144 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns. He added two more touchdowns in his team's district title victory.
Opting for surgery immediately following football required the forfeiture of his senior basketball season. And even his return to track was in question thanks to an infection on his wound that set back his recovery nearly four weeks.
Literally getting his cast off right before track season began, Hruska began two-hour physical therapy sessions three times a week in an effort to regain his form. And return he did, retaining his reputation as one the U.P.'s best hurdlers in all classes with his victory in the high hurdles at last Saturday's championship.
Hruska was at his most dominant on the track. He was his school's track MVP each of the past three seasons and helped lead his team to a U.P. title in 2013 and U.P. runner-up last week. Over his four-year track career, he has accumulated 638.75 points, more than many teams have amassed during that same span. His career accomplishments at the U.P. finals include four firsts and three seconds.
Tresedder, a hard-working, three-sport standout, earned a total of 11 varsity letters in tennis, basketball and track.
A member of the honor
roll every semester while in High School, she was selected as her school's MVP in two of her three sports, and she served as captain for all three this school year. An all-state tennis player, Tresedder was a two-time league champion, winning it at No.1 singles this past fall and earning U.P. runner-up while helping her team to the U.P. team title.
Helping break her school's 800-relay record last year, Tresedder added an exclamation point to her prep career by helping set a new school record in the 400-relay at last Saturday's U.P. meet.
At her school's awards night, Tresedder took home two major awards in addition to her MVP honors. She was named recipient of her school's prestigious Hometowne Lumber scholarship, and she capped the evening by being named winner of the school's first-ever senior athlete award.
U.P. Hall of Famer and former Iron Mountain football coach Tom Wender served as the evening's guest speaker. He was the first ever keynote at the Hometowne Lumber Athlete of the Year banquet back in 1981.
In his remarks, Wender first offered the student-athletes in attendance some perspective on his background, jokingly noting that gas cost 36 cents a gallon when he graduated high school and a night out with a date might set a person back about two bucks. He even offered a visual, pulling out an old Zephyr AM pocket radio that he used tote around.
"You guys have your iPhones, and I had this." he said to chuckles in the crowd.
Wender went on to offer several pieces of sound advice to the young audience, speaking of discipline, drive, overcoming adversity and working hard.
"Life is not always fair," he said. "If you have a setback, you move on. Adversity makes you better."
Among the several tips he offered to a captivated young audience was to remember where they came from, advising them to be humble and say thank you.
Wender closed with a piece of advice he said could be used in any situation, telling the group to always, "Do what's right."
Tresedder and Hruska were the first Flivver/Nordic combo to win Athlete of the Year since Mike Miller (ND) and Jaime Roberts (KHS) in 2010. Tresedder's selection was the second straight for a Flivver female, as Carlee Benzie took the honor for Kingsford last year. Hruska's pick was the first for ND since Miller's in 2010.