By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Wrestling practice begins two weeks from Monday. But planning for a special military appreciation event at Coopersville is well underway and promises to be memorable.
The Broncos host an annual six-team tournament, which will take place this season Dec. 28. For this winter’s event, the school’s wrestling program has raised money to buy six uniforms – honoring the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and MIA/POW(s) – one set of 16 shirts and shorts for each competing team.
None of the uniforms will bear a school name or symbol, only those of the armed service branch or troops the shirts support. Organizers are planning to begin the event with a grand march with veterans leading each team. All veterans and active military will be admitted free of charge, and Coopersville will be inviting residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
Hastings, Kent City, Grand Rapids Northview, Ravenna and Zeeland West also will be competing and taking part. The shirts are designed by Addix, a sponsor of the MHSAA.
Rivals Team Up to Support Military Families
Neighboring volleyball programs Birch Run and Frankenmuth came together Oct. 10 to give their match as a fundraiser for the I Support the 1% Food Pantry for Veterans of Michigan, which serves local military families.
The teams wore shirts supporting the cause with names on the back of family members who had served or are currently serving in the military.
The match alone was worth the price of admission, as the Panthers won in five sets. The previous week, Birch Run’s football team also supported the pantry as part of Homecoming against Bridgeport.
The Panthers’ volleyball match with the Eagles was just the latest effort between the two schools from the Tri-Valley Conference. The cross country teams also continued their annual joint “fun run” maze competition during a practice this month.
(Photos courtesy of the Birch Run athletic department.)
Shayna Hruska ♦ Iron Mountain
Junior ♦ Wrestling
With an 8-2 decision win in the 106-pound final Saturday, Hruska became the first female champion at the annual Upper Peninsula Championships, and she then was selected the event’s “Outstanding Wrestler” for going 3-0 also with pins in her first two matches of the tournament. Those victories improved her record to 18-6 this season.
Hruska began wrestling in third grade and finished fourth at 97 pounds as a freshman at the 2021 Michigan Wrestling Association Girls Championships. She then finished second at her District to reach Regionals competing in the bracket with the boys last season. She entered last week’s U.P. Championships title coming off a runner-up finish at the Escanaba Elks Invitational on Jan. 7 and the championship at 106 at Kingsford’s Ray Mariucci Wrestling Invitational on Jan. 14.
@mhsaasports 🤼♀️POW: Shayna Hruska #performanceoftheweek #wrestling #upchampionship #outstandingwrestler #congrats #meetchamp #uppower #mountaineers #ironmountain #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok #mistudentaid #fyp @shaynahruska ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat
Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.
MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
(Photos courtesy of the Iron Mountain High School athletic department.)