IMHS honors senior athletes


Sports Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN – Iron Mountain High School’s senior athletes received a heartfelt and sincere send off from their coaches Wednesday evening at the Mountaineer Boosters 55th Annual Senior Awards Night at Iron Mountain High School gymnasium.

Kristen Gendron and Jack Merrill received Iron Mountain’s highest athletic honor, named recipients of the prestigious Pat Izzo Memorial Award.

The accolade, created in honor of the 1961 graduate who was tragically killed in a car crash during his freshman year at college, is bestowed on a male and female student-athlete who represent the best of Iron Mountain athletics both on and off the court.

Gendron was described by her coaches as a very respectful young lady who would do anything to help a teammate or classmate. Merrill was said to be someone who would do anything to help his team win. He’d play any position, never complained about playing time and was very supportive of his teammates.

Gendron and Merrill were selected by a vote of coaches.

Mandy Haferkorn and James Christiansen were picked as recipients of the Izzo-Mariucci Student-Athlete Scholarship, a $5,000 award.

Motivated and unselfish were adjectives used to talk about Haferkorn, a decorated skier with numerous varsity awards as well as All-U.P. and All-State honors to her name.

Christiansen was commended for his unmatched work ethic and fierceness as a competitor. He too won several all-conference and U.P. accolades for his efforts in football and wrestling.

In addition to his Izzo-Mariucci selection, Christiansen earned three MVP awards. He was named the football team’s Most Valuable Player, Most Valuable Back and was voted wrestling MVP. Other multiple MVP honors went to Gendron in girls soccer and volleyball; Elli McCole in girls tennis and girls basketball; and Sawyer Kujala in boys soccer and boys tennis.

NOTES: With nearly half of their matches ending in ties so far this season, boys tennis coach Greg Stegall said he likes his team’s chances at today’s Mid-Peninsula Conference championships. “One good day of tennis and we can make it happen,” he said … Wrestling MVP James Christiansen almost didn’t even go out this season. Having not wrestled since his sophomore year and rather beat up from a bruising football season, Christiansen, after much pleading from head coach Brandon Rutter, was a late addition to the roster. After going 5-0 in his first tournament of the season, he decided to stick with it and wound up with a successful campaign culminating in a berth in the state tournament. … Football coach Robin Marttila had some sound and simple advice for his graduating seniors, imploring them to focus their time and energy on the important things in life. … Athletic Director Chris Hartman offered a special thank you to Jeff Porier for taking over the head coaching duties of the girls soccer team at the last minute when first-year coach Carlye Buchcuski had to vacate the post just ahead of the team’s first road trip due to a change with her responsibilities at work. Porier, literally learning the girls names on the first bus trip to Kewaunee, Wis., said he really enjoyed his time with the team.


FOOTBALL – James Christiansen (Most Valuable Player, Most Valuable Back), Joseph Axberg (Most Valuable Lineman).


WRESTLING – James Christiansen.

GIRLS SOCCER – Kristen Gendron.

VOLLEYBALL – Kristen Gendron.

GIRLS SKIING – Mandy Haferkorn.

BOYS SOCCER – Sawyer Kujala.

BOYS TENNIS – Sawyer Kujala.



BOYS TRACK – Jack Merrill.

SOFTBALL – Emily Oberthaler.


BOYS SKIING – Marco Savarin.

GIRLS BOWLING – Rachel VanKlompenberg.