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Kretovics receives WIAA Scholar-Athlete Award

New Richmond High School senior Blake Kretovics (center) is shown with former Green Bay Packer and Wisconsin Badger Jared Abbrederis (left) and WIAA executive director Dave Anderson at the WIAA Scholar-Athlete Banquet on May 3. Submitted photo

Blake Kretovics became the first New Richmond High School student to receive a WIAA Scholar-Athlete honor in more than 30 years when he was one of 33 Wisconsin high school students who were recognized on May 3 at the annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet.

Kretovics is the fourth New Richmond student to receive a WIAA Scholar-Athlete honor. Tracy Schurtz and Steven Shumaker were honored in 1985 and Mike Hebert was honored in 1986.

Kretovics was one of four Division 1 boys selected for the state award. Each scholar-athlete received a medallion, certificate and a commemorative plaque to be displayed in their school's trophy case. The keynote speaker for the banquet was former Green Bay Packer and Wisconsin Badger Jared Abbrederis, a 2009 WIAA Scholar-Athlete.

Kretovics said he was impressed by the message in Abbrederis' speech. Abbrederis was a state football champion at Wautoma. He walked on with the Badger football team, becoming a starter and a Green Bay Packer draft choice.

"He spoke about making the most of your opportunity," Kretovics said. He said Abbrederis spoke of difficult times in his journey and what it took to persevere through them.

Kretovics said he was honored to be included among the state's top student-athletes, because many of them were part of state championship teams or individual state champions. He said the banquet also turned out to be a learning experience. The scholar-athletes were seated alphabetically and he ended up at a table with several females who were track athletes. He said he learned a great deal about track from the conversations during the banquet.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

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