Joining the Trenton High School baseball team as a junior, Thad Plaza was able to make an impact right out of the gate. Pitching to a 2-1 record with a 3.66 Earned-Run Average and 29 strikeouts, Plaza was one of the more reliable options on the staff for Head Coach Todd Szalka’s Trojans team, which won 22 games and advanced to the District Finals. Not only has Plaza asserted himself as one of the better options in the rotation, he’s also been able to lead by example in the classroom. Finishing his senior year this month, Plaza has accumulated a 3.36 GPA and gained admittance to a number of different schools. After weighing his options, Plaza opted to continue his baseball career and commit to Schoolcraft College in Livonia alongside fellow Trojan baseball player Trevor Towe. While he has not yet settled on which major he would like to pursue, Plaza’s commitment to excelling both in the classroom and on the diamond should bode well for him as he moves on to the next level. His parents, Patricia and Paul, are excited to see all that he can achieve academically and athletically as an Ocelot. — Brian Rzeppa
Over her four years at Trenton High School, Amelia Doree has shown herself to be someone that both younger and older students can look up to in the classroom and on the field of play. The MVP for her freshman and JV basketball teams, Doree became a captain on the varsity basketball team her junior year and continued on that role as a senior. In addition to her leadership experience on the court, Doree also attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards as a junior. On the track, Doree made States as a sophomore and will look to return this coming season. In the classroom, she sports a 3.6 grade-point average and is a member of a number of different clubs and organizations, including the National Honor Society, the French National Honor Society and the French Club. She is also a board member of the Interact Club. While she is talented as an athlete and had received interest from colleges in the region to continue her track career, Doree has opted to stay close to home while still getting a bigger city experience. She will attend Wayne State University in the fall and while she has not yet chosen a major, she is considering both political science and global studies. In whichever path she decides upon, she hopes to find a career that will allow her to travel the world and help people. Her parents, Heather and Darrel, are excited to support her in whichever direction she may head in. — Brian Rzeppa
A member of the Spanish Honor Society with four separate Advanced Placement classes under her belt, Victoria Hebda has been able to set a strong example for those who will follow in her footsteps both academically and athletically. A 4.0 student in the classroom, Hebda’s educational achievements are matched only by her abilities as a runner. A member of the track and cross country teams throughout all four years at Trenton High School, Hebda has taken home a number of awards for her efforts. After being the recipient of the Coaches Award from the Cross Country team during her freshman year, Hebda has continued to build on that and has been named All-Area and All-League each of the last two years, as well as being selected as the Runner of the Year by the team in both of those years. She will continue to run for the track team throughout her senior year and at the conclusion of her enrollment at Trenton, she will move on to join the cross country team at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Along with her athletic pursuits, Hebda will pursue a degree in either bioengineering or mechanical engineering. With either of those degrees, she hopes to work for an engineering firm that attempts to create and improve medical equipment and the safety features within machines used in the medical field. Her parents, Joe and Maria, are excited to be able to see her continue to develop academically and athletically. — Brian Rzeppa
After joining a Trenton High School hockey team that was fresh off of a state championship as a sophomore, Kenny Styles has been able to build on his hot start on the ice, the field and in the classroom. One of the Trojans’ leading scorers over the course of the last two years on the hockey team, Styles has proven himself to be a leader on the ice and a role model for the younger members of the team. Styles already has surpassed his points total from last year with part of this season still to play and he has been a guiding force on the team’s power play. On the gridiron, Styles ranked sixth on the team in receiving yards as a junior and took on more responsibility this year, as he was the team’s leading receiver. For his efforts on the football team, he was named 1st team All-League. His accomplishments in the classroom stack up just as well — as his 3.46 grade-point average and status as a member of the National Honor Society show that he has truly mastered the delicate balance of being a student-athlete. Though he is unsure of where he will be continuing his education next year, he is eying Wayne State’s medical program and hopes to continue his hockey career in some form. While his college has not yet been decided, Styles hopes on following in his mother’s footsteps and becoming a nurse after his educational pursuits are completed. His parents, Marc Styles and Melissa Pidcock, are excited to continue supporting him every step of the way.
Junior, Cross Country
A member of the varsity cross country and track teams for each of the past three years, Lauren Mator has made her presence felt as a runner at Trenton High School. Her placement on the All-Area team during her sophomore year for cross country was topped only by her selection to the All-League grouping this past season. In addition to her talents in both of those sports, Mator was also a member of the freshman and junior varsity basketball teams during her first two years, including the honor of being named captain of the JV team. Her talents as an athlete are rivaled by her pursuits outside of the realm of sports, as her 3.5 grade-point average puts her in great company academically. A member of the National Honor Society, Mator also manages to find time to participate in activities for the Spanish Club and the Christian Outreach Club. With her senior year still lying ahead of her, Mator has not made any official decisions regarding her collegiate plans, but she does have some idea of the direction that she would like to head. She hopes to continue her athletic career wherever she may end up, and is currently considering Wayne State University as a destination. Academically, she has pondered pursuing a career in journalism but has not yet come to a concrete decision on that. Her parents, Jim and Karen, will cheer her on next year as she closes out a tremendous career with the Trojans.
A four-year starter on the Trenton boy’s basketball team, Ryan Barker has hardly gone unnoticed during his career on the court. Tallying nearly 20 points per game last season, Barker was a focal point on a Trojans team that had its first winning season under head coach Jay Babyak. Not to be outdone by his work as an athlete, Barker has been a standout in the classroom as well. He currently sports a 3.77 grade-point average and has been a member of the National Honor Society since last year. For his efforts on the “student” side of “student-athlete,” Barker was awarded a fourth-year academic award which is given to students that have a 3.5 GPA or higher for nine consecutive semesters. As a captain on the basketball team last year, Barker was able to set an example for his teammates by not only winning the team’s offensive player of the year award, but also by being named first-team All-League. He is currently undecided as to where he’ll be continuing his education beyond this year, but he has a variety of options due to his excellence on the court and academically. Though he has not chosen which academic institution he will be attending, Barker has already decided that he will be studying pre-med with hopes of becoming a primary physician. His parents, Rob and Gina, are excited to see which path he eventually decides to follow.
One of the top 10 Downriver League golfers last season, Trenton senior Kate Plassman has been a standout not only on the course, but also as a student and as a leader. While she possesses a 4.0 grade-point average, she also supplements that by being involved in the Math Club, Spanish Club, Mock Trial, is a captain on both the golf team and Quiz Bowl, is the executive board historian for the National Honor Society and also manages to stay involved at the First Presbyterian Church of Trenton. She has showcased her talent in a number of different ways and her coach, Steve Burk, noted that she has not been reluctant in the slightest to helping out others in any way possible, stating that “Kate is an incredible student-athlete. She leads by example through hard work and determination and is very helpful to our younger players.” Along with her efforts with this year’s team, she took the next step by organizing an event to help the golf program for years to come. “We graduated six seniors and we had to get more girls for the golf team, so Kate went out on her own and set up a meeting at the middle school and was able to get some freshman to come out and play,” Burk said. She is currently weighing her options for college, but plans to major in marketing and advertising once she graduates from Trenton. Her parents, Angie and Rob, are excited to see the next step in her path.
A three-sport varsity athlete, Parker Dukas has been able to make a name for himself on the diamond, the ice and the court, as well as in the classroom, all within his four years as a Trojan. An All-League and All-District player for the baseball team last year, Dukas has followed up his strong season by placing in the top five in steals, runs and walks amongst Trojans. For the hockey team, he was named to the All-Downriver League and in tennis he was a three-time All-Regional player. Perhaps more importantly, Dukas also carries a 3.9 grade-point average, is a member of both the National Honor Society and Interact Club, was a Senior Scholar and was accepted into the Detroit Association of Phi Beta Kappa. For his efforts in the classroom, he was named to the All-Academic teams in both baseball and hockey. While he has contemplating continuing either his hockey or baseball careers at the collegiate level, his path is more than likely going to lead him to Michigan State University to concentrate on his studies. He is currently undecided as far as his career, but he knows that he will be choosing to major in engineering once he makes the jump to college. His parents, Kari and Gary, look forward to continuing to see him excel as a student and as a person.
Brooke Teska: Student Athlete of the Month, Soccer, Senior
A captain on the Trenton High School Girls Soccer team, as well as with her travel team, the Michigan Rush, senior Brooke Teska has spent the last four years bolstering her resume both on and off of the field. She has seen her point totals increase in soccer each year that she’s been on the team and all the while has maintained a 3.7 grade-point average in the classroom. Her work on the pitch has not gone unnoticed, as she’s been the recipient of All-League honors for two years and All-District for three. Away from the field, she’s also the historian for the Interact Club, secretary for the French Club and a member of both the National Honor Society and French Honor Society. For her work in the classroom, she was given the Phi Beta Kappa Certificate of Recognition, which is awarded to students that display academic excellence, good citizenship, an interest in the community and knowledge that is valuable to society. She will be attending Adrian College in the fall to continue her playing career, as well as to pursue a degree within the business field. Her parents, Dave and Kellie, appreciate the effort and compassion that she puts into any activity that she is involved in and are excited for her to be able to pursue her future dreams at Adrian.
Through her four years of high school, Trenton High School senior Kelsi Hackney has managed to be as involved as anyone. A member of the Christian Impact, Interact and Spanish Clubs, the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society, the Homecoming, Snowball and Prom Steering Committees, serving as Class Treasurer, performing in the school musical and participating in tennis and cheerleading (where she was named All-League), Hackney has still managed to hold a 3.88 grade-point average. This well-roundedness that she has displayed is something that has made her stand out to cheerleading coach Michelle Maci. “She does very, very well academically and is really involved with the school. She keeps herself involved in all aspects of her life, which is what I love. The things that she learns and what she expects from herself definitely come into play when we’re at practice, she’s the girl we can count on that will have something that will get them fired up. She’s very good at reading the team and she’s also very talented.” Despite all of the activities that she is involved in, Hackney has also managed to find time to teach third grade catechism at St. Timothy’s. She is currently undecided as to where she’ll be attending school or what she’ll be majoring in, but in whatever career she ends up in she would like to work with children. Her mother, Jennifer Liparato, admires how devoted, intelligent and caring that her daughter is and looks forward to seeing what the future holds for her.
As one of the focal points of the Trenton High School varsity swimming team over the past four years, senior Andrew Wolsek has developed into a leader, and as Coach Jim Lawrence says, he’s a big help for the younger swimmers on the team. “Kids start out freshman year not really knowing anything and being immature, but he’s matured quite a bit over the years. He’s really stepped up his training and has become a team player and he helps out the younger kids. Working with the younger kids not only helps them get better, but he also improves because of it so it’s helped the team tremendously. He’s done really well and I’m really proud of him.” His development has paid off in numerous accolades throughout his swimming career, including being named MVP of the team last year as well as being named to the All-League and All-State teams. Also a member of the Marching Band for four years, Wolsek currently carries a 2.96 grade-point average. While he is undecided as to where he’ll be attending school, he hopes to continue his swimming career. Wolsek plans on majoring in business administration, with the ultimate goal of eventually opening his own small business. His parents, Christine and Robert, look forward to seeing what’s next in store for him.
Student Athlete of the Month
Competitive Cheer, Senior
A model student and athlete, senior Erika Brower is as involved in Trenton High School just about as much as a person can be. She has been on the varsity competitive cheer team since her freshman year and has taken home many accolades, such as the team MVP, first-team All-District and All-Region and she was named Miss Trojan Cheer this past year. In addition to that, she was a member of the tennis team and served as the Student Council class historian, National Honor Society treasurer, German Club president, German NHS president, Electronic Media Club captain and is a member of the Math Club, as well as performing in the school musical. All the while, she has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and has her sights set on some major schools. While she hasn’t made a final decision yet, she has narrowed down her choices to the University of Michigan or Michigan State University, where she plans to enroll in the mathematical biology program. Her intended career path is also undecided at this point, but she has taken an interest in biomechanical research and may pursue the field further. Her parents, Jeff and Jeanie, take pride in the self-motivation that she displays in each of the activities that she does, as well as the compassion that she shows for others throughout.
The ability to excel in one sport takes years of hard work and practice, let alone three sports. Senior Grant McClellan has managed to do that though, as he’s been a varsity athlete in baseball, football and hockey since his sophomore year. During his time with each of the teams, he has received various individual awards such as first-team all-league in football and hockey, as well as the Captain’s Award in football, too. In addition to that, he has also excelled on a team level with league championship in football, a regional championship in baseball and a state championship in hockey. He has managed to accomplish all of this while still carrying a 3.2 GPA and standing out as a leader off of the field. “He’s one of the vocal leaders on and off the ice, THS hockey Head Coach Chad Clements said. “He was a captain on the football team. He was a three-year player for hockey and he’s just naturally talented and gifted on the athletic fields. He really kind of gets people together.” McClellan is undecided as far as what he’ll be doing following his graduation in the spring, but he plans on eventually majoring in sports medicine and hopes to be an athletic trainer. His parents, Jim and Allison, are proud of his accomplishments and look forward to seeing all that he can do after he graduates.
Student Athlete of the Month: Griffin Sawyer/ Hockey, Senior
After making the varsity hockey team his sophomore season, Trenton senior Griffin Sawyer has continued to grow both on and off of the ice. On the ice, Sawyer has been a key member of the team that won another state championship in 2014 and recently was named captain, an honor that has been held by many of the top players who have come through Trenton. Off of the ice, he has been an active member of the student body, with memberships in both the Interact Club and the National Honor Society. Despite all of these commitments, Sawyer has managed to maintain a 3.34 grade-point average as well as open a business with his brother, Andrew. The two developed the Sawyer Development Institute over the summer, which aims to help young athletes reach their potential both on the field and in the classroom. Beyond this year, he hopes to continue playing hockey in juniors or even for a college team. If he winds up taking the college route right out of high school, he would major in business with a concentration in entrepreneurship, with possible hopes of eventually owning his own gym with his brother. Whichever direction he chooses to go in, his parents, Rob and Vicki, will be proud of him, “His energy and leadership has a great influence on everyone around him. His positivity can be very contagious.”
Publishers Note: Griffin also was our very first student reporter. His past columns here.
Brendan Koziol Student Athlete of the Month Soccer, Senior
After joining the varsity soccer team during his freshman year, it was clear that Trenton senior Brendan Koziol was not only an immensely talented player, but also a leader that the other players on the team could easily relate to. As the leader of the soccer team with All-League, All-District, All-Region and All-State honors, a member of the Interact Club and holder of a 3.5 grade-point average, Koziol has managed to make his mark in many areas throughout his time at Trenton. As head coach Mike Hatfield explained, Koziol is a great mix of both an on-the-field and off-of-the field leader. “He’s taken over the leadership mantel on this team and he kind of runs the team from warm ups to cool downs. He’s the most talented Trenton soccer player that I think I’ve ever seen. He is a really cool guy and funny and gets along with everyone and he has all of the attributes to be a good captain and a good leader. He’s always disappointed when practice ends and just always wants to be on the field. Nobody trains as well as he does.” He is currently undecided as to where he wants to attend college, but he plans on majoring in a subject with the environmental sciences field. His parents, Rhonda and Jeff, have enjoyed watching all that he has accomplished over his high school career and look forward to him continuing throughout college.