Wednesday, December 8

    Kirtland’s Mason Rus named Tony Fisher Award winner

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    Kirtland’s Mason Rus on Monday accomplished something no other Hornet football player had when he was named the News-Herald’s Tony Fisher Award winner.

    Kirtland’s Sam Kukura, Joey Torok, and Mason Sullivan previously were named finalists for the prestigious award but it wasn’t until Rus put together an impressive performance on both sides of the ball this season that the award will make its way to Kirtland.

    “It’s just an awesome accomplishment, especially with the talent of those guys who were up there with me who all had amazing seasons themselves,” Rus said of the award named after former Mr. Ohio from Euclid, who went on to star at the University of Notre Dame and then in the NFL.

    North’s Ryan Baer, a Pittsburgh signee, Harvey’s Rick Coleman, Jr., and VASJ’s Ty Howard were the other finalists.

    Rus has played a key role in Kirtland claiming its fifth regional title this season.

    He has carried the ball 208 times for 1,798 yards with 23 touchdowns. He has averaged 8.6 yards per carry through 13 games.

    Rus, the Northeast Lakes District Division V Defensive Player of the Year, also has been a force at linebacker where he has recorded 120 tackles, including 20 for a loss, and nine pass breakups.

    On Saturday, Rus will lead the Hornets into a state semifinal against Ottawa-Glandorf.

    “We’re all excited, especially after a big win last week and are ready for these upcoming games against some of the best competition of the year,” Rus said. “Each week, we’re getting better and better at practice and in games. I’d also like to shout out my teammates and coaches. This wouldn’t be possible without any of those guys.”

    Kirtland head coach Tiger LaVerde was named the co-winner of the Bob Ritley Award.


    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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