MARQUETTE - The Superiorland Kiwanis named its top Marquette Senior High School athletes for the school year during a morning banquet honoring all of the previously honored Athletes of the Month.
The Athletes of the Year are 2012 graduates Melissa Tuma and Aaron Bender.
Tuma, the daughter of Scott and Jamie Tuma, participated in volleyball, basketball and soccer for four years, cross country for three years, and track and field for one year.
From left are Superiorland Kiwanis President John Wells III, Marquette Senior High School boys soccer coach Matt Tebo, Kiwanis Male Athlete of the Year Aaron Bender and Female Athlete of the Year Melissa Tuma, MSHS volleyball coach Sarah Peura, and MSHS athletic coordinator Jamie Tuma. (Submitted photos)
"Athletics has helped shape me into the person I am today," she said at the banquet.
In volleyball, she was named Defensive Player of the Year and First Team selection in the Great Northern Conference, along with earning Coaches Association All-Region and All-Academic awards.
In basketball, she earned GNC First Team, All-Upper Peninsula Second Team and Coaches Association All-Academic selection; and in soccer she was a member of the U.P. championship team for four years.
Tuma finished high school with a 3.962 grade-point average, was a member of the National Honor Society since she was a sophomore and was on the honor roll every semester.
She attended American Legion Girls State in 2011 and was a member of the Student Council while earning Central Michigan University Academic and Taimi Ranta Local scholarships.
Tuma volunteers at Ore to Shore bike races with registration and youth events, at other sports events in high school and coaches a Superiorland Soccer Association youth team.
She plans to attend CMU to study premedicine and plans to participate in club sports.
Bender, the son of Mark and Kathy Bender, participated in soccer for four years and basketball for three years.
As a senior, he was named captain of the Redmen soccer team and led MSHS in scoring with 27 goals and 15 assists, earning honors from the Coaches Association and All-State honorable mention.
Bender finished with a 3.912 GPA, was on the honor roll throughout high school and was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. He also eanred a Class of 1999 Local Scholarship.
He enjoys music and playing the drums in addition to volunteering at student council functions and at St. Peter Cathedral.
Bender plans to attend Alma College to study premedicine and play for the men's soccer team.