ITHACA (AP) — Injuries, physical and mental, are going to occur and what matters is how one reacts to overcome them.
Ithaca High School senior quarterback Brady Hessbrook has endured more than his share of injuries, yet they have never stopped him from continually striving to improve during his four-year run.
If anything, getting hurt forced Hessbrook to dig that much deeper and work that much harder. And, it has all paid off for him.
Hessbrook has been voted Division 7-8 Player of the Year as part of the 2020 Michigan Associated Press All-State team.
Ithaca (9-0) is ranked No. 1 in Division 7 heading into its regional home showdown versus Cass City (9-0) in the playoffs that were paused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A healthy Hessbrook, who has committed to play at Wayne State, played a pivotal role in the successful season that was stunted.
Hessbrook was 102 of 150 for 1,667 yards passing with 27 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also has run for 363 yards rushing and eight scores. The four-year starter has led the Jackets to four conference titles and an overall record of 36-5.
As a sophomore, he tore the ACL in his left knee in Week 5 of the regular season and as a result missed the final five weeks of the 2018 campaign after having season-ending surgery.
After a grueling six-month rehab, Hessbrook was ready for the 2019 season and led Ithaca to a 5-0 record. However, once again, the injury bug bit Hessbrook in Week 5 when he hurt his throwing shoulder while diving for an interception on defense. Despite the injury, Hessbrook played and helped Jackets finished the season 8-2.
The Division 7-8 All-State first team also includes Schoolcraft senior quarterback Alex Thole; running backs Johannesburg-Lewiston senior Sheldon Huff, Sand Creek senior Will Alexander, Madison Heights Bishop Foley sophomore Jackson Zeiter, Breckenridge senior Cam Valliere and Monroe St. Mary’s Catholic sophomore Cole Jondro; receivers Grass Lake senior Josh Sherwood, Homer senior Damaso Lebron, Madison Heights Bishop Foley sophomore Adam Kidder, Royal Oak Shrine senior Alex Armenio and Ithaca senior Zach Poff; linemen New Lothrop senior Cam Orr, Traverse City St. Francis senior Casey Donahue, Delton Kellogg senior Cole Pape, West Iron County senior Nathan Lundin, Ottawa-Lake Whiteford junior Noah Bauman, Johannesburg-Lewiston senior Tommy Runyan, Saginaw Nouvel senior Darron Chinery and Detroit Loyola senior Derrick Harmon; linebackers Charlevoix senior Luke Snyder, Breckenridge senior Garrett Fitzgerald, Petersburg-Summerfield senior Ethan Eyler and Addison junior Nicholas Trumble, defensive backs Hemlock senior Dylan LaGrow, Lawton senior Connor DeVries, Reading senior Dilon Denison and New Lothrop senior Will Muron; specialist Detroit Central senior Jus’tyz Tuggle; kicker Auburn Hills Oakland Christian senior kicker Connor Butcher; punter Dansville senior punter Carson Voss and Cass City coach Scott Cuthrell.