H.S. Football Player Dies While Duck Hunting
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ELYSIAN, Minn. (WCCO) – A teenager is dead after a boating accident early Saturday morning in Elysian, Minn.
According to Waseca County Sheriff’s deputies, five teenagers were duck hunting on Lake Elysian when the boat they were on capsized around 6 a.m. The boat was approximately 200 yards from shore.
Other duck hunters on the lake and a person from shore heard shouts for help and called 911.
Waseca Police and Janesville Police, Fire and Rescue responded to the scene. The Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office also provided their dive team and additional manpower.
One person was recovered from the lake around 2 p.m., and was identified as 17-year-old Brady Hruska or Watertown.
Hruska is a senior wide receiver and cornerback for the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School football team.
The team went on to host Medford in a section 4AA playoff game Saturday night. The game was played in Hruska’s honor.
Hundreds packed the stands in Waterville to pay tribute to Hruska, with many dressed in neon-green colors and the number 2.
Natalea Trump is a junior at Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.
“He was like the nicest person you’d ever meet,” Trump said. “He brought us to many victories over the years, so he was a big part of our football team.”
W.E.M principal John Kaplan says the Hruska family will be consoled by the community.
“When something like this happens the whole community will get together and help out the Hruska family. Anything they need will be taken care of,” Kaplan said.
Brady’s father, Buck, carried his son’s jersey to the middle of the field before the coin toss at the beginning of the game.
Kaplan says the team knew they had to suit up and play for Brady.
“Buck Hruska came, pulled all the football players – and especially seniors – and said ‘Brady would want you to play, play the game…And I have one thing to tell you: you better play well.’ And he went and hugged each and every player,” Kaplan said.
Players and their parents sat down for a potluck dinner after the game to continue their memorial for Brady.
Counselors have been at the school all day, and will continue to be available for the entire community all weekend.
Students are encouraged to sign a memory board at the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School.