By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With just a shovel and a strap from their fish house, two teenagers became heroes in a west metro town.

On Nov. 23, Alex Stark and Cody Clements were ice fishing on Long Lake when the two men next to them went through the ice.

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The teenagers acted quickly to try and get them out of the water.

“We looked up and there were two guys up to here in the water and they were trying to grab onto the ice,” Stark said.

“We didn’t really know what to do. We were kind of grabbing things,” Clements said.

Stark grabbed a shovel.

Clements grabbed a strap from the portable fish house.

With makeshift rescue tools in hand, they carefully approached the men to try and pull them out.

“What was going through my mind was just get the guys out first. But I was just making sure I was just far enough from Cody so all four of us weren’t in the water,” Stark said.

After a couple of minutes, they were able to pull both men out of the water.

They got one thank you, but that was all.

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“The one guy didn’t say thank you. He just asked us for cigarettes. The same thing he asked the fireman for,” Clements said.

“And then he said we could have been quicker,” Stark said.

So Stark and Clements jokingly wrote it off as their two biggest catches that day.

But their efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

The teenagers were presented with Excellent Citizenship Awards Tuesday night in front of a crowd that included two very proud moms.

“Alex and Cody don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but it is a big deal. Really, how many people do you save in your lifetime? None,” said Stark’s mom, Sandy.

“Good all-around kid. He makes smart decisions. I’m just so proud of him,” said Clements’ mom, Laura.

Both Stark and Clements are juniors in high school.

They said if it happened again they would do the same exact thing.

The rescue happened about 150 yards from the shoreline.

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The Long Lake fire chief told WCCO they’ve only handed out one other award like this before.

John Lauritsen