Mason County Eastern’s Luce named a Wendy’s Heisman finalist in Michigan


CUSTER — When she was unable to continue playing travel soccer last fall, Elena Luce decided to take up cross country.

“Why not in my spare time?” said the Mason County Eastern senior. “It’s good for me, right?”

It would be hard to argue that Luce does much that isn’t good for her.

Although her cross country season is over, Luce will try to lead the Cardinals to a Class D district title tonight against Manistee Catholic Central. She’s also an All-State basketball player in her “only” winter sport and plays soccer and softball in the spring.

When it comes to school, Luce has a 4.0 GPA, is dual-enrolled at West Shore Community College, in the varsity club, is the yearbook manager and class president, while also working on the weekends.

The sum of her commitments and achievements enabled Luce on Wednesday to be named one of 20 finalists in Michigan for the Wendy’s High School Heisman.

“I thought I would apply and see what I can do,” Luce said of the award. “Sports are my life, so I thought I might have a shot at this.”

There were 45,000 senior applicants for the award across the nation, with 388 from Michigan alone. On Monday, one male and female will be named state winners, 12 of whom will move on to New York as national finalists and earn $2,000 for their schools. The male and female national winners will get $10,000 donated to their school.

Bill Cole, who coaches Luce in volleyball and softball, praised his senior’s performance on the court and in the classroom.

“She’s one of those kids that gives their all to everything she does,” he said. “A lot of times somebody doesn’t want to step up and take the shot or be the pitcher. She wants to be that girl. She works hard at everything she does.”

Playing five varsity sports and being involved in numerous other extracurricular activities can be a little draining.

“Sometimes it gets really hard,” Luce said. “But, sports are my thing and that’s what I love to do. You put everything else aside, you get your homework done on the way to your games and just do what you’ve got to do.”

Luce, who finished as the top 3-point shooter in the state last season, said basketball is her favorite sport — with softball a close second — and she’s interested in playing both in college, though is unsure of what school she will attend. Wherever she goes next fall, Luce will take a strong work ethic with her.

“If I wasn’t busy, I’d be at home doing nothing,” she said. “I could sit there and complain that I have nothing to do or I just could do everything. I like it better that way.”

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