Easton Valley Coach Dan Beck saved the surprise for the end of the basketball team’s morning meeting.
The team was gathered in the hotel at the state basketball tournament in Des Moines.
After the meeting, Beck told River Hawks senior Porter Fuegen that he was one of four individuals to win the Iowa Bankers Student Athlete Achievement Award.
“It was a good way to learn (I won) with my teammates all there,” said Fuegen, who is the son of Roy and Kristi Fuegen of Preston. He “was pleasantly surprised” when he found out he won.
The award was presented March 13 during the Iowa State Boys Basketball Tournament.
The Iowa Bankers Association award recognizes an athletic student in each of the four athletic classes who excels in the classroom and community as well as on the court.
The recipient receives a $1,000 scholarship to the college of his choice.
EV school counselor Careyanne Wood and high school principal Tony Johnson nominated Fuegen.
“It did not take us long to figure out Fuegen was the perfect candidate for Easton Valley,” they said.
Fuegen ranks 10th in his senior class at Easton Valley High School, earning a 3.89 GPA. He received his only B last year in a college course, according to school officials.
The senior has made the honor roll every semester in high school and was inducted into the National Honor Society two years ago.
He plays football and basketball and is a church trip leader while also assisting the local Lions Club and Knights of Columbus with community events on multiple holidays.
Fuegen’s employment history includes refereeing for community soccer, working at Preston Meats and Grocery, picking pumpkins at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch and working for Assenmacher Concrete.
He also volunteers in the community, including at various athletic camps, doing landscaping work and running a toy drive for charity.
“It is a big honor to win this award and to be Preston or Easton Valley’s first ever to win the award,” Wood said. “It could of not went to a better person than Porter.”