RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's track and field team values leadership above all else.
For two Hodag runners, those leadership qualities paid off with new track shoes, of all things.
The scholarship was established in the name of Ira Rebella, a track and field referee from Merrill who passed away in November.
The scholarship had enough money for two Rhinelander kids to buy running spikes.
Hodag head coach Aaron Kraemer said Rebella was a decent man who had a profound influence on his program.
"[He was] somebody that was a staple of this area for our track meets," Rebella said. "We always saw him here. A very kind gentleman, a leader in his field, somebody that made me as a first year coach five years ago feel at home during a track meet."
Adam Bloom and Morgan Johnson won the scholarship.
In order to qualify, applicants had to write essays about how they've displayed leadership.
Bloom says the contest gave him a clearer idea of what it means to be a leader.
"You need to be able to stand up," Bloom said. "You need to be able to show what people have to do in a calm and inspiring manner. Just because you're the leader doesn't mean you need to have lack of respect for who you're leading."
Rhinelander's next track and field meet comes on Tuesday at Lakeland Union High School against five other programs, including GNC stalwarts like Tomahawk, Northland Pines and Lakeland Union.