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APPLETON – The Post-Crescent Media High School Boys and Girls Athletes of the Year were announced Sunday night at the Post-Crescent Media Athlete of the Year Recognition Party at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel.

Female Athlete of the Year was honored as Xavier’s Peyton Ufi, who has been the Eastern Valley Conference all-around first team in volleyball and basketball and second-team all-around in softball.

The male athlete of the year was Freedom’s Colin Hofacker, the East Valley Defensive Player of the Year in football at the defensive back and all-rounder of the second team at the team’s wide, all-round receiver. one in basketball, joint runner-up of the year in the Eastern Valley Conference, state champion and state record holder in athletics.

Ufi will attend Marquette University and plans to major in psychology. Hofacker will attend the University of Iowa and major in kinesiology.

After being named Athletes of the Year, the two took time to answer questions about competing as reserve athletes and what the future holds for them.

How do you choose the school you will attend?

ufi: Marquette University is the school I’ve always wanted to go to. I don’t play sports there but I had a few basketball and volleyball camps there during my high school years just to get a feel for the school and I just wanted to go there to study. I heard from a lot of people that it was a great school to attend and a lot of my relatives attended there, so I decided to attend.

Hofacker: They were the first school to actually contact me for a follow-up. That is my goal. I want to go in the right direction of Division I. They are the first school. That’s why I chose them. There are other schools that I could have gone to. Then during my visit, I fell in love with the campus. That’s why I can’t wait to go down there this fall.

To achieve the success you’ve had, you’ve got to work on it. What advice would you give new students?

ufi: Definitely work hard every day and don’t take anything for granted. Respect your coaches and players.

Hofacker: Come to practice every day. Work hard. You have to get better every day. You are never the best you are. Listen to your coach and be a great teammate.

What is the toughest challenge you will face in Marquette and Iowa?

ufi: Since I don’t go to sports, I thought it was just the idea of ​​going to college and going to classes.

Hofacker: Joining as a freshman, my times aren’t the fastest of the bunch so I’ll be back to the bottom of the totem column. In high school, I got used to being at the top of the totem pole, so I’ll have to put in the effort again.

From all the coaches you’ve had, are there any specific lessons you’ll learn from them?

ufi: My AAU coach, one of my friend’s fathers, Mike Karisny. He just said to work hard every day, even though it’s not something you want to do. You will start your practice feeling lazy or not having a good day. Use this sport to help you forget everything and that’s how you grow as an athlete.

Hofacker: (Freestyle football) Coach Clint Kriewaldt always said not to be too high with the highs and too low with the lows. Just keep going into it.

WIAA provides information on the benefits of student participation in extracurricular activities. How does it feel to be part of the team?

ufi: Sports really helped me find my friends. I actually come from Little Chute Middle School. I’ve been on tour teams through Xavier and that’s how I’ve met a lot of people going into freshman year. I think that helps me meet a lot of people and figure out what kind of group of friends I would join.

Hofacker: It really helps you get in touch with your friends and make really good friendships with other kids. Now I’m into sports and I know all my teammates and we’re a big family, which I think is the best part of sports.

There are colleges and universities that would love to have you as an athlete on their team. How did you feel when you made the decision not to play a team sport?

ufi: It’s definitely something that I’ve been into for the last 10 years playing sports. It’s just something I don’t want to take to the next level. That was my decision right there.

Initially, you decided to become a pentathlet in Iowa. That has recently changed.

Hofacker: Last week, I got a call from the director of the post-state Iowa athletics program and he told me I was going to do the 200, 400 and maybe the long jump. I will no longer wear the red shirt and I will receive the scholarship immediately. I was at a graduation party and I got a phone call. That’s my coach. I know he was in the national championship for the NCAA. I talked to him for about an hour. When I finished, I was shocked. I’m so glad it happened.

How does it feel to be named Athlete of the Year in Post-Crescent Media?

ufi: It is certainly an honor. Knowing so many other athletes selected from the top five, I would be happy if it were any of my friends or me. It’s an honor to have The Post-Crescent here.

Hofacker: It is certainly an honor and privilege to have it. All other finalists can be sure of receiving the prize. It’s a blessing to have it. I don’t know what to say about it.

— Jim Oskola: 920-993-1000, ext. 319, or joskola@postcrescent.com.



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