Seven Hawks make college decisions official

Six will play in state
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By Morgan Rode sports@newmedia-wi.com


Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Seven Shawano students made their college decisions official on Wednesday. From left, top row, Karson Rades, Parker Pues, Nathan Krizan and Crede Timm; bottom row, Bayleigh Laabs, Kate Hoffman and Julia Klement will all play collegiately.

Seven Shawano Community High School students took the next step in their athletic careers on Wednesday when they officially announced which colleges they would be attending.

Six of the seven athletes will stay in state. Nathan Krizan will play football for St. Norbert College, while Crede Timm will play football at University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Kate Hoffman will join the Marian University softball team, while Bayleigh Laabs heads to Bryant & Stratton College to play softball.

Julia Klement will continue her volleyball career at Viterbo University, while Parker Pues heads to UW-Eau Claire to compete in track and field.

Karson Rades was the lone athlete that is headed to a school outside the state, as he will head to St. Mary’s University (Winona, Minnesota) to swim and compete in archery. He will join a familiar face on the swim team, as his brother, Griffin, already competes for the Cardinals.

“I’m definitely excited about it,” said Rades on joining his brother on the swim team. “We do the same strokes so we’ll be able to push each other to be faster and faster, but also we’ll be able to help each other in relays. He can always help teach me and if a coach can’t explain something, he can explain it right.”

Coming off a volleyball season in which she was named the co-player of the year in the Bay Conference, Klement received plenty of interest from schools.

Viterbo contacted Klement most often and was the school that seemed to be most interested in obtaining her skills. The V-Hawks are coming off a 33-8 season.

“I just kind of looked into them and their program and saw that they were really successful,” Klement said. “So then I went to a camp and toured a little bit and then the coach talked to me after the camp and said he’d really like to see me at the school and thought I’d fit in well.”

Pues is nearing the end of a strong high school career on Shawano’s track and field team. He recently became a Bay Conference champion in the long jump, but he’s still got more big goals set.

“I want to break the school record in the long jump and I want to go to state. I want to go to La Crosse again and I want to prove that I am meant to be performing collegiate sports, collegiate track and field,” Pues said. “I want everyone to know that I deserve a spot on that team (UW-Oshkosh) and that that’s what I am supposed to be doing.”

Timm and Krizan nearly ended up playing for the same college, but in the end, both believe they found places where they can succeed and be comfortable over the coming years.

“There are a lot of colleges that come and show interest at first but then as it gets closer to that time where you need to make a decision, they kind of start dwindling out,” Timm said. “It all comes down to that one place that everyone has that feels like the right place and is really inviting. It reminds you of home and it will become your second home eventually. You know it’s right because there’s a good feel there.”

Timm capped his high school career by earning a spot on the all-conference second team as a wide receiver. He will now try to find a role with UW-River Falls, which finished 3-7 last fall.

Krizan visited a few schools in Minnesota during his recruitment process, but felt they weren’t the right fit.

“I also thought about going to River Falls with Crede actually but then at the very end, St. Norbert came and visited the school and talked. I was like, ‘OK, I’ll give this a try because I’m not really sure where I wanted to go.’ When I visited the campus, I was just kind of blown away by everything. They were so much more up close and personal and felt like they actually cared about me. That’s what caught my attention and made me want to go there.”

Krizan also landed on the all-conference second team in his senior season, earning the spot for his play on the offensive line. St. Norbert is coming off a season in which it lost just once in the regular season.

Hoffman’s college decision was influenced by her academic future. Once she found a school where she could set up a future career along with playing the sport she loves, she did what she could to get noticed.

“I didn’t really care if it was a D3 school, as long as I got to play at that upper level,” Hoffman said. “So when I went to the campus for a college tour, the coach talked to me there and asked if I was interested in playing and I was. I went to a bunch of camps there over the winter so that they could see me.”

When Laabs steps on the softball diamond at Bryant & Stratton, she will get to do so alongside a familiar face — Brianna Zook.

“I’m super excited because since sophomore year, we’ve played together on the varsity level and always had that duo in the infield,” Laabs said. “I’m super excited to get that duo back in college and see what we can do back together again.”