• Cecilia Ridgeway

Athletes of the Term: Ben Probst and Lily Freeland

We have many great athletes here at Lafollete high school who excel not only in sports but in academics along with being all around good people. Lily Freeland and Ben Probst are two of those athletes. Throughout their four years at Lafollete they have achieved successful school lives, social lives, work lives, and athletic lives while juggling all of their extracurriculars. Lily Freeland is a senior who maintains a 3.7 GPA while taking a total of six AP classes and still manages to excel as a dancer. She has even been offered scholarships to dance at some of the country’s most impressive dance studios. “I am proud of getting a dance scholarship to go to New York and take classes at Broadway Dance Center last year, although I was not able to go,” Freeland says.

While working hard to maintain her grades, perform well in dance and work at the Henry Vilas Zoo, she always has all her irons in the fire. “I am a busy person, but I have learned to enjoy being busy, rather than resent it,” Freeland said.

Freeland has been on the dance team at La Follette for four years, and has been taking part in dance competitions at her dance studio, A Step Above Dance Academy, for nine. She plans on going to college possibly for anthropology or ecology. Although she is unsure of where she is going to end up after high school, her impressive resume will certainly serve her well.

“Make sure you put school above your sport,” Freeland reminded. She emphasizes the importance and connection between performing well in your sport as well as in the classroom. “Your sport may seem like it should be your top priority, but maintaining good grades and getting a quality education is way more important.”

The other athlete chosen as athlete of the term is Ben Probst. Probst is the prime example of outstanding performance on the field and in the classroom. Probst was this year's football quarterback, is currently starting on the boys basketball team and will play baseball in the spring. He is also the treasurer of the National Honors Society. “I take a lot of pride in both my academics and athletics so these were huge accomplishments for me,” Probst said.

Similar to many other student-athletes one of the biggest obstacles he has faced in time management. “Dealing with a lot of homework and also practice every night of the school year, it can get stressful and it is hard to find time to complete everything while still having time for a social life. I learned to use my time wisely and try to stay on top of all my homework so that I can enjoy the free time I have and still do well in school,” Probst said.

He’s most proud of being able to maintain his 4.0 GPA, while still having the time to earn 10 varsity letters. Probst wants to go to either UW-La Crosse, UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point or Edgewood College and play basketball while studying either sports medicine or business. Probst was also awarded athlete of the week on October 11th by ESPN (see front cover).

“I would advise future athletes to work hard at everything they do, because they will succeed, and to cherish every moment they have of their high school careers, because even though it sounds cliche, it really does go by fast.” Probst advised.

Being an athlete can be a really fun and rewarding thing, as Freeland and Probst have shown while continuously being good student athletes. They also understand that while they might love their sports, school is also very important. The school applauds student athletes and how hard they have to work to maintain both.

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