This term we have two phenomenal athletes to recognize, not only for their dedication to their sport, but for their influence in the community. Kaytlin Eder has been playing basketball since she was 5 and has stuck with it because of her love for the sport. Growing up, her dad has inspired her to continue and while pushing her to be the best, he would always say “if you don't love the game you don't have to play.” Eder enjoys the long season, full of competition and bonding with her teammates, but the endless 17’s and losing the close games are not the most enjoyable. While juggling academics, being a student athlete can make that even harder. Eder uses her study halls, down time, and sometimes team dinners to make sure everything is completed.
Eder’s most memorable moment or week, was when West came to La Follette and she broke the free throw record with 15 made and one game later went to Verona and scored 7 three pointers, breaking another record. Beating Waunakee for the first time and Monona Grove for the first time since 2013 last year were also some of her memorable moments. “Don't give up on something because you argue with your coach or things are difficult. You’re going to argue with your coach, they shouldn't be your best friend. To the incoming freshman, play to just play and have fun, don't think of it like a varsity game think of it like an AU game,” Eder (12) said.
Outside of athletics, she participates in SAAC (student athlete advisory committee), NHS (National Honors Society) and over the summer volunteers for a program called Mentoring Positives. This program has helped her form a relationship with her coach, Will Green, outside of basketball. The program has helped her develop leadership skills, and public speaking, which will help her in her later life.
Her coaches and influential trainers, like Debbie Witman, always push her to be a better individual person and follow her dreams. She has a handful of colleges to choose from and plans to continue playing basketball, and majoring in kinesiology, physical therapy or athletic training.
For Charlie Collinge, fond memories of skating around with his dad at the age of four have helped develop his love for hockey. While following in his uncle's footsteps and needing to play a spring sport helped develop a passion for La Crosse. With a stunning 4.0 GPA, juggling school can be a difficult task, but when he asks questions and has open communication with his teachers, he is able to accomplish the task at hand.
Collinge enjoys staying active, being competitive and making great friends from other schools as the sports he plays are Co-op. When at practice, he would rather skip the conditioning but the good plays, the environment and the feeling of a win make up for it.
To younger athletes he would tell them to “Just enjoy it, but also set yourself up to enjoy it by putting in the work,” Collinge mentioned.
“While playing Monroe at home, I scored a hat trick to send us into over time (a hat trick is three goals) and then in overtime, a freshman, Ben Blazel, scored the game winning goal, and the look on his face and the fans going crazy was what made it so memorable,” Collinge said.
Outside of athletics, Collinge participates in student council, SAAC, volunteers at SSM health and is the president of NHS. He enjoys spending his downtime relaxing and spending time with his friends.
Through all of this, his parents have pushed him to be the best he can, set a good example for others and inspired him to eventually leave an impact on society. He joked around calling himself washed up and does not plan on continuing college level sports. He plans to major in a psychological or biological science and then go onto medical school.
These phenomenal athletes have worked hard over these last four years to develop their skills not only in athletics but in their personal lives too. These two will do amazing things in the world and it'll be exciting to see where they go.