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Crimson Aviator

6 Redbirds make college athletics commitments

Lilly Bristol
Will Hornseth is headed to Northern Iowa for basketball.

Article by De Pere HS athletic department

Photos by Lilly Bristol, staff member

On Nov. 8, De Pere High School seniors Kaylei Anderson, Easton Arendt, Claire Bjorge, Grace Daanen, Javin Gauthier and Will Hornseth signed national letters of intent to compete in athletics at the collegiate level.

Arendt (Winona State) and Gauthier (Valparaiso) are committing for baseball. Bjorge and Hornseth will play basketball at Minnesota-Duluth and Northern Iowa, respectively. Daanen will join the women’s swim team at UW-Green Bay. Anderson is signing with Clarke University for women’s soccer.

Arendt, a three-year starter for the Redbirds, plans to join the NCAA Division II program at Winona (Minn.) State. As a junior, he was named Player of the Year in the Fox River Classic Conference, batting .396 and going 9-1 with a 2.49 ERA on the mound.

He tallied nine doubles and two triples and stole 11 bases. His on-base percentage was .504.

“He has brought a bulldog mentality to our program,” De Pere coach Bob VanRens said. “His determination to get the job done has been second to none. Winona State is getting a great baseball player and an even better person to join their program.”

Gauthier has chosen Valparaiso University, an NCAA Division I school in Indiana. He’s also a three-year starter at De Pere and two-time all-conference selection. Gauthier hit .294 with 22 RBI, six doubles, four triples and two home runs as a junior.

As a sophomore, he had a .362 average and three homers.

“Javin’s bat is the strongest in the FRCC,” VanRens said, “and we look forward to another powerful offensive season next spring. He also contributes great defense up the middle at shortstop. Javin is a great leader on and off the field.”

Bjorge is signing with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, an NCAA Division II program. Entering her senior season, she has scored 746 career points in two years, having missed her junior season with an ACL injury.

Bjorge, a 5-foot-8 guard, is a two-time all-FRCC selection and also earned Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association honorable mention all-state honors as a sophomore. She helped the Redbirds advance to the WIAA State Tournament in 2021-22, when she averaged 15.7 points per game. In the sectional final victory over Germantown that season, she tallied 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

She averaged 10.8 points per game as a freshman.

“Claire is a very versatile player who is able to score in a variety of ways and create difficulties for opposing teams,” De Pere coach Jeremy Boileau said. “She has the unique ability to score at the rim, from mid-range and from the three-point line.

“One of the most impressive things about Claire is how she developed her talents through countless hours in the gym when no one is watching. Claire has matured into a dedicated leader and will be counted on to help direct our team to continued success this year.”

Hornseth, a 6-8 forward, will sign with Northern Iowa, an NCAA Division I program. In his two full seasons as a Varsity player, Hornseth has helped the Redbirds win two FRCC titles, two regional championships, a sectional championship and the 2023 WIAA Division 1 State Title.

As a junior, he averaged 5.7 rebounds and 16.6 points per game, while shooting 77 percent from the field. He has 984 points and 348 rebounds for his career.

“Will has the ability to impact games in a variety of ways,” Redbirds coach Brian Winchester said. “He scores from the post, puts the ball on the floor to attack the rim, makes open perimeter shots, is one of the best passers on our team, and defends multiple positions.

“Will is a great teammate and very well thought of by his peers. His leadership will be extremely important to our success this year. Will has worked hard to develop his talents and is very deserving of the opportunity at Northern Iowa.

“Our coaching staff is extremely proud of Will and wish him continued success (in college) – after a highly successful senior season.”

Daanen, a four-year letterwinner, will commit to UW-Green Bay, a Division I school.  A team captain this season, she has qualified for the WIAA state meet in the 200-yard medley and 200 freestyle relays.

Daanen earned first-team all-FRCC honors for winning the 100 backstroke at the conference meet.

“Grace has poured her passion for leadership and swimming into the team,” De Pere coach Melissa Wolf said. “She has had tremendous improvement and will be a huge asset (to the UWGB program).”

Anderson will play soccer at Clarke University, an NAIA school in Dubuque, Iowa. A three-year Varsity starter on defense for the Redbirds, she earned first-team all-FRCC honors as a junior.

“KK’s exceptional accomplishments are a direct result of her commitment on and off the field,” De Pere assistant coach Adam Ropson said. “She truly is a big part of our defense, consistently demonstrating remarkable leadership. KK’s ability to keep the defense together, her communication skills, and her understanding of the game are outstanding.

“She sets the bar high, expecting that her teammates match her level of dedication and effort. Her influence on the team is immeasurable, and we’re fortunate to have her as a senior leader.”


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Lilly Bristol
Lilly Bristol, Reporter
Lilly Bristol is a sophomore who is a part of the school's newspaper. This is her second year taking journalism, and she plans on taking it for the other two years as well. She participates in many activities including dance, Jam Session, and band. After high school, she would like to enter the journalism world and write for a newspaper.  

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