The Bug Tussel Triple Threat Athlete of the Week is an honor given on WisSports.net to the top senior boys and girls three-sport athletes in the state. Players are recognized each week on WSN, with the a boys and girls winner of the Pat Richter Award at the end of the season to the best three-sport athlete of the year.
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Name: Paige Lillie
School: Hortonville High School
Volleyball Honors: Two-year varsity starter at setter... coached Carley Bednar... the Polar Bears are currently 22-5 overall and second in the FVA with a 7-1 record... the Polar Bears received a 3-seed for the Division 1 WIAA Playoffs which start next week...
Basketball Honors: Enters her senior year as a three-year letter-winner... coached by Celeste Ratka as a freshman and sophomore... the 5-9 guard started at the guard spot as a junior, averaging 4.5 points per game and shot 30-for-72 (41.7%) from 3-point land for coach A.C. Clouthier and the 25-4 Polar Bears... they were one of the top teams in Division 1 all season, including ranked No. 5 in the final WisSports.net Coaches Poll... Paige helped Hortonville advance to the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament, falling to eventual state champion Kettle Moraine which repeated as D1 state champs... Hortonville will be ranked among the top teams in Division 1 for the upcoming season...
Softball Honors: Enters her senior year as a two-year all-FVA performer for the Polar Bears... she missed most of her freshman year due to injury... named second-team all-FVA as a sophomore and first-team all-conference as a junior... selected first-team all-area by the Appleton Post Crescent as a junior... she hit .389 with 15 RBIs and two HRs as a junior while picking up seven wins and three saves in the circle, including tallying 74 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched... Paige also played shortstop and third base for the Polar Bears last season, tallying 50 assists with nine putouts... Hortonville, coached by Quinn Heintz, went 17-10 overall and 10-8 in the FVA last season... Lillie is committed to NCAA Division I Butler University...
Favorite Sport (and why): "I absolutely love all three sports and I literally can't wait till next year when I can finally dedicate all my time and energy to being the best softball player I can be, but if I'm being completely honest, I probably enjoy playing high school volleyball the most. I never really played volleyball as a kid, so it just feels different when I'm out there on the court. For whatever reason I don't feel the anxiety I feel in softball and basketball so it's fun to go out there with my friends and just play!"
Best Part of High School Sports (and why): "In my opinion, the best part of high school sports is always being part of a family. Nothing is better than getting ready with my teammates, trying to figure out clever ways to make our butterflies go away, and celebrating in the locker room or on the bus after a big team win!"
Best Advice from a High School Coach: "Coach Ratka used to always say, 'do common things in an uncommon way'…that always stuck with me."
Most Memorable Moment in High School Sports: "Without question the sectional final against Neenah -- two of the best teams in the state battling it out for a trip to the Resch Center. I've never seen a gym that packed or that loud, boys or girls! The crowd literally stood for the entire game; it was an incredible sporting event to be a part of."
Best Part of Playing Three Sports: "I would say the best part is all the great players and coaches I've had the opportunity to play with and against. In my four years of high school, the FVA and the state in general has had a ton of amazing female athletes. It's been a privilege to play with and compete against them and I'm excited to see all the great things these amazing female athletes accomplish at the next level."
Most Difficult Part of Playing Three Sports: "Not going to lie; it's been a struggle at times. Each sport is basically a year-round commitment, especially at Hortonville. It's been difficult to juggle my schoolwork, all three sports, plus my club teams, not to mention trying to find time to be a normal kid and just hang out with my friends. However, I would do it again as the positives certainly outweigh the negatives. It hasn’t been easy but that’s why it has been so rewarding. Great things never come easy."
Favorite Opponent (and why): "My favorite opponent is Neenah in basketball because it's such a big event and the gym is always standing room only."
Favorite Professional Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Favorite Professional Athlete: "Growing up, my favorite player was always Ryan Braun."
Favorite College Team: Butler Bulldogs!
Cumulative GPA: 4.0
Toughest Individual You’ve Competed Against (and why): "Riley Grudzielanek. She is next to impossible to get out when I'm pitching and is super tough to hit against when she's in the circle. Riley is going to do great things at Northwestern University!"
Most Admired High School Teammate (and why): "Maggie Werner. She is two grades ahead of me and is a great role model. When I saw her not only playing three sports but being a major contributor on great teams it made me feel like I could do it too, even when a lot of people told me it’s not possible if you want to get recruited. I hope I can have that same effect on a young girl who doesn't want to give up a sport she loves playing just because specializing is becoming the popular choice."
College Plans: "I'm attending Butler University to play softball."
Activities Outside of Sports: "Reading, swimming up north, and going to Sephora."
Favorite TV Show: Friday Night Lights
Favorite Movie: Footloose
Favorite Musical Artist: It changes every day
Favorite Subject: Spanish
Favorite Restaurant: Any supper club
Favorite Website/App: TikTok
Other Family Members: "Parents Shawn and Jessica. Younger siblings Taylor and Reese (both proud 3-sport
athletes as well)!"