Nate Stanley of Menomonie has been selected as the 2015-16 recipient of the Pat Richter Award presented by WisSports.net as the Triple Play Triple Threat Male Athlete of the Year.
The Triple Play Triple Threat of the Week is an honor given on WisSports.net to the top senior boys and girls three-sport athletes in the state. At the end of the school year, those awarded with the weekly honor are eligible for the Pat Richter Award, which will go out to the top boys and girls three-sport athlete of the season.
Hugh V. "Pat" Richter is one of Wisconsin's most storied student-athletes in state history. He was a three-sport athlete at Madison East High School, competing in football, basketball and baseball. He went on to fame at the University of Wisconsin, earning nine varsity letters in three sports and would later become the Athletic Director at Wisconsin.
Past winners of the award include Alec Ingold of Bay Port (2014-15), Matt Ferris of Xavier (2013-14), Jester Weah of Madison Memorial (2012-13), Kyle Cody of McDonell Central (2011-12), Hank Kujak of Blair-Taylor (2010-11) and Donnie Hissa of Northwestern (2009-10).
There were big things expected from Nate Stanley early on in his high school career, and he delivered in a big way. A college prospect in basketball and baseball as well, it is football that Stanley is best known for, and what will take him on the next part of his athletic journey.
Possessing outstanding size and athletic ability with one of the strongest throwing arms we've seen in the state in many years, he accepted a scholarship offer from the Iowa Hawkeyes and head coach Kirk Ferentz, sticking with his pledge despite a late push from Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst.
On the gridiron, he holds school records for most career passing yards (3,674) and touchdowns (36), despite being injured much of his junior year. As a senior, he was a First Team All-Conference pick and Honorable Mention All-State at quarterback, adding all-league and All-Region honors as a punter as well.
Despite a deep playoff run in football, Stanley had no trouble transitioning to the basketball court this year, averaging more than 23 points and 12 rebounds en route to Big Rivers Player of the Year honors and back-to-back All-Conference recognition. He leaves as the school's all-time scoring leader with 1,350 career points.
His versatility showed quite a bit in baseball, where he played all over, including pitcher, infield, and outfield. A four-year starter for the Mustangs, he was a Second Team WBCA All-District pick as a senior.
So, does he have a favorite of his three standout sports?
"Whatever season it is, that is my favorite," he told WSN's Mark Miller in his initial Triple Threat profile. "I just enjoy being able to compete and being with my friends."
Of course, playing three sports doesn't come without it's challenges.
"Time management and the toll playing three sports can take on your body are the toughest part," he said.
Stanley cites the life-long friendships he has made as the best part of his high school sports experience. Despite the time and effort devoted to playing three sports at such a high level, he is an outstanding student, with a cumulative GPA of 3.96.
To view our initial profile of Nate as part of our Triple Play Triple Threat Athlete of the Week series, please click here.