State champ

DeForest senior Trey Schroeder (8) celebrates the Norskies’ WIAA state semifinal win over New Berlin Eisenhower last fall. Schroeder led the Norskies to their first state title since 1982.

There was not much DeForest senior Trey Schroeder did not accomplish in his high school athletic career. He enjoyed both individual and team success in his storied career.

Academics were also a strength for Schroeder and helped him earn DeForest’s 2020 WIAA Scholar Athlete.

“It means a lot to be named Scholar Athlete,” Schroeder said. “It is a reward for the all the hard work and dedication I had on the field, court and classroom. My family has always pushed me to put being a student first. I have always strived to do well academically.”

Each year, member high schools of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association are invited to nominate one boy and one girl for Scholar Athlete honors. The program, which is underwritten by Marshfield Clinic, was launched in 1984 to demonstrate the positive impact of interscholastic athletic activities.

To qualify for WIAA Scholar Athlete recognition, a nominee must have earned at least four varsity letters through the first half of his/her senior year and must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Schroeder played football, basketball and baseball all four years. He came away with 11 letters.

Academically, Schroeder finished his high school career with a 3.60 grade point average.

“It is challenging to balance sports and academics because you are always busy,” Schroeder said. “You don’t have a lot of free time, but you are never bored.”

Schroeder started making an impact athletically as a freshman. He saw significant time on the varsity basketball team.

Schroeder really started to make some noise his sophomore year, as he made varsity and played a big role in all three sports.

After taking up leadership roles in all three sports as a junior, Schroeder was in the midst of one of the most successful athletic years in DeForest history when the COVID-19 pandemic ended his senior season.

Schroeder started his senior year by leading the Norskies’ to a WIAA Division 3 state football title. He then guided DeForest to a WIAA Division 2 sectional final in basketball, but the Norskies never got a chance to play for shot at state after the WIAA halted all sports, including DeForest’s promising baseball season.

“I was able to accomplish a lot in my high school career,” Schroeder said. “In football, we accomplished the biggest goal, winning a state title. We were just one game away from the biggest goal in basketball and I think the baseball team would have had a shot at going to state.”

In three seasons as the Norskies’ starting quarterback in football, Schroeder compiled an impressive overall record of 28-7. DeForest never finished lower than third place in the Badger North during that time and they qualified for the WIAA playoffs all three years.

After earning honorable mention all-conference as a junior, Schroeder was a unanimous first-team All-Badger North Conference selection at quarterback as a senior.

In his senior campaign, Schroeder led the Norskies to a perfect 14-0 record. They claimed the Badger North title and went on to win the program’s first state since 1982.

“Winning a state title in football is one of the greatest things I will do in my life,” Schroeder said. “What we did as a team means everything to me. It is the greatest experience you can have. I look at the ring we got and can’t believe it. We did it as a team. We were a close group and we mean a lot to each other.”

In basketball, Schroeder was named honorable mention all-conference as a sophomore and then moved up to the second team as a junior. He was a unanimous first-team pick as a senior.

The Norski basketball team never finished lower than third in the conference during Schroeder’s time. They advanced to at least the regional final in all four years and had a combined record of 64-33,

After falling in a sectional semifinal as a junior, Schroeder took the Norskies to even greater heights as a senior. They were just one win away from their first trip to state since 2012.

The Norskies defeated Stoughton 66-57 in the sectional semifinal, but the WIAA canceled the season before their sectional final game against Elkhorn.

“My junior year we had a very good team, but we couldn’t beat one team,” Schroeder said. “We were really good again this year and were one game away from state. I strongly believe we would have made it.”

Schroeder did not have the same individual accolades in baseball, but he played a role in the Norskies success the last two seasons. As a sophomore, he was a part of DeFoerst’s team that lost 12-1 to eventual state champion Waunakee in the sectional finals, while last year the Norskies reached the regional finals.

“Baseball had its ups and downs for me, but it was fun,” Schroeder said. “I played with a lot of different guys and built some great friendships. It was a lot of fun.”

The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the entire baseball season for Schroeder and the Norskies.

“It was tough, but you can’t do anything about it,” Schroeder said. “All you can do is think about what could have been. I look back at what we have accomplished and all of my experiences in sports and that is what I will take away from it all.”

Schroeder thinks high school athletes will have a different attitude coming out of the pandemic.

“Now they know that your whole season and dreams can be taken away just like that,” Schroeder said. “One day you think you are going to state and the next day it is over. You can’t take anything for granted.”

Schroeder will continue his athletic career at UW-Stevens Point in the fall. He will play football for the Pointers and is considering trying out for basketball.

“I want to see if I can do both sports in college,” Schroeder said. “It drives me that a lot of people don’t think I can do it. It is not a sure thing, but there is a 30 percent chance I’m going to try out for basketball. It depends on how football goes.”

While Schroeder has won a lot of games in his time at DAHS, it is the bond with his teammates that he will remember the most.

“It is not about the wins and loses, it is about building friendships that will last a lifetime,” Schroeder said. “Every year we accomplished that and had a lot of success also.”

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