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Area athletes ready to play at the next level

Kahrie Stegman
Macksville senior Harley Blaske, seated, signs a letter of intent to play football and run track at McPherson College in the fall. He is joined by Macksville High School coaches and McPherson College representatives for the signing ceremony recently at Macksville.

Despite a spring sports season cut short by the novel coronavirus, several area athletes already have solid plans in place to play their favorite sports at the next level.

Pratt High School senior Hunter Huber recently signed to play football at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He said he plans to pursue an education in criminal justice, in hopes of becoming a game warden.

“I think I am most excited for the next chapter in life and see where life takes me and too meet new friends and have new bonds,” Huber said. “I am also excited and blessed to get another opportunity to play football.”

Huber was a standout football player on two state championship teams for Pratt. He was also a top Greenback wrestler.

As a high school wrestler, Huber was a varsity team competitor all four years. He won a Regional Championship, upset multiple state-ranked wrestlers through the years, was a three-time state qualifier and went two for two at state as a senior.

Skyline High School twins Samuel and Steve Fisher both signed with Pratt Community College to play basketball for the 2020-2021 school year. They plan to finish their general classes at PCC, then transfer to a four year school where Samuel wants to major in physical education, and Steve plans to major in business.

“We are excited to learn with coach Sean Flynn and take on the challenge of college ball,” Samuel Fisher said.

Macksville High senior Harley Blaske signed with McPherson College to play football and run track on Wednesday, March 25. Blaske will be majoring in biology.

“I’m excited for something new,” Blaske said.

Blaske started his varsity football portfolio at Macksville his sophomore year as a Middle Linebacker for the Mustangs where he earned all-league and all-District Defense honors.

In his junior campaign Blaske again garnered all-league and all-district Defense honors, while also qualifying for State Cross Country where he helped the team finish 9th in the Class 1A State Meet.

As a senior, Blaske not only received all-league and all-district honors for both offense, defense, and punter, he also earned all-state honors and was asked to play in the 8-Man All Star game this summer in Beloit.

As a defensive specialist for the Mustangs, Blaske finished his seinor year with 252 total tackles; 157 solo tackles, 38 total rushing yards, 3.8 average rushing yards.

Also a track and field standout the past three years, Blaske finished for the CPL 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd in 110 hurdles and 5th, 3rd, and league champion in the 300 intermediate hurdles. Blaske also ran the third leg of the 2019 state-qualifying 4x400 team from Macksville, which placed 13th. He will also run track for the McPherson Bulldogs.

Like all other area colleges, Southwester, PCC and McPherson College have suspended indefinitely all athletic-related practice, travel, and competitions out of an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus.

“Protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our students-athletes is our top priority and is of highest importance to our conference,” Chandler Short, McPherson College athletic director, said.

“We will continue to monitor this ever-changing situation and follow the advice of our conference and others who, at this time, recommend practicing social distancing.”

The suspension of college level athletics at McPherson College will extend to all of its athletic facilities and to anyone who uses the facilities. The college will communicate updates as appropriate on its website.