When Andy Wicklund was a sophomore, he tried out for Legion baseball like all the other baseball players his age. He was one of just four or five offered a chance to play on the team. Although that opportunity was an honor, most of those who were selected chose to stick with the lower league. But Wicklund didn’t have any reservations and readily accepted.
“I’m always better pushing myself than taking the easy way out,” he said.
Wicklund’s tendency to take the hard road over the years has paid off. He was recently named the recipient of Hopkins High School's Apollo Award—an honor that recognizes the school’s outstanding male senior athlete.
The three-sport competitor is a shortstop on the baseball team, a quarterback on the football team and a defender on the hockey team. He spends hours at practice each week during the school year, and his days last summer days were filled with football in the morning, hockey in the afternoon and baseball in the evening.
“I was a captain for all three, so I had to be there from that standpoint,” he said. “If I had to do it again, I’d be reluctant.”
Yet Wicklund’s tendency to push himself goes beyond sports. He works as hard academically as he does athletically. This year, he’s taking three Advanced Placement courses, one honors science course and two College in the Schools courses. He also plays bass in the chamber orchestra, Hopkins’ highest-level orchestra.
After graduation, Wicklund will attend Des Moines Area Community College, a school known for its baseball program. He plans to play there for two years and work his way into a Division I program.
“The biggest thing (sports) taught me is when you get the opportunity to play up, you should,” Wicklund said. “That’s just how I am.”
The Apollo Award is presented annually to Hopkins High School's outstanding male senior athlete. The Athena Award is the counterpart presented to the outstanding female senior athlete. Click here to read about 2011-12 Athena Award winner Mariah Witt.