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Athletes of the Week: Kemper, Eisenmenger finish seasons strong

May 20—The votes are in. Powered by Copper Creek Contractors, Cole Kemper of the St. Thomas More baseball team and Danika Eisenmenger of

the Unity softball team are this week's winners. Here they are, in their own words, with their biggest supporters — their teammates:

Danika Eisenmenger — Unity softball➜ Why she's Athlete of the Week: The Rockets fell just short of a fifth consecutive regional title on Saturday, but Eisenmenger kept fans on the edge of their seats in a lengthy game the week before. She pitched 12 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts before the offense finally scratched across a run to give Unity a 1-0 win against Windsor/Stewardson-Strasburg on May 11. Four days earlier, she tossed four scoreless innings while only allowing one hit in an 8-0 win against Tuscola.

➜ From Eisenmenger: "I found out when I was running laps in PE. My coach told me I was in the running, and I was so excited. I immediately texted my mom, and I knew she would get the word around really fast. When I checked my phone after school, I saw it all over Facebook, and all my family was reposting it. ... It was really exhausting, but it was a really good game. I can't take all the credit because our defense was absolutely incredible. I think that's the best defensive game we played all season. I could never have done it without my teammates behind me."

➜ My favorite movie is ... probably something Disney or "The Benchwarmers," and my favorite TV show is "The Vampire Diaries."

➜ My favorite music genre is ... country, especially old country, and my favorite artists are Zach Bryan and Wyatt Flores.

➜ If I could have any superpower, it would be ... teleportation so I won't have to drive. I just got my permit, so I'm learning, and it's not going too well.

➜ Something that's on my bucket list is ... going to a Zach Bryan concert and making it to state for softball.

➜ My biggest pet peeve is ... people who walk slow in the hallways.

➜ My favorite softball memory is ... hitting a triple in a tie game to get the lead against one of our rivals last fall.

➜ My favorite athlete is ... Montana Fouts.

➜ Before a game ... on the way to the game, I'm blasting music. I also read a Bible verse.

➜ After a game ... I'm usually starving, so I'm probably going out to eat.

➜ In five years ... I hope to be winning a championship in college, playing Division I and studying veterinary stuff.

➜ Athlete of the Week finalists: Libby Henry, Arthur Christian soccer; Andrea Li, Uni High badminton; Abby Sabalaskey, Westville softball.

Cole Kemper — St. Thomas More baseball➜ Why he's Athlete of the Week: The Sabers' season came to a close in the regional semifinals last Wednesday, but Kemper powered through with a couple solid individual performances down the stretch. He tallied a trio of hits with a pair of doubles and three RBI in STM's 9-4 win against Milford last on May 11. This came four days after recording two hits in a 10-4 loss to Heyworth.

➜ From Kemper: "I was shocked that I got a nomination, let alone won it. I told my friends I was nominated, and it was all them. They hopped right on it and started voting for me, and I was somehow able to pull away with it. ... Getting bumped up to 2A was definitely a little more difficult. We lost some valuable seniors. I've enjoyed Sabers baseball all four years. It's a blast every year, and I love our team. Everyone loves each other, it's great guys and it's all about having fun. We thought we were playing some good baseball the last week up to that final game, but it was a fun season overall, and I wouldn't trade it for the world."

➜ My favorite TV show is ... "Suits." I've been watching a lot of that recently.

➜ My favorite music genre is ... pop and country.

➜ If I could have any superpower, it would be ... super speed for sports. No one could stop you.

➜ Something that's on my bucket list is ... becoming a lawyer and taking an all-friends trip down to Mexico or Florida.

➜ My biggest pet peeve is ... when a friend is on their phone and not paying attention or listening to you. You're like "Hello?" and they go "Yeah, I heard you" and then respond to your question five seconds later.

➜ My favorite baseball memory is ... when I pitched in the state championship in eighth grade. I threw a complete game and struck out the last dude to win. I come to find out I tied a record with Reid Detmers, a pitcher for the Angels, for most wins in a state tournament. We won state for the first time in school history, and I played high school baseball with the same guys.

➜ My favorite sports team is ... the Green Bay Packers.

➜ Before a game ... I read something a couple years ago about how Steph Curry breathes really deep for 30 seconds. Sometimes, my nerves get on me, so I started doing that, and it helped calm me down a lot and stay focused.

➜ After a game ... me and three other guys, some of my close buddies, we all take down the flag, even though it really only takes one person. All four of us go out there, talk about the game, where we're going to eat after. That's always fun.

➜ In five years ... I want to have a degree, and I also want to somehow have my own company. I also want to get into real estate and have multiple sources of income. I want to be able to look back on my years of college and high school and know that I enjoyed it and made a positive impact on people's lives.

➜ Athlete of the Week finalists: Braxton Clem, Salt Fork baseball; Schafer Ogle, Sullivan baseball; Mason Orton, Mahomet-Seymour baseball.