Wittenberg Senior makes Honorable Mention
(Written by Tracy Pecore)
On March 15, Ho-Chunk tribal member and Senior from Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, Danika Decorah, was just 2 games away from heading to the State tournament in Madison. Unfortunately, they lost by one point right at the end of the game. Up by two points with 14 seconds to go, the other team hit a three pointer.
Danika began playing ball when she was 8 years old beginning with the Chargers “Backers Program” created by Coach Bailliet. She said, “I started out attending camps and began playing in weekend tourneys when I was 9 years old. We were the only 4th grade team so we had to play against teams that were older than us. We lost nearly every game, but the next few seasons we did really good and won many tourneys.”
One of her biggest accomplishments was the successful team she was a part of in high school. She said, “During my four years we were conference champs twice, regional champs three times, sectional runner-up once, and sectionals participant my final year.”
The season went awesome. The Chargers finished 21-4 and although they lost in the Sectionals by one point, they still claimed the title and bragging rights as conference and regional champs. “We also set a school record by being the first Wittenberg-Birnamwood team to win the regional championship at home,” said Danika. She was also honored as the Channel 9 Player of the Week March 14.
Whoever said basketball was easy is crazy! Like any sport, it takes a lot of motivation, dedication, hard work, and a positive attitude to criticism. For Danika, her team practiced every day, sometimes twice a day beginning with a morning workout at 5:45am, and then practice after a long day of school. “We also were required to practice on Sundays most weeks,” said Danika.
During the summer, they also had to do workouts and practice along with participation on a summer league in which they played in tournaments. “This past summer we won the Wisconsin Dells Invitational Tourney. This has been my life since my freshman year,” said Danika. “I couldn't have asked for a better senior season. I will miss the game and most of all I will miss the friends I have made over the years.”
Danika’s coach nominated her as Honorable Mention and she won. She said she was very happy and honored. Along with being Honorable Mention, Danika was also one of the leading scorers this year for the Chargers.
Other than basketball, Danika also ran Cross Country all four years. She said, “We were conference champs all four years and I made it to State last year. My freshman year I ran track and we were conference champs. Sophomore thru my senior year I played Softball as a center fielder. So far we are undefeated.”
Like any other teen, she loves to hang out with friends, go to pow-wows, and of course play basketball whenever she can.
With only a few more months until graduation, she has been applying to several universities. Currently, she has applications sent to UW-Green Bay, UW-Baraboo and UW-Oshkosh. If accepted, she said, “I plan to major in Art or Sports Broadcasting. I would like to become the first ever Native American anchorwoman for ESPN.”
Danika is the daughter to Stacey Schreiber and Brian Decorah. Her grandparents are Terry and Bonnie (Decorah) Tech and Ellen and Duane Schreiber of the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans.
“My mom inspires me to do well. She is always encouraging me to do well in everything I do whether it’s in sports or school. Whenever I get discouraged she is my biggest supporter,” said Danika.
Great job Danika! Keep up the great work, and remember that motivation, dedication, and hard work will get you far in life.