Fresh off a milestone with the New Life Academy girls’ basketball team, senior Valerie Hohol has one last sports season before she heads to the University of Minnesota Duluth to continue her softball career. Hohol will try to lead the Eagles back to the Class 1A state championship game for the third consecutive year.


Q: You recently recorded your 1,000th point in high school basketball. What was that moment like for you?

A: Very exciting because I had made a goal for myself this season to reach it, and I was able to do so. Without the help of my teammates I wouldn’t have been able to make that accomplishment. Having them around me when I made the basket for 1,000 points meant the world to me.


Q: You’re headed to the University of Minnesota Duluth to continue your softball career. What stood out to you about Duluth during the recruiting process?

A: First and foremost, academics were the most important to me. Duluth has a great engineering program, which was perfect for me because I plan to major in chemical engineering. I also loved the area, and I’ve only heard good things about the city and the school. Being able to still be close to home while at college was also important. All of the girls on the team were so welcoming to me as well, and I wanted to be a part of the fantastic program just like them.


Q: As a captain, have you talked the rest of the team about preseason expectations?

A: Yes, many of the girls understand that this year everyone is going to have to step up their game to adapt to losing two great seniors last year. Some will have to learn new positions, but they are ready to take on the challenge. Working hard with a good attitude is all that we can ask from them.

BETSY Helfand