Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Maggie Hernandez – Pulaski girls’ basketball, soccer
By Rich Palzewic
PULASKI – Maggie Hernandez is a senior on the Pulaski girls’ basketball team.
She will also play soccer this spring to close out her high school career.
“I will miss the bonds I’ve created with my teammates, my friends and the memories we’ve made,” said Hernandez, who is the daughter of Bill and Kris Hernandez. “Pulaski is a great school, and I’ll miss the environment.”
This fall, Hernandez, who is called “Mags” by her teammates, will venture to UW-La Crosse to play Division III soccer and study exercise physiology in the hopes of becoming a physician’s assistant in the future.
Hernandez’s high school basketball career got off to an embarrassing start, but a few months later, her soccer team made it to the state tournament.
“The third game into my basketball career at Pulaski, I air-balled a free throw,” she said. “It was so embarrassing. Besides beating Bay Port this season on Senior Night, going to state for soccer is my most memorable sports moment. It was an amazing experience.”
A second-team Fox River Classic Conference selection in soccer last season and basketball this year, Hernandez has impressed first-year head coach Doug McElrone.
“Meeting Maggie last summer as a new coach, I saw the excitement in her,” said McElrone, who spent time at Green Bay East before coming to Pulaski. “A few weeks into the season, I could tell she was a tough-nosed kid. She’s an amazing young lady. The team respects her, she plays through injuries, has the toughest defensive assignment from the opposition during games and does whatever she’s asked to do. Off the court, she has a good sense of humor, and the kids like hanging out with her. I am super lucky to have her on the court with her leadership.”
Hernandez has mutual respect for her coach.
“He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had,” she said. “He understands the game and understands the role of each player. His practices are productive, and he uses lots of encouragement. He also has a good sense of humor.”
Pulaski, currently 17-7 on the season, is a No. 3 seed in the WIAA Division 2 sectional.
“At the beginning of the season, we didn’t start well,” said Hernandez. “In the second round of the conference, we went 8-1. We started playing well as a team.”
She said some people don’t know she has a twin brother, Sam, who also plays soccer.
“Sam is older by one minute,” said Hernandez, who also has an older sister, Anna, who is in her second year at UW-Madison. “I love it – we are close and know someone wherever we go.”
Her dad is from California and played high school soccer, while her mom grew up in the Green Bay area and played tennis.
Hernandez, who would like to coach soccer or basketball someday, describes herself as hard-working, outgoing, determined, dedicated and committed.
She likes hanging out with friends, spending time with family, going to the beach and hiking.
Hernandez also likes Oreo ice cream, the color yellow, Christmas, summer and watching football games at Pulaski.