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Kirst a dual threat on dual fields

By Greg Bates

Sports editor 

Boone Kirst might have a few tough decisions to make when he’s competing in athletics his senior year.

A three-sport athlete at Ashwaubenon, he’s being recruited by colleges to play baseball and football. 

Kirst, who also is a starter on the boys’ basketball team, might have to narrow down his choice to play one sport at the next level.

Kirst is starting to get heavily recruited for baseball after having a phenomenal junior season. 

A catcher and versatile player all over the diamond, he hit more than .500 and was named the Fox River Classic Conference Co-Player of the Year. 

In addition, he was selected All-State honorable mention.

Kirst is also picking up plenty of interest from colleges on the gridiron. 

He’s entering his third year as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback. 

He was named all-conference honorable mention after his junior campaign.

“I’ve been leaning more toward baseball right now, but I want to keep my options open,” Kirst, who has started in baseball and football since his sophomore year, said. “I want to enjoy my senior year, see what happens with football and go from there.”

Kirst is currently playing travel baseball for Impact Sports Academy (ISA) out of Green Bay, competing for the 17U Royal team. 

His play on the field has garnered good interest from colleges.

He’s talked to Division II programs that play in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), specifically Minnesota State in Mankato.

Kirst’s high school baseball teammate, Mack Crowley, will be playing for the Mavericks’ baseball team. 

Kirst said having a former teammate at the school might sway his opinion to attend the school.

“Mack and I have a good relationship – I caught him all last year,” he said. “I’ll hear his feedback from the fall and see what the college is like. But definitely, it would be a lot more comfortable if someone I knew was there.”

Division III schools throughout Wisconsin are also on Kirst’s radar for baseball. 

UW-Oshkosh, UW-Steven Point and UW-Whitewater are all recruiting him.

Kirst said he isn’t swayed by Division I or II programs simply because they can offer athletic scholarships.

“I’ve always talked about this with my dad – in baseball, grades are going to get you way more money anyway,” he said. “The scholarship amount for athletics doesn’t sway me in anything. I would love to get one – obviously not having to pay as much – but academic scholarships are probably where I’m going to get my most money.”

Kirst said he’s more worried about winning and getting to a program that honors the little things in baseball and loves the game.

Stevens Point and Whitewater both offer solid baseball programs in which they compete for a national championship each year.

Being named the conference player of the year has helped colleges take notice of Kirst as a baseball player.

“It’s another point to talk to college coaches about,” Kirst said. “I think it shows them something about me, too.”

Kirst said he’s honored to have been named the top baseball player in the conference.

“I wasn’t expecting it, to be honest,” he said. “But my coach called me and told me about it, and I was happy with it. I’ve been around Ashwaubenon baseball my whole life. My dad used to coach there and I used to be the bat boy with the team, so I always dreamed of something like that. It was awesome when it came true.”

Kirst has been getting interest in football from the University of South Dakota, Minnesota State, Upper Iowa, Northern Michigan and some Division III schools.

While he’s more apt at playing baseball in college, Kirst said he isn’t ruling out playing football.

He also hasn’t completely squashed the idea of competing in both sports at the collegiate level.

“I would consider doing both sports,” Kirst said. “I love both sports and I like to stay busy in college, and I know that would keep me busy.”

What would sway Kirst to play both?

“I think if the football coach understands and the baseball coach understands and gives me some flexibility on what I need to do for both teams, I think that would help me get there,” Kirst said.

He’s talked to the baseball coach at Oshkosh about playing both sports, and he’s also been in touch with Cornell. 

Kirst said he’s excited to know a Division I Ivy League school, a strong academic institution, is interested in his talents.

“School is the first priority, so getting a degree from a prestigious university would be great knowing what kind of jobs you can get out of college after your sports career is done,” he said.

Kirst is a great student in the classroom — boasting a 4.3-grade point average on a 5.0 scale.

His excellence in academics will allow him to choose any school he prefers.

With football season starting soon, Kirst is going to be busy this fall. 

He’ll have to make a verbal decision on a college down the line.

“What’s going on in my mind is winter I’d decide because it seems like baseball will be done by September and then football season will be wrapping up in October, November,” Kirst said. “I can sit down with my family and talk about that, and then go on college visits throughout the fall.”

Kirst said he’s enjoying the recruiting process and is excited to see what his next step will be.

“It’s fun envisioning yourself in the years to come,” he said. “Working with my dad and mom and my family, it’s a lot of fun to experiment and see what I want.” 

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