Apaches’ senior led team in rushing last season
By Paul Lecker
AUBURNDALE — For Collin Hawkins, playing college football has always been a dream of his.
The Auburndale High School senior will be able to tackle that dream and do it close to home next fall.
Hawkins, a 5-11, 195-pound fullback/linebacker, signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday to play football at NCAA Division III University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Hawkins will follow former teammate and his “best bud” Kaleb Bolder, who was a freshman offensive lineman on the Pointers’ squad that went 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference last season.
“As a kid playing football, every kid thinks they are going to play Division I football and go to the NFL,” Hawkins said. “At the end of the day, I’m going to be playing Division III football, and that is great.
“I watched quite a few (UWSP) games last year, went with Kaleb’s family a lot, and I like how they play. When I took an official visit, I really liked how they play football. I know the place. I know the campus. It was right for me.”
Hawkins was a second-team all-Marawood Conference pick at linebacker as a junior and a honorable mention choice last season after helping the Apaches reach the playoffs. He was fifth in the Marawood in rushing yards with 558.
“I am very proud of Collin,” Auburndale coach Eric Custer said. “He has worked very hard to put himself in the position that he is currently in. He works very hard in the weight room and does beyond expectations with his film study. Those two assets alone will benefit him at the next level.”
Hawkins said he was told he will compete at the linebacker position but is willing to “play wherever they need me.”
“Kaleb was my best bud through high school,” said Hawkins, who plans on studying business in search of either a sales or marketing degree. “He gave me insights into the program. He had a good time playing there, likes the coaching staff. I enjoyed the staff. It made me feel like that’s what I wanted.”
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)