Frederick, Allen heading to Division 1 schools
By Erik Buchinger
HORTONVILLE – Celeste Ratka will begin her first season as the Hortonville High School girls’ basketball coach with the luxury of having two players who have committed to scholarship offers from NCAA Division I college basketball teams.
Senior Morgan Allen recently signed her national letter of intent to play at IUPUI in Indianapolis, while junior Shay Frederick has committed to Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.
“It’s a coach’s dream,” Ratka said. “I’m extremely blessed. They make my job really easy, and I think they’re going to make me look pretty good this year.”
Allen signed her national letter of intent to IUPUI last week and said it was a great to have people with her during the experience.
“It was really great,” Allen said. “It was nice to see all of my family, friends, coaches and teammates supporting me. It’s nice to know there are a lot of people that care about me, and they will have supported me throughout my four years of playing here.”
Allen said she was late to the recruiting process, as she was not approached until late in her junior year and into the summer. She really gained interest during her first AAU tournament in Indianapolis where she first came in contact with IUPUI.
Allen was offered a partial scholarship by Winona State University, and other schools were interested, but IUPUI offered Allen a full scholarship in April, and she accepted in May.
“I chose IUPUI because the coaches were great there, so was the main part that sold it for me,” Allen said. “They chose players that have the same values and work ethic of me, and that was really important. I also love the city, and the campus is really beautiful.”
Frederick said she has been recruited to play college basketball since eighth grade.
A three-star recruit according to ESPN, Frederick had offers from UW-Milwaukee and Youngstown State and had interest from schools in the Big Ten, Big East and Horizon League. After visiting the Valparaiso campus in August, she was sold.
“I met the team, players, watched a practice, went around campus and I just loved it,” Frederick said. “Everything there appealed to me and was just what I’m looking for, so I just thought, ‘Why wait?’ And I made my decision around late August or early September.”
Ratka, who was offered a scholarship to UW-Green Bay prior to her senior year of high school at Hortonville in 2005, said her advice to Frederick and Allen is to take in the memories of this experience.
Just enjoy it,” Ratka said. “It’s a journey, so just enjoy the process. You only get one opportunity to play high school basketball and to really soak up all the memories and don’t look back and wish you would’ve done something different.”
Prior to college, Allen and Frederick said they are excited to play out their high school careers in Hortonville, and the Polar Bears have a chance to win their third consecutive FVA title, which is among some of the team goals for the season.
“I’m really just hoping to see how our team does together,” Allen said. “We have good team chemistry and work as a team toward all of our goals, including being three-peat conference champions in the FVA, and obviously going to state is a major goal.”
Frederick said there is great potential for the team heading into the season.
“I think the sky is the limit for our team,” Frederick said. “It’s not just me and Morgan; it’s all of us working together. We have a group of great girls, so we just have to work together, play together and trust the process and we’ll go a long way.”
Ratka said this could be a special season for Hortonville basketball.
“I’m just hoping help them grow as players, but I think what I’m more looking forward to is watching them grow as leaders,” Ratka said. “When your best players are your hardest workers, you’ve got something really special.”