Katie Alto and fellow senior Silas Hess earned the coveted distinction of Athletes of the Year on Wednesday in a virtual awards ceremony by the high school. Normally, the awards are presented in person, coupled with the annual Hall of Fame ceremony, and given to a male and female senior.
Alto has always had a quiet demeanor about her, and she lets her game do the talking. She’s not a flashy player on the soccer pitch, instead a defensive-minded midfielder whose heavy influence doesn’t always result with her name on the scoresheet. But, in moments of need, she also stepped up and launched some of the biggest goals of the program’s Section 8A three-peat.
The parallels extended onto the basketball hardwood, where Alto established herself as a premier defender before evolving into an offensive weapon, as well. She participated in both track and field and softball during her prep career, proving that she’s equally adept no matter what sport you throw her into.
Hess, by his own admission, likes to talk a little more (and perhaps a bit too much at times). He’ll crack a smile and tell you as much, but, like Alto, he nearly always gets the job done when it counts.
He raced through the soccer record books and became the most accomplished goal producer in program history. He had six goals and four assists during a dream playoff run to the 2018 Class A state championship game, and he exits as a part of the winningest class in program history.
In basketball, his relentless hustle and sharp facilitating made the Lumberjacks a better team, and he was integral to the program breaking a 34-year state tournament drought. If not for a pandemic, he might have aided the tennis team to its first section title this spring, as well.
Both are off to Division II soccer next fall; Alto will attend Concordia-St. Paul, while Hess will be at Colorado Christian alongside his twin brother, Ben.
Kolden Michalicek and Logan Mitchell made their collegiate plans official on Monday.
The Bemidji High School boys soccer seniors both signed on to play at the next level for Viterbo University during a signing ceremony at the high school.
Mitchell, an attacker, finished third among all Lumberjacks in 2019 with 20 points, scoring 10 goals and distributing 10 assists. Michalicek, a defenseman, added two goals and seven assists on the year while handling the majority of the team’s corner kicks.
Three of the most decorated athletes in Bemidji High School soccer history earned all-state awards on Sunday.
Ben Hess, Silas Hess and Lindsey Hildenbrand received all-state recognition from the Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association for their senior seasons on the pitch for the Lumberjacks.