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Michael Hommes picks baseball at Winona State

Hudson senior Michael Hommes, center, signs a national letter of intent to attend school and play baseball at Winona State University last Tuesday at the high school. Hommes was joined by his high school coach Ryan Huppert, left, his dad, Jeff, his mother Beth, and assistant baseball coach Aaron Moen for the signing.

Hudson's Michael Hommes just completed his senior year on the football field by being named the Big Rivers Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the Raiders Most Valuable Player.

And football isn't even his best sport.

Hommes, quarterback of the Raiders' undefeated 2012 BRC championship and WIAA state semifinal team, last week signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Winona State University beginning next fall.

Hommes, a multi-sport athlete who also plays for the Raider hockey team, said he was happy to make his commitment to Winona State for baseball during the early national signing period for high school seniors.

"I wanted to get it done," he said. "Now I can focus on hockey and baseball."

Hommes took one day off following the Raider football team's loss to Arrowhead in the state semifinals Nov. 10 before hitting the ice for hockey practice. He ran for 758 yards and 11 touchdowns and threw for 519 yards and five scores during Hudson's historic 11-1 football season.

He had a goal and four assists as a junior on the Raiders' 2011-12 hockey team and is preparing for this Thursday's season opener against Red Wing. But it's his performance on the baseball field, and in the classroom, that drew the most attention from college scouts.

As a junior last spring, Hommes received honorable mention to the 2012 Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-State Team in addition to earning WBCA Academic All-State honors. He was also named to the 2012 All-Big Rivers Conference First Team and WBCA All-District I First Team.

He led the Raiders in hitting with an average of .413 while posting the most runs scored (32), total hits (38), doubles (14) and triples (5) of any Hudson player since 2005.

Primarily an outfielder, Hommes tied for the team lead in pitching victories with five, while throwing the Raiders' only complete-game shutout. He was voted the Raiders' 2012 Most Valuable Player by his teammates.

Hommes said he's excited to continue his education and play baseball next year at Winona State.

"I like that's it's a small school and I won't just be another number there," he said. "I like the area; it's a lot like Hudson, and I like the coaches a lot; they seemed the most interested in me. I feel like I connected with the coaches and I feel like my needs were met."

Winona State University, coached by Kyle Poock, is a NCAA Division II school that competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The Warriors posted a record of 29-22 during the 2012 season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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