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Hitzelberger and Modrzejewski plan to continue athletic careers at ACC

News Photo by Steve Jakubcin Alpena High School student-athletes Sydney Hitzelberger, left, and Emilee Modrzejewski smile together after they both signed to continue playing softball at Alpena Community College next year. Both Wildcats are ready for their senior season but also excited to see what it means to be a Lumberjack.

ALPENA — Two local Alpena High School students have decided to take their talents to the next level at Alpena Community College.

Sydney Hitzelberger, the Wildcat’s second baseman, and Emilee Modrzejewski, Alpena’s centerfielder, announced at their signing in the Wildcat Den that they would continue their careers as Lumberjacks for the softball program.

Hitzelberger is a current two-sport athlete at the high school level, as she wrapped up her volleyball career earlier this year and will dive into softball season in the coming weeks.

While ACC isn’t the most prominent post-graduate school, continuing to play sports is a top priority for her, especially when it comes to softball.

“I chose (ACC) because it’s close to home, and it gives me a chance to figure out what I’m going to do in life after my two years there,” Hitzelberger said. “I obviously wanted to play softball too, and playing for ACC gives me that chance.”

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena High School student-athlete Sydney Hitzelberger signs to play softball at Alpena Community College.

Over her softball career, she’s accumulated 12 home runs and 82 RBIs while maintaining a .349 batting average.

Huge offensive numbers have always appeared for Hitzelberger over her 11-year career in the sport, and she hopes to continue at the collegiate level.

“My biggest strength comes in my hitting, and I can also play pretty decent defense,” she said. “I definitely believe hitting is the best part of my game, especially with the power I bring to the plate.”

Outside of athletics, earning a college degree is even more critical for Hitzelberger.

Although she’s undecided on her college major, staying local at a less expensive college will save money and allow her to figure out her career path.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena High School student-athlete Emilee Modrzejewski signs to play softball at Alpena Community College.

“I’m hoping to keep my grades good while still playing softball. I also hope to become a stronger athlete, but an even stronger student to decide what career I’m going into,” Hitzelberger said.

Along with Hitzelberger, Modrzejewski also plans to attend ACC.

Getting on base, playing excellent defense, and providing a strong arm are all strengths for Modrzejewski and have been throughout her 12-year softball career.

“As a centerfielder, I’m very good at reading the field, but I also bring a lot of value as a utility player,” Modrzejewski said. “As for hitting, I also have a very good toolbox, but I’m very valuable at getting on base.”

Similarly to Hitzelberger, Modrzejewski is a two-sport athlete, practicing for the swim team and softball.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena High School student-athlete Sydney Hitzelberger signs to play softball at Alpena Community College.

Softball is the main focus, so expectations for her senior season are set as high as ever.

Improving as a player and team are vital aspects heading into the year.

“This year, I hope we can get better as a team, but I’m also personally chasing a couple of records. Ever since my sophomore year, I have been working towards the doubles records, and I’d like to pass those this year,” she said.

Academics-wise, Modrzejewski plans to major in Pre-Law before moving on to university.

Knocking out the first two years of classes at ACC will be a great start before heading somewhere else to finish that prestigious degree.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena High School student-athlete Emilee Modrzejewski signs to play softball at Alpena Community College.

“I would love to be an attorney, and for that, I’d have to go to a four-year university. I plan to get my generals done here before going somewhere else to finish that degree,” Modrzejewski said.

Between these two great additions, the Lumberjacks are already off to a spectacular start for recruiting their next class of athletes.

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