Kiwanis honor MSHS’ Nyquist, Viitala

MARQUETTE – The Superiorland Kiwanis at a morning breakfast meeting honored Marquette Senior High School basketball players Hunter Viitala and Andrew Nyquist as athletes of the month for December.

Viitala, the daughter of Darrin and Theresa Viitala, was nominated for the award by her coach, Ben Smith.

She is a junior and third-year member of the varsity girls basketball team that won the Great Northern Conference with an undefeated record last season along with being named the Upper Peninsula’s Class A-B Team of the Year by the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

This year, Viitala is captain of an all-junior class squad and leads her team in scoring as the Redettes are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class A-B-C in the U.P. and 12th in the state.

She was recently invited to play in Germany this summer for Team Michigan.

Her past basketball honors include GNC Player of the Year, All-U.P. Dream Team, being named to the U.S. Junior National All-Tournament Team as a freshman and U.S. Junior National Team as a sophomore.

She also participates in volleyball in the fall and track and field in the spring and has also been successful in those sports, including earning Superiorland Kiwanis Athlete of the Month during volleyball season.

Viitala also volunteers for youth sports and has helped coach elementary basketball, intramural basketball, participated in Bowl for Kids Sake and five-kilometer charity running events.

She has a 3.75 grade-point average and hopes to play volleyball or basketball collegiately while majoring in occupational therapy.

Nyquist, the son of Paul Nyquist and Lisa Kotler, was nominated for the Kiwanis award by his coach, Brad Nelson.

He is a senior and one of three captains of the varsity boys basketball team that he has been a member of for three seasons.

Nyquist has been instrumental in leading the Redmen to an undefeated season and current No. 1 ranking in the U.P. Class A-B-C poll.

He was a member of last season’s Class A district championship team that won the GNC with an undefeated record and was named U.P. Class A-B Team of the Year by the UPSSA.

Nyquist earned All-U.P. second team honors last season as well as being named to the Academic All-State Team as a sophomore and junior.

He is also senior class president and a member of the student council and National Honor Society. He has been on the honor roll throughout high school and has a 3.97 GPA.

He is also involved with coaching elementary and middle school basketball and works at Synergy Fitness. He has played soccer and ran cross country for two years each.

Nyquist plans to attend the University of Michigan’s School of Literature, Science and Arts.