A hunger to lead and an eagerness to learn has the Hawks on the brink of a title.

There’s a famous quote about how learning the importance of good habits when you’re young can make all the difference later in life. Some people attribute the sentiment to a guy named Aristotle. Some attribute it to Joe Manley. 
For the second time in three seasons – this time with the help of a youthful roster that features 11 freshmen (six of whom are starters) – Coach Manley and the Hawks find themselves back in the WIAA State Tournament yet again, their ninth appearance in program history. 
And while this year’s youth movement was a major factor in propelling Prairie to a 15-4-2 season and a showdown against Kiel in Thursday’s WIAA Division 4 Semifinal, it’s the wisdom – and the good habits – imparted by the team’s leaders that have made all the difference. 
Particularly the examples set by co-captains Lily Jorgenson ’24 and Meg Decker ’25. 
“Lily and Meg really stepped up this year in terms of their leadership,” Manley recently said in an article with The Journal Times. “They have learned to be more vocal and have those conversations (with the younger team members). It’s just setting the example of what it looks like to train hard, continue to stay focused, and be dedicated to getting better in their sport.”
Upperclassmen willing to lead. Younger players willing to learn. A tried and true formula that now has the Hawks two wins from another State Championship.
Read “Prairie has the chemistry to succeed” from the June 12th, 2024 edition of The Journal Times.