Gannett Central Wisconsin Media boys coach of the year Chad Weinfurter, Auburndale, center, stands with the girls player of the year, Jenny Lindner, Neillsville (just behind Weinfurter) and boys player of the year Austin Hawkins, Auburndale (also just behind Weinfurter). Other members of the All-Area team are, clockwise from lower left, Jaimee Pitt, Amherst; John Keefe, Medford; David Jesperson, Merrill; Emma Roenneburg, Adams-Friendship; and lower right, Trevor Anderson, SPASH. Not pictured, Almond-Bancroft's Ethan Yonke, Wausau West's Jasmin Samz, Assumption's Gena Grundhoffer and Assumption girls coach Joe Birkhauser.
As Austin Hawkins strode across the Kohl Center floor, past the big red 'W', and made his way to his coach Chad Weinfurter in the waning moments of Auburndale's Division 4 state title loss to powerhouse Whitefish Bay Dominican, it wasn't exactly a storybook ending.
But given time to reflect, the senior realizes how special that moment was, as the Kohl Center crowd showed its appreciation for the effort Hawkins put forth, finishing with 31 points and 13 rebounds against 6-foot-9 Division 1 prospect Diamond Stone.
"It is a moment that will stay with me," Hawkins said. "Coach (Weinfurter) hugged ...