Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the student athletes who are in contention for the York News-Times Female and Male Athlete of the Year Award. In the weeks leading up to the announcement of the two winners, there will be features written on the five male and five female student-athletes that are in the discussion to win the award. The awards will be presented later in June. The only criteria is that the athlete compete in three sports during the high school season.
UTICA - Centennial’s Kate Hirschfeld put together another stellar year on the court and the track for the Centennial Broncos.
She won the York News-Times Female Athlete of the Year Award in 2019-2020 and could become the third second-time winner of the award since Heartland’s Taylor Quiring won her sophomore (2015-16) and senior (2017-18) seasons.
Only one female athlete has won the award back-to-back years and that was Cross County’s Megan Allison in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.
Hirschfeld’s success was a product of the work she put in during the off-season and during the high school year.
“Kate works hard at everything and she is extremely coachable,” commented Centennial head volleyball coach Alex Anstine. “She was a great leader and role model to the underclassmen this year.”
Hirschfeld was a huge reason the Broncos made the Class C2 State Championship field as she crushed 427 kills (second among area players); added 321 digs which led the team and also had 28 ace serves. During the season she registered highs in kills against Shelby-Rising City with 26 and had 20 kills or more four times.
She finished her career with 1,057 kills.
Her efforts did not go unnoticed as she was first team in the Lincoln Journal Star and second team in the Omaha World-Herald. She was also a Southern Nebraska first team pick and a co-captain on the York News-Times All-Area team.
When the winter rolled around, Hirschfeld didn’t slow down at all.
She was a first team selection in the Southern Nebraska Conference; a second team C2 pick by the Lincoln Journal Star and a York News-Times All-Area selection. She earned honorable mention in the OWH.
In her final season in Bronco Blue she averaged 13.3 points per game, which led the Broncos, and second in rebounds on the team with five per game. Her 2.4 assists was second and she led the way in steals with 3.5 per night.
She shot 49% from the field and scored in double figures in 21 games with her high of 20 points coming against Sandy Creek and Fillmore Central. During the course of the season she also surpassed the 1,000 point milestone.
“She leaves behind a legacy that will long be remembered,” said Centennial head basketball coach Jake Polk. “Kate was the glue to our team.”
She made it a clean sweep of state championship appearances for the year when she joined teammates Daylee Dey, Lillian Butzke and Molly Prochaska in the 4x800 meter finals.