Best of the Chippewa Valley

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BEST LOCAL ATHLETE

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1st Place: Thor Brown
2nd Place: Eric Stabenow
3rd Place: Joe Bonfe

Though the Chippewa Valley’s sports history is riddled with names like Hank Aaron, a new wave of athletes will hopefully secure its name in football, golf, baseball, and volleyball. If only for his name, Thor Brown wowed us at Fall Creek High School as a guard, defensive end, and kicker. And though he’s only played two seasons, Brown is at the next level playing tight end for the North Dakota State Bison and, last year, he snagged a game-winning touchdown pass to best the Minnesota Gophers. Eric Stabenow, meanwhile, is an Eau Claire native and golf stud, known for a huge drive in excess of 330 yards. Earlier this year he won the Chippewa Valley Golf Association Tournament of Champions and, for the third time, the long drive competition. Another person known for his long drives in Eau Claire Express third baseman Joe Bonfe, who led his team this season batting .326 with a .492 slugging percentage, five long flies, and 42 RBIs. – Trevor Kupfer

Up-and-Comer: Julia Johnson, volleyball, Chippewa Falls High School

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