Athletes of the Week: Erin Houpt and Alex Higgs

Athletes of the Week: Erin Houpt and Alex Higgs

This year, we're giving our weekly honorees the chance to show off their teammates. Nominate athletes to Colin Likas at

Erin Houpt | Danville girls' tennis

Why she's Athlete of the Week: The sophomore earned her second consecutive Class 2A state tennis singles berth, defeating athletes from Bradley-Bourbonnais, East Moline and Normal West to help the Vikings to a team sectional title.

From Houpt: "I think I played well enough to make it to the final (against senior teammate Lauren Ellis). She's obviously really good, and we laughed a lot during the match. She beat me pretty easily, so it's kind of good practice."

I need tickets to see ... Khalid. I love all of his music and listen to it all the time.

One movie I could watch over and over is ... "Love & Basketball." I watch it at least three times a month and never get tired of it.

If I could choose one superpower, it would be ... to be invisible, so I could sneak up and scare people.

The social media platform I use most is ... Instagram. I like to see what all my friends are doing and what they post.

My biggest pet peeve is ... fake people.

My best tennis memory is ... all of our overnight tournaments and hanging out in the hotels.

My most embarrassing tennis memory is ... one time, I tried to hit it overhead when the ball was at my knee. I always fall.

Before a match, I ... talk with my teammates and eat everything.

After a match, I ... eat again.

In five years, I see myself ... hopefully playing college basketball. I'm interested in Davidson and Wofford.

Honorable mention: Chikako Barnes, Champaign Central tennis; Kennedy Bauer, Watseka volleyball; Bree Buck, Heritage volleyball; Tori Burke, Clinton volleyball; Madison Doan, Oakwood volleyball; Amaya Fox, Argenta-Oreana volleyball; Lindsey Hari, Prairie Central volleyball; Sally Ma, Uni High swimming and diving; Lauren Minick, Mahomet-Seymour volleyball; Shelbee Owens, Fisher volleyball.

Alex Higgs | Uni High boys' soccer

Why he's Athlete of the Week: The senior goaltender recorded two shutouts at the best possible time. He turned in a four-save whitewash in a Class 2A Oakwood Regional semifinal win over St. Joseph-Ogden, then posted a one-stop shutout of Hoopeston Area in the regional title match.

From Higgs: "I was shaking before the game (against SJ-O). I was so nervous. It reminded me of my first game as goalkeeper for the season, because this is the first year I've done it. But as soon as the game started, I got into my flow and I felt great."

I need tickets to see ... an MLS game. They're always fun to watch. I like the Chicago Fire, but it really doesn't matter which teams play.

One movie I could watch over and over is ... "How To Train Your Dragon." It's my favorite movie.

If I could choose one superpower, it would be ... either the ability to be super fast or to slow down time.

The social media platform I use most is ... Snapchat. It's easy to contact your friends, and you can send wacky pictures of yourself.

My biggest pet peeve is ... I don't really have one.

My best soccer memory is ... this year, during our first game of the season against Williamsville. They shot from about the 6-yard box. I saved it, and I wasn't sure what was happening. I just happened to get in front of it.

My most embarrassing soccer memory is ... sophomore year, as a striker, in a regional game against Champaign Central, I got past the defender and the goalie but shot it wide.

Before a match, I ... listen to music. I have my own playlist that's hype music, to get my blood flowing.

After a match, I ... just talk to my friends about the match and stretch, and get ready to see what I have to work on for the next practice.

In five years, I see myself ... graduated from college, hopefully having a good job and hopefully still playing soccer.

Honorable mention: Ethan Black, Clinton cross-country; Alec Marsh, Mahomet-Seymour soccer; Ethan Mann, Cerro Gordo/Bement football; Gabe Martinez, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin cross-country; Ben Olaivar, Centennial cross-country; Jared Schunke, Milford/Cissna Park football; Armando Segura, Danville soccer; Makail Stanley, Argenta-Oreana football; Jarrett Stevenson, St. Joseph-Ogden football; Noah Woods, Tuscola cross-country.