ONSTED – Onsted’s Travis Hill has been named to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association All-Star Game roster, the first Wildcat in more than a decade to do so.
Hill was named to the West roster. Although the game, scheduled for June, was canceled for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the association still put together rosters for both the East and West squad. Hill was chosen as a defensive back.
“I was really surprised to see my name on the list,” Hill said. “That’s kind of crazy to be honest. I was really happy to be named.”
Hill is the first Onsted player to be named to the roster since Gauge Aebersold in 2009.
“I didn’t realize it had been that long,” Hill said. “That’s a big surprise. It’s pretty cool to know that the coaches named me to that roster. I was definitely surprised.”
Hill, a senior for Onsted, was an all-state performer last season for the Wildcats, helping them earn a trip to the Division 6 semifinals against eventual state champion Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central. He briefly considered attempting to play college football but decided to go into the Marines instead. Now, plans might be changing again.
“I thought about it, but the Marines was just something I’ve always wanted to do,” Hill said.
This spring when Hill went for a physical, however, he discovered his hearing was a little off.
“I always thought I had great hearing,” he said. “Come to find out I can’t hear at a certain decibel.”
With the Marines off the table, Hill is entertaining thoughts of stepping onto the football field once again.
“I’ve contacted a few colleges around here,” Hill said. “I haven’t gotten too serious yet in discussions or anything. I’m still thinking about what I want to do.”
Hill was a two-way standout for the Wildcats. He missed a significant portion of his junior season with an injury but was determined this season to help Onsted rebound from a 3-6 season in 2018.
Onsted did so in a big way, winning 10 games while beating Blissfield, Grass Lake and Hillsdale in the state playoffs. The game against SMCC, played at Ypsilanti Lincoln High School, was a classic with the Wildcats outplaying the Falcons in the first half only to see SMCC hold the ball the entire third quarter on offense and, in the end, win on a field goal as time expired.
“They just wore use out in the third quarter, especially with that long drive,” Hill said. “We played right with them in the first half. They looked so much bigger than us.”
Offensively Hill rushed for 1,358 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. He was an outstanding kick returner, averaging 21.1 yards on 16 kickoff returns and 17.0 yards on nine punt returns. As a defensive back, he was in on 58 tackles, picked off four passes and returned one for a touchdown.
“I kind of prefer offense over defense,” Hill said. “I like the ball in my hands so I can make a play.”
Hill comes from a family of Onsted athletes. His parents both played sports at Onsted and his uncles are in the Wildcat record books. He has an older brother and a younger sister who plays sports now for Wildcats.
This year Hill is part of a strong senior class of athletes at Onsted.
In addition to the football team reaching the state semifinals, the volleyball team had a great season and both the boys and girls basketball teams had double-digit victory totals. It was a successful year all-around at Onsted, even without knowing what the spring sports might have been. Hill is a baseball player so he’s missing his senior year on the diamond.
“Our senior class has been pretty good athletically for a long time,” he said. “We all just work hard and we’ve had a good year.”