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The Drill: DeVries follows family to Minnesota West, and to sports

Hattie DeVries of Minnesota West Community and Technical College had several family members to to the college before her, and she came too, via Richfield

Minnesota West Lady Jays volleyball player Hattie De Vries (10) delivers a spike in a match with Anoka-Ramsey.
Minnesota West Lady Jays volleyball player Hattie De Vries (10) delivers a spike in a match with Anoka-Ramsey.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- Hattie DeVries, a freshman at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, is heavily into sports. She plays both volleyball and basketball for the Lady Jays, so at this point in her school year she’s only halfway to completion of her first bite.

When we do Drill features about people who grew up far from the glare of Worthington, we always like to ask them why they chose Minnesota West. In DeVries’ case, it seemed more or less a natural move to go from Richfield to Worthington. Metro Minnesota to “small-town” outstate Minnesota.

“I was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, but I grew up my whole life in Roseville,” Hattie begins her story. “My parents, Melinda Van Waus and Scott DeVries, both went to Minnesota West. Two of my aunts did, and then my uncle Justin, Justin Lorang, and I think that’s every one. I could be missing someone.

“But they all played sports. My parents were really OK with anywhere I would go. It was more my family who are here -- my grandma, my aunt and uncle -- that, like, really wanted me to come here. Sometimes I’d stay overnight and they’d give me food and always invite me over to hang out.”

Well, there you have it. Hattie DeVries is a legacy student. And who could blame her for giving in to the lure of family, and free meals. Probably a few nights in the home of family members watching a tear-jerker movie or two. You know how it goes.

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Sports is, of course, important to DeVries. And it’s been a good year thus far, and it’s possible it will get even better in the winter. The Lady Jays volleyball team enjoyed one of its best and most competitive seasons in a number of years, and on paper, at least, the women’s basketball team looks like it might also set some memorable standards. DeVries hopes to have a big impact on basketball, too.

When she was young, she entered sports in the usual way. She started as many young athletes start, learning the ropes and not quite getting the moves down pat, at first.

“My dad, when I was like, doing AAU and everything, he’s like, ‘Make sure you want to do it. Don’t just have it be ‘cuz I want you to do it. Make sure you really love it and want to keep going.’ First, they put me into sports, and I probably did it a while for them. But I really started to love it.”

In was while she was in the eighth grade, or maybe freshman year, that sports began to really click. She was on what she called “lower-level teams” until then, and separated from many of her friends. Then she got with her friends again, started getting better, and it was, as she recalls now, “really fun.”

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The Globe interviewed Hattie for a Drill episode recently and enjoyed her fun sense of humor. You can see a video of Hattie DeVries at the Globe website, www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: Have you got a special memory you can share about something that happened to you in sports that’ll always stay with you? Something that you’ll never forget?

ANSWER: “One of my best memories from high school volleyball is, it was section finals, we had to win the game to go to state. It was the fifth set. It was, like, 14 to 12, maybe. And I got set the ball and I got a kill. And everyone just, like, stormed the court. It was crazy, like we were under a bunch of people. It was just so fun.”

QUESTION: Tell us the most unusual thing about you that most people don’t know.

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ANSWER: “All my friends call me Hot Dog, from Roseville. So like whatever sport I was in I had, like, two really good friends. I don’t know, just one day one of my friends was like, ‘Hot Dog!’ I was, like, ‘What? Are you talking to me?’”

QUESTION: When you’re not participating in sports, what do you like to do in your spare time?

ANSWER: “So my interests outside of sports, I really like taking photos. Photography. I love hanging out with my family and friends. I don’t know. Sports is such a big part of my life, I don’t have a ton outside of it.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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