Anthony Panza is a graduating senior from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls. Panza participated in both football and baseball at HLA.
“My top sports memories included the opportunity to be on the Hillcrest football team that went to state in 2016 and my last high school football game for the Comets,” said Panza. “In that game another senior linebacker and I had a competition of who could get the most tackles by the end of the game. Combined we had about 35-plus solo and combined tackles.”
“Anthony has been a two year captain for us and has been a great leader in our program,” related Hillcrest Head Football Coach Derrick Clark. “He is an extremely hard worker and his improvement on the field over his high school career reflects that. He also is a great kid off the field and easy to get along with. I have no doubt that his work ethic and personality will lead to great things for Anthony.”
Panza will be going to Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia this summer for the Army National Guard. He will then be attending Crown College in the fall where he will major in Criminal and Social Justice, while participating in football. History and Global Economics were Panza’s favorite subjects at Hillcrest.
“Sports have definitely helped shape me into who I am today,” noted Panza. “Sports have helped teach me that hard work will always pay off, and that getting knocked down is not fun, but there’s always a chance for you to get back up and do better the next time.”
Anthony’s advice to underclassmen is, “I would say to enjoy the time you have now, don’t wish to be an upperclassman too quickly. While it can be boring on JV, or on the bench, sometimes the older guys wish they could go back and be where you are now. Really enjoy the time you have, because it’s unlike anything else you will experience as an upperclassman, or for the rest of life in a way. Train hard, never quit, and remember to have fun!”