Onsted High School running back Travis Hill (5) makes a move during the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 6 semifinal football game last fall. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
Onsted High School senior Travis Hill knows a thing or two about comebacks.
He was injured most of his junior season, watching the Wildcats struggle to a 3-6 season in football.
The Wildcats went on an eight-game winning streak in football after losing a pair of Lenawee County Athletic Association games early in the 2019 season.
And the senior recently failed a hearing test for enlistment into the Marines, but hopes that subsequent tests will get him back into the military life.
Lessons about comebacks may have helped Hill deal with the cancellation of his final baseball season as a senior. The COVID-19 pandemic postponed the spring sports season in March and permanently closed the book on Hill and other seniors in early April when schools were closed for the year.
When the Michigan High School Athletic Association followed suit a couple of days later, the highly successful sports career for Hill was over.
“When it first happened, I thought were going to take a little break,” Hill said. “I was in shock when the season was cancelled … especially since we had a pretty good baseball team.”
Hill has been part of a baseball squad that has won two consecutive district titles. The Wildcats were looking strong to three-peat in the sport.
But Hill has remained in good shape, concentrating on a CrossFit regiment.
“I love CrossFit because the training involves the whole body,” Hill said. “It is not just your arms or legs; it is a high intensity workout.”
Hill attempted to enlist in the Marines, but surprisingly failed a hearing test. He has since gone to a hearing doctor and hopes recent tests will get him back into the Marines.
“It is only a problem in my left ear,” Hill said. “I can’t hear in high frequencies in that ear.”
He hopes to become an infantry sniper in the Marines.
His fall back is playing college football – which isn’t a bad plan for someone of his caliber.
Hill was first-team all-state as voted by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association last fall. He was named to the MHSFCA All Star Game, but that event was canceled due to the coronavirus.
Hill helped lead Onsted to the MHSAA Division 6 semifinals, losing to Monroe St. Mary on a last-second field goal.
St. Mary had a powerful attack that held the football the entire third quarter and eventually wore down the Wildcats.
“They just knocked the wind out of you,” Hill said of St. Mary. “St. Mary had the confidence to push that ball down the field.
“We surprised a lot of people who doubted us by advancing to the state semifinals.”
Hill rushed for 1,358 yards, ran for 21 touchdowns, made 58 tackles from his defensive back position, and intercepted four passes.
If the Marine Corps doesn’t work out for Hill, he would like to be a walk-on for a Division 1 or Division 2 football program.
He recently earned honorable mention all-state in Division 2 basketball as voted on by the Detroit Free Press.
But no matter where life takes him, the star high school athlete won’t forget about his hometown.
“Onsted is a great little town because everyone is so close,” Hill said. “It is a place that never forgets about you.”
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