Kyle Mischke is a perfect example of the kind of talent that comes out of Williston High School.

He played two sports while at WHS (hockey and baseball) and was a leader on those teams, guiding younger players with the same principles he learned from others who were once in his shoes.

Mischke, like others before him and others beside him, is a star athlete.

So when the Marine Corps honored him with the Distinguished Athlete Award in late May, it wasn’t so much a surprise, but something that was meant to happen.

Mischke graduated from Williston High School in May, but before that he made the decision to join the Marines in March.

On May 27, his recruiter came to the high school for a ceremony honoring those who joined the service.

That’s when he received the award.

Mischke said it was an honor to receive the award. After all, he is one of only two student-athletes in the state who received it.

“It’s definitely up there for the best things I’ve ever received in my life,” Mischke said, chuckling and smiling. “It means a lot to me and I know my parents are very proud of me. If I look back four years I wouldn’t see myself here joining the Marine Corps but things change.”

Now, Mischke is in the midst of playing his final season as an athlete, which is Legion Baseball where he is a member of the Williston Keybirds.

Following the end of a June 13 game, Mischke stood outside the dugout at the Ardean Aafedt Stadium and talked about his future and what it meant to receive the Distinguished Athlete Award.

When asked what it’s like to graduate and play his final season, he paused.

“You know,” he said. “I don’t think it’s really hit me as much as it should but I was thinking, it’s my last season of sports for me so it means a lot to me and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anybody else but the Keybirds.”

Mischke was born and raised in Williston and grew up playing sports.

He said he’s always been active for as long as he could remember and he said during his time as a Coyote he learned so much from older teammates and coaches that has helped him to this day.

And if there is one thing he can tell younger players it’s to keep an open mind about everything.

“You never know what you’ll wind up doing,” he said. “Like I said, four years ago I wasn’t thinking about the service.”

Now that he has joined the service, he said he picked the Marines because they were the hardest.

Mischke is on an infantry contract and he said he hopes to become a Marine Corps Scout Sniper.

Eventually, he said when he finishes his service he wants to return to Williston and become a detective on the police force.

He also said being a coach could be a possibility.

Mischke ships out to San Diego in September, and until then he said he’s just going to play baseball and take it all in.

“I still think everything hasn’t hit me as hard as it should but it definitely,” he paused and then smiled and said, “You know, there really is no words for it. I’m proud and I’m ready to go.”

Hopefully, he said, if things work out, he’ll be back in time for Christmas.

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