Wynos signs to play softball in Minnesota

Menominee Indian High School senior planning to study psychology
Kevin Passon

Danika Wynos is turning from an Eagle into a Blue Knight after she signed her letter of intent Dec. 15 to play softball for Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minnesota.

The Menominee Indian High School senior made the announcement official after listening to congratulatory remarks from the school’s athletic director and a former coach.

“It’s a testament to dedication, discipline, passion that you’ve displayed both in the classroom and on the field. Today we recognize not only her athletic prowess, but also her commitment to excellence in academics as well,” MIHS athletic director James Oshkeshequoam said. “As an athletic director, I’m very proud to witness the culmination of your hard work. Not a lot of athletes get a lot of opportunities to make a step to the next level, so I’m really proud to see one of our own Menominee athletes reach that point.”

Oshkeshequoam praised Wynos’ leadership, teamwork and sportsmanship. He said those characteristics are demonstrated when she plays on the field, as well as daily in the halls and classrooms in the school.

The unwavering support of family, friends and school community was also noted.

“Your encouragement and guidance have played an integral role in the development of Danika,” Oshkeshequoam said.

Brian Johnson, one of Wynos’ former coaches, also congratulated her.

“If you’ve got a Wynos, the kid can play ball,” he said. “The question was whether she would be feisty like Kristina (sister) or more calm like (Naomi (sister). What I found is that Danika is sort of a mix of both.”

Wynos mainly played at third base.

“We knew early on Danika was really gifted as third baseman,” Johnson said.

He praised her for being at practice every single day.

“She was dedicated. She put in the work,” he said. “It’s not always fun.”

Johnson also praised her passion for the game.

“She knew what she had to do to win,” he said.

Johnson said Wynos was always a great teammate.

“That’s a coach’s dream,” he said. “She loved the big moment. That’s where your great players are. Two outs, bottom of the seventh, bases loaded, one-run ball game, she’s like, ‘Hit the ball to me. I’ll end this thing.’ ‘Let me at the plate. I’ll end this thing.’ And I saw that from the time she was 8-9 years old.”

He offered her one last piece of advice.

“You are playing softball to go to college. You’re not going to college to play softball,” Johnson said. “Use that softball as the ticket to a good education, and you’ll have success in both.”

Wynos will attend DCTC for two years and then go to an undetermined four-year school to compete her degree.

“I’m going to be studying psychology. I’ll be going there for two years, getting my general education done, doing individualized studies,” she said. “I chose this school because I feel like it’s a good fit for me — a good opportunity.”

She wants to become a counselor and return to Menominee County to work with her community.

She said she’s enjoyed her time on the field, both as a youngster and now as a high school athlete.

“It was very diverse. I had fun playing all my years here,” she said.

Playing third base came naturally to her.

The best part of the game?

“Playing third,” she said.

Worst part of the game?

“Probably playing third again.”

Wynos will receive $1,500 in scholarship money when she begins classes at DCTC.

The Blue Knights are a Division 2 school. The 2021-22 softball team went 4-1 in conference play and was 15-15 overall.