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HOF Inductees Reflect on Southern Door Student-Athlete Experience

Based on his recent induction into the Southern Door High School Athletic Hall of Fame, 2002 graduate Kyle Thayse was an accomplished athlete. Judging by his reaction to this honor, he is an even better person.

“I want to thank my parents for all the sacrifices they made to help me become the person I am today,” Thayse said. “Having a son or daughter play three sports means you sacrifice a lot of things. I’ve never lost sight of how much they gave up for me to become successful. My mom was always my number one fan, and my dad was always my ultimate motivator and coach. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Nick Cochart, a member of the Class of 1999, joined Thayse in a Feb. 1 induction ceremony during halftime of the Eagles’ varsity basketball game against Peshtigo. 

Thayse earned 11 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball and earned All-Packerland Conference honors twice in baseball and once in football and basketball. 

He also earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education while playing football at St. Norbert College, a master’s degree in education technology from Concordia University and a master’s degree in leadership and administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Thayse is an ELA coach and math interventionist in the Luxemburg-Casco School District.

“When I work with students and athletes at Luxemburg-Casco [L-C], one of the biggest things I try to model is the importance of taking care of one another – a feeling of family,” Thayse said. “The time I spent as a student-athlete at Southern Door taught me how important it is to be surrounded by people who support you. That feeling gave me the confidence to go out and try to achieve my goals. I want the students I work with at L-C to feel like they can take on any challenge and that our community and family at L-C will be there to celebrate their wins and catch them if they fall.” 

Cochart participated in track and field and football during his time with the Eagles. The all-state offensive and defensive lineman was named Packerland Conference Player of the Year in 1998, was a member of three conference championship teams and was a three-time sectional qualifier in the shot put and discus.

Cochart was a football walk-on at UW-Madison and eventually earned a scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology and a master’s degree and PhD in educational leadership and policy analysis, all from UW-Madison. Cochart is the middle school/high school principal and superintendent of the Algoma School District.

“I’m certainly thankful for the experience and appreciative of all of the help I got while I was [at Southern Door (SD)],” Cochart said. “I’ve been fortunate to be involved with some exemplary organizations in my life, and I think the people who helped me at SD have a lot to do with my success.”