Gained perspective: BP grad Madison Worke is finding out how to push herself

Published 7:01 am Monday, February 5, 2018


Blooming Prairie grad Madison Worke is gaining a new perspective on what hard work is at Winona State University. Worke, who was a standout in volleyball, basketball and softball at BP, is now busy with just one sport, but playing basketball for the Warriors has shown her exactly how hard she can push herself.

After red-shirting her first year at WSU and seeing limited time playing time last year, Worke has moved into the rotation for the Warriors this season as she’s played 20 of the team’s 21 games and she’s averaged 2.6 points and .9 rebounds per game in that time. It’s a far cry from her time with the Awesome Blossoms, where Worke began playing big minutes as a freshman. But she understands that there’s a lot of new things she’s had to learn and playing at the Division II level is certainly a grind.

Blooming Prairie grad Madison Worke pulls up for a shot for Winona State University this season. Photo Provided

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“It’s difficult sometimes because you’re putting in so much work and you’re not playing as much,” Work said. “You think in high school that you’re working hard, but coming here during my freshman year was crazy hard. There’s new lifts, new workouts, and I learned a lot of new things about basketball, the game I’ve played forever. I’m busier now playing one sport than I was playing three sports in high school. The level of expectation is way higher.”

Worke is majoring in molecular biology and minoring in psychology with plans of possibly pursuing a career in dentistry. She has had to redefine how to manage her time to keep up with her studies and her practice schedule.

“Our coaches do a really good job of making school a priority for us, and I just really try to plan out my days,” Worke said.

Worke also has plenty of support from her teammates, who she rooms with, and fellow BP grad Taylor Hagen, who plays basketball at the University of Northern of Iowa. Worke said having someone to bounce off frustrations is key when the stress level picks up.

“Teammates are a huge part of it. Everyone has rough days, but they’ll pick you up and we’ve all been there. They give encouragement and everyone takes turns having a rough day or a rough week,” Worke said. “Taylor and I have that friendship where we can go a long time without talking to each other and then we pick up right where we left off. We have a great relationship and it’s nice to experience it together.”

Of course Worke also has the support of her dad John, who was her basketball coach in high school. While John has stepped back from coaching and taken the principal position at BPHS, he has still found time to support his daughter at WSU.

“I’m so used to playing and him being the person in my ear criticizing or giving me advice,” Worke said of her dad. “It’s kind of weird. He just takes a back seat and he lets me play. It’s less of a coaching way and more of a supportive role.”

Worke has also kept up with her younger sister Julia Worke, who plays on all of the same BP teams that Work used to play on. She gets to as many of Julia’s games as she can and she also follows the Awesome Blossoms through a family group chat.

Worke’s glad that Julia is active in three sports and she recommends it to any high school athlete who wants to play at the college level.

“I really enjoyed being a three sport athlete and I think it did help me. It helped me become more well rounded,” Worke said. “I think playing three sports helped my body and I wasn’t doing the same motions over and over again. It’s just fun not to play different sports.”

The Warriors (13-8 overall) started this season on a high note, but they’ve lost seven straight games against some tough competition.

“We knew our schedule was set up where we played pretty average teams in the beginning and now we’re going through the rough part of our schedule,” Worke said. “We have to balance the ups and downs and take it one game at a time.”

WSU has four games remaining in the regular season and the Northern Sun tournament begins on Feb. 21.