By Jason Arndt
Staff Writer

This is part of the Senior Snapshot series presented by the Southern Lakes Newspapers highlighting senior student-athletes attending Waterford and Union Grove high schools.

Student-athletes were asked to share their favorite memories, future plans, and what they loved most about their teams.

Cody Horon

Southern Lakes Newspapers reached out to each student-athlete by email and will publish responses when submissions are received.

Some members of the Union Grove baseball team highlighted their favorite moments.

Southern Lakes Newspapers encourages others to continue sending in their responses or recommend additional student-athletes to

Cody Horon
Union Grove’s Cody Horon overcame adversity to earn recognition to the Southern Lakes Conference second team as a junior.

Horon, part of the Broncos state runner-up baseball team, injured his labrum and underwent surgery a year earlier.

“My biggest individual highlight is getting All-County and All-Conference honors after my surgery on my labrum and missing my sophomore year.”

His junior year, meanwhile, also marked a historic run for the Union Grove baseball program.

“Our biggest team highlight was reaching state for the first time in decades,” he said.

Horon, who played third and first base, said he enjoyed the team’s energy and enthusiasm during the 2019 season.

“I loved the energy and dedication they had,” he said. “It brought out the best in every one of us and made the season enjoyable.”

The corner infielder plans to continue playing the sport he picked up while a toddler working with his father at McHenry County College.

Horon will then attend a four-year school to pursue a degree in finance before earning an MBA.

Horon, however, said he hoped for a senior season with his Bronco teammates.

“I will miss the competitive environment and the players/coaching staff I got the privilege to play with,” he said. “I wish my fellow seniors and I got our last ride. Going to miss my boys and hope they all succeed in the future.”

TJ Manteufel

TJ Manteufel

TJ Manteufel has played baseball for the last 14 years and will continue at Division 1 Bradley University.

Manteufel, who plans to major in Actuarial Science, earned First Team All-Conference a year ago, when the Broncos made history.

“My favorite team highlight was making it to state, because we could tell that with each playoff win, as we got closer and closer to state, the community and fun base around us just grew and grew,” said Manteufel, the team’s shortstop. “It was really cool to see people find joy in watching us play, and to me that was really cool.”

Manteufel added the team found a balance between competing at a high level while having fun.

“The thing I loved the most about our team was that we were able to have fun while being able to play at a high level. We were able to play our best game and have a lot of fun at the same time,” he said.

While Manteufel moves on, he looks forward to seeing the Union Grove program grow, which he said continues to improve annually.

The thing I’ll miss the most about the Union Grove program is the dedication. The coaches, players, and fans put so much into this program, and it created a great environment that is hard to match,” he said.

“These past years in Union Grove have been a blast, and a great experience. Each year the program has grown better and better. I can’t wait to see how much more it can grow in the years to come.”

Michael Jocius

Michael Jocius

Michael Jocius, a catcher, found last season’s state appearance as most memorable.
The memorable experience, he said, was amplified because he spent it with friends.

“I loved how everyone was friends with everyone and we all were able to have fun on and off the field together,” he said. “My biggest individual and team highlight are the same, going to state was the best experience throughout my entire high school career.”

Jocius indicates he will miss his coaches and underclassmen the most as he heads to University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the fall to study electrical engineering.

“I will miss the coaches, they were all super fun, but also knew how to make us work hard and it showed,” he said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t get to play this year, but I’ve been playing against/with a lot of the kids that will play next year, and they have a lot of talent, watch out for them next year.”