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Vikings believe in Knutson's ability to score

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JOHN N. BARRY
February 17, 2011
— Volleyball isn’t offered as a varsity sport for boys at Janesville Parker High School.

That’s too bad for Creed Knutson.


The 6-foot-5 Viking senior would’ve loved the chance to dominate in another sport.


Knutson is one of the top basketball players in the Big Eight Conference. He is averaging 18.1 points a game, including a 17.9 average in the conference that ranks fourth. Knutson exploded for 34 points in a 74-70 win over Madison La Follette last week, which is tops in the Big Eight this season.


Yet, for all his success on the basketball court, Knutson can’t help but joke about what might’ve been in volleyball.


“I’m pretty good at volleyball, actually,” Knutson said with a smile. “I would probably play that if it was a spring sport.


“But basketball is still my favorite. And I’ve worked really hard to try to be the best player that I can. That was my goal after my junior year, and why I really hit the weight room hard over the summer.”


Knutson is the leading scorer on a Parker team that started the season 5-1, but has since slipped back to 8-12 overall and 6-10 in the Big Eight.


Still, the eight wins are marked improvement for a program that has struggled to stay out of the lower division of the Big Eight for the past 20 years.


“I would say it has been an up-and-down season for both the team and myself,” Knutson said. “I don’t think we’ve met my expectations as far as where we are in the conference, but we’ve still got a chance to make a successful season with the games we have left.


“We’ve proven we can play with the better teams like Sun Prairie and (Madison) Memorial, but we have to bring that effort every game. If we do that, I think we could do some damage in the tournament.”


Knutson hit a growth spurt in the summer after his sophomore year. He went from 6-2 to his current height of 6-5, but was still battling a strength issue in the rugged Big Eight his junior year. Being pushed around forced Knutson to hit the weights, where he worked out daily to increase his strength and stamina.


He’s now a chiseled 215 pounds and had a productive senior season as a tight end on the football team.


Parker boys basketball coach Ryan Masterson said Knutson’s increased bulk has made him even more of a threat on the court.


“He’s become a tough match-up for a lot of teams,” Masterson said. “Because he can knock down the three or post up down low, you have to respect him every time he touches the ball.


“Creed’s biggest asset is the fact that not only is he our best player, but he’s our hardest worker, too. He is a great representative of what our program is about, and he was very instrumental in getting it turned around.”


Knutson hopes to take his talent to the next level and play in college. He’s had a number of offers already, mainly at the Division III level, but is keeping his options open. A strong finish to the season would obviously enhance his chances.


Masterson believes his star player’s future is bright.


“Creed has a big upside,” Masterson said. “He hasn’t begun to reach his full potential yet, and when he does, he is going to be very successful at the next level.”



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