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Paxton Folkerts (left) and his brother Chandler played together on the Eagles football and basketball teams. (JACOB HANNAH / Lincoln Journal Star)

Paxton Folkerts and his younger brother, Chandler, have plenty of support as student-athletes at Milford.

Their dad, Paul Folkerts, was class valedictorian at Davenport.

Their mom, Angela Muller, was class salutatorian at Madison. She's an adviser at Concordia University and previously coached at Milford and Concordia.

"I get some of it from them," Paxton said of his success in the classroom.

What's more, the boys' stepdad, Tony Muller, is the head basketball and golf coach at Milford and assists with football. As a math teacher, he's taught one of their favorite subjects.

Like his father, Paxton is ranked No. 1 in the senior class. Chandler is second in the junior class.

"Personally, I don't really see it as going against every other kid in the class," Paxton said. "I just try to better myself each semester. This year I knew it was close going into the beginning of the year, and I just said, 'Forget about it, and I'm going to see if I can do the best I've ever done.' My average was over 99 (percent) that semester."

Paxton and Chandler earned Journal Star Academic All-State honors in football, basketball and golf.

Paxton was one of the best football players on the defensive side of the ball this season, Eagles coach Marty Hingst said.

In basketball, Chandler led the team in scoring and Paxton was third, each averaging more than 10 points per game. The Eagles made the state tournament and finished with an 18-4 record.

It has been enjoyable playing sports with his younger brother, Paxton said.

"We have chemistry," he said. "In football, when you get a tackle with just you and your brother, that's pretty cool. Or in basketball we hit each other (with passes) all the time. We had a lot of assists between the two of us, so I liked that, too."

Playing basketball for his stepdad led to a few tense moments, Paxton said, but they get along well and Paxton knows Tony Muller always wanted the best for him.

Hingst, the football coach and athletic director, says the boys handle it well.

"They know how to behave," Hingst said. "I'm not saying they're not ornery sometimes, but they know how to act."

Paxton will attend Nebraska on a Regents Scholarship. The boys enjoy their father's farm near Davenport, and Paxton plans to study agriculture business or agricultural finance.

After next year, Chandler may consider playing college basketball. He'll likely study civil or agricultural engineering.

"I like the math and sciences," Chandler said. "Those are set-in-stone answers more than English, which is my least favorite (subject)."

Reach Brent C. Wagner at 402-473-7435 or


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