Richland Hospital Recognizes the
Following Outstanding High School Athletes
Richland Hospital Sports Medicine is proud to honor local athletes with our Athletes of the Month and Athletes of the Year Awards.
In order to be considered for the award, student athletes are required to be nominated by a coach or an athletic trainer, be in good academic standing, and be a varsity team member. Further, the school the student attends must be a participant of the Richland Sports Medicine program. Qualifying schools include Richland Center, Riverdale, Ithaca, and UW-Richland. Each coach and athletic trainer is asked to submit nominations based on whatever criteria they feel is outstanding about the nominee. Athletic performance can be for an individual game performance (i.e. no hitter in baseball/softball, Triple double in basketball, defensive effort, etc.) or for the entire month. Coaches and athletic trainers can also nominate for leadership, commitment, and work ethic. Any athlete can be nominated for any reason. After all submittals are made, a committee of seven members rank the athletes according to the information provided in the nomination.
All Athletes of the Month are automatically nominated for the Athlete of the Year Award which is presented at the end of the school year. Each Athlete of the Month also receives a plaque created and donated by Main Street Trophy Plus / Jim Greeley Signs & Awnings of Richland Center.
View Athletes of the Month for:
March 2017 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca, Junior, Track & Field
Alicia shows true leadership and dedication in and out of practice, competition and in the class room. Alicia is a distance runner and completes any task given to her with NO complaints. Alicia also takes time on days off or weekends to work on her running as well. She’s a go-getter!!!! Alicia has only missed 1 practice and that was to go to a FFA leadership meeting.
Alicia’s personal best in the mile is 6:07 and her pr in cross country was 22:44. Alicia is a member of the Richland Center/Ithaca Cross Country team, a member of the basketball team, she also a volunteer coach for grades 1-5. Alicia was chosen by her fellow teammates to receive the Golden Shoe Award, shows Dedication, Leadership, and Sportsmanship. Alicia is very involved in and out of school, she is FFA Vice President, 4- H officer, Forensics-Silver at State, State Solo Ensemble, Choir, Spanish Club, National Honor Society, Class Vice President, State 4-H photography, she also raises chickens and does demonstrations for youth in school, and chosen Top Showmanship Award at fair, she has many other school organizations that she is involved in as well.
Alicia has proven herself -Respectful-Leader-Hardworking.
Riverdale, Senior, Baseball
Ethan has all the characteristics you admire in a student-athlete. He is responsible, respectful, on time, brings enthusiasm to practice and games, and is a total team player.
This year Ethan has done a tremendous job in leading our baseball team through our first two weeks of practice. We have very demanding morning practices and he always comes with a positive and enthusiastic attitude that rubs off on the other players.
Ethan is the type of player that often times goes unnoticed as he is not the most vocal but leads by example. I have watched him grow as an athlete, student, and person over the past four years. He has shown tremendous maturity this past year. Examples:
- In football coming back from an injury and then showing the courage to get back on the field for the last few games. I know it was tough for him but he proved to himself he could do it and I give him great amount of credit for that.
- In basketball he was the calming influence during a tough season for the team and kept a positive attitude throughout the season.
- As previously stated he has been a key leader on our baseball team so far this year and will be counted on to continue to provide that leadership both on and off the field.
Ethan’s strongest attribute is his willingness to help our younger players. This started during the football season and has continued throughout the year. He is always making sure that our players are being looked after and if they need help be it sports related or school related he is always there to help them. He is a very conscientious and caring young man.
I think that Ethan Haffner is very deserving of this recognition as he represents the student-athlete who might not get all the awards and attention but is a critical part of our team and our success.
Richland Center, Senior, Basketball
Noah has been a key member of the boys’ varsity basketball team for the past 4 years. He has been a leader and captain that will be hard to replace next year. His work ethic and passion for every sport he plays is beyond words. Noah is the type of person that will work on his own game as well as helping his teammates, younger players as well as being a tremendous leader for our youth basketball program as so many of these younger players look up to him. He may not have been the highest scorer every game, but he was the one player we needed on the floor every game. He would find open teammates and get them the ball, rebound, go after loose balls, take a charge all for his team. He saved his best game for one of his last by scoring 33 points in the regional game leading our team the first win in a WIAA regional by any boys’ team at our school in over 5 years. He was recognized by conference coaches as a 2nd Team All-Conference player.
Noah fits the term STUDENT ATHLETE to a tee. He is one of the top students in his class with a 4.11 grade point average and is involved with so many other school activities: band, student council acting as the vice president, pep club, senior executive board and science club. He and his team placed 1st in the Sea Perch robotics competition earning them a trip to the Nationals in Atlanta Georgia at Georgia Tech in May.
Noah will do great things because of the person that he is. Noah also was the starting varsity quarterback for 3 years as well as a varsity pitcher and infielder for the baseball team for 4 years.
February 2017 Athletes of the Month
Richland Center, Junior, Basketball
At the beginning of the season, Madison was named a co-captain for our Richland Center Girls Basketball team. During this season, her play and energy on the court has propelled the Hornets to the their most successful season since 2012, as they reached a top-five State Ranking, and finished the season with a 20-3 record. During February, Madison was our team’s leading scorer, at just under 25 points per game, in addition to our leading rebounder, at just over 8 per game. On February 17th, she became the 15th girl in Richland Center basketball history to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau and is believed to be the first to do so during her junior year. Her incredible athleticism is a true joy to watch on the floor and never ceases to be an entertainment of raw talent. Please consider Madison Rizner as the February Athlete of the Month for not only these incredibly rare achievement, but also for her year-long success in helping the Richland Center Hornets to be considered one of the state’s best basketball teams.
Riverdale, Senior, Wrestling
Bradon wrestled his first tournament matches in February since injuring his hip in early December. He won his fourth regional championship and third sectional championship of his career. Bradon placed 2nd at the state tournament and became the first four time state place winner in the history of Riverdale wrestling. This is a tremendous accomplishment considering all of the great individuals that have wrestled for Riverdale. He finished his career with 127 wins and a three time state finalist, including a state championship last year. Bradon showed toughness during the tournament season wrestling on an injured hip that will require surgery following the season. He showed a resilience and refused to lose attitude. His toughness and dedication to the sport of wrestling will have a lasting impact on many young wrestlers in the program. He has set a high bar of excellence that others will try to duplicate in the future.
January 2017 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca, Junior, Wrestling
Gavin Burch is a junior wrestler at Ithaca. In the month of January, he went 13-2 with 6 pins and a technical fall. He was undefeated at the Lancaster Duals, placed second at the Ithaca/Weston Scramble and place 3rd at the Sauk Prairie Invite. Gavin is one of the role models in the practice room and is one of the guys who runs the drills during workouts. The young wrestlers look for Gavin’s experience and his extra hard work out of the practice room to make them stronger wrestlers.
Gavin is an honor student and is very involved in many activities at Ithaca. He is a very avid and successful motocross racer during the summer. Teachers speak very highly of Gavin and also see him as a respected leader in the hall ways.
Richland Center, Senior, Basketball
Over the years, I’ve nominated several dozen athletes for this award. Brooklyn Liegel’s nomination might be one of the simplest tasks of all of them. Brooklyn is the epitome of a student-athlete. She is a top-notch student in the classroom, as well as being a top-notch athlete. When I look at student-athletes that we want representing our team, our school, and our community, it would be extremely difficult to find a better representative, than Brooklyn. Her commitment to excellence has catapulted her to new levels, both on and off the court. She is one of the top students in her class, academically, and one of the top senior basketball players in the state. Her game has continued to improve throughout every year of her basketball career. On January 6, Brooklyn scored her 1,000th career varsity point. She would finish the game with a season-high, 29 points. Brooklyn’s leadership ability and dedication to the game has helped the Hornets enjoy a 15-1 record and is currently ranked 4th in Wisconsin, for Division III basketball teams, according to the most recent AP Basketball Poll. Of all the nominations I have written, I would be hard-pressed to find a more deserving winner of this award than Brooklyn Liegel. She has excelled in every aspect–becoming a top-notch basketball player, a top-notch student, and most importantly, one the best people you will ever meet.
December 2016 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale, Junior, Wrestling
Caleb Johnson has had a great month of wrestling for the Riverdale Chieftains. He capped off the month with a 4th place finish at the Bi-State Classic. During the month of December Caleb went 11-3. All three of his losses have come to top two ranked wrestlers from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Last year Caleb wrestled in the 145 pound weight class and was a sectional qualifier. At the conclusion of last season, Caleb made a commitment to the weight room. This season he is wrestling at the 195 pound weight class. He is a proven example that hard work both inside and outside the wrestling room will pay off. Caleb has taken on a leadership role with the younger wrestlers. Kids respect him and his continuing commitment to get better.
Ithaca, Senior, Girls Basketball
Senior Riley Crook has really gained confidence during her senior year and has had a great December as she nearly averaged a double -double for the month. She averaged 9.8 points per game and 12 rebounds per game. She set a season high 16 points against a very tough Seneca team and a season high 17 total rebounds against Hillsboro. Riley has provided our team with both scoring and rebounding stability. She leads the team through her skills and actions on the court. The team is able to run and functions offensively at its best through Riley’s dominate play. I look forward to watching Riley continue to dominate the paint throughout the season.
Riverdale, Senior, Girls Basketball
Senior Macey Klebesadel has really stood out as the leader for the Chieftains both offensively and defensively this season. She is the “silent leader” and has many youngsters that look up to and respect her. She constantly hustles which leads to making big plays for her team. She is one of the team leaders in steals and rebounds and Riverdale is headed for an exceptional season this year because of her efforts. Macey is also an exceptional honor student active in volleyball, softball, the R-Club, and Student Council. She leads in the classroom and on the court. Basketball is her favorite sport and she plans to play next year in college. Macey is a well-deserved recipient for the month of December.
November 2016 Athletes of the Month
Richland Center, Senior, Wrestling
Caleb is a senior captain for the Hornets. He has been one of our top wrestlers again this year. He is the type of person that leads by example. Always working hard whether it’s in the weight room or in the wrestling room. We have not had any matches in November but we are looking at him to be one we can count on this season. He is working hard to reach his goals this season. Caleb is a competitor who is striving to be the best he can be while making his teammates around him better as well. He is always encouraging them and helping them to get better. Caleb’s work ethic, determination, leadership are just a few of the things that impress me so much. I look forward to watching Caleb grow throughout the season.
Richland Center, Senior, Basketball
Cassidy entered her senior year with high expectations after spending the majority of her junior year recovering from an ACL injury. As a coach, there were some unknowns about Cassidy’s ability to return to pre-injury form for her senior year. Any doubts were quickly smashed by her performance in the first three games of the season. Cassidy was second on our team in points scored, first on assists, and committed just 4 turnovers in three games, while playing point guard for our team. Her play helped the Hornets get off to a 3-0 start, while beating La Crosse Logan, Cuba City, and Prairie du Chien. Due to her exceptional leadership and attitude, she was also named as one of the team’s captains. Cassidy has overcome adversity and is helping her team and teammates become successful.
October 2016 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale, Senior, Cross Country
This month Brian won our meet in Boscobel, took second in Riverdale, finished in the top four at conference qualifying him for all-conference honors, and the went on the qualify for state where he looks to repeat as a podium finisher. He has done all this despite fighting injuries in the middle of the season. Brian has worked tirelessly to prepare, recover, and succeed. On top of this Brian is also succeeding in the classroom despite a difficult senior classload.
Richland Center, Senior, Volleyball
4 year letterwinner
Conference Champions this year 9-1 record Season record 28-10
3 time captain
1st team all-conference 2016
Surpasses the 1,000 dig mark for her career leads the league, #1 in digs
#7 in the conference in kills
#2 in the conference in aces
Great all-around student athlete. Excels both on and off the court, very involved in many extra-curricular activities, including just competing in the Wisconsin Piano Contests (not technical name) in Madison. Leads by example, was voted by her teammates to be a captain for the past 3 years. Her efforts on and off the court are second to none. She is a fantastic role model for all athletes and always makes the right decisions. Her presence on the court was vital to our reaching the team goal of a conference championship this season.
September 2016 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale, Junior, Cross Country
Dawson is an integral team leader. He helps our middle school students be ready, feel part of the team, and succeed. Has lead our team in two straight meets, both at Brookwood and at North Crawford. He is a super nice person, easy going, and very coachable. He worked hard this summer and that has carried through during the year.
Richland Center, Junior, Volleyball
Madison is a junior Middle Hitter. In September, the Hornet volleyball team has gone undefeated in conference play (6-0) and have finished 1st in the Holmen tournament, 2nd in the RC invite and the Baraboo tournaments. Their current record is 22-4.
Madison is leading the team in hitting percentage, kills and blocks.
She is a team captain and is a leader on and off the floor. Madison is a presence on the floor and every team we play have tried to find ways to stop her, so far none have, they have only been able to try to contain her. Last Thursday, the hornets took a 2 match conference lead with a come from behind victory against River Valley 3-2. Madison led the team with 21 kills and 6.5 blocks that night.
Richland Center, Sophomore, Cross Country
Jacob is another new athlete on the RC/Ithaca Cross Country team that has really impressed me. He has quickly shown improvement this past month and has a desire to be better. He’s a very mature young man who quickly has become one of our most dedicated athletes. Jacob volunteers a lot for his community. He reads for younger children at the library and volunteers to help at many other events. On top of that he has a perfect GPA and takes piano lessons. Jacob takes on so many activities he misses practice from time-to-time, however, he always runs when he can’t make it and even returns to practice if time prohibits. He also has been struggling with some hip issues the past few weeks, but has yet to miss a meet. Anyone can tell he’s hurting at these meets, but he’s just a tough kid who wants to help his team and get better. He engages well with his teammates and even pushes his brother, Jonah, who runs for the middle school CC team, to be better. The Zorea boys are a great duo to have on the team.
August 2016 Athlete of the Month
Ithaca, Senior, Volleyball
Riley Crook is a senior setter and co-captain of our varsity volleyball team. She is the type of athlete that puts in the extra effort to better herself without being asked. Several nights, she stayed after practice to work on her hitting and accuracy of her setting with our hitters. In addition, Riley leads our team through any new task given and has been a positive role model on and off the court. As the “quarterback” of our team, she has really taken our younger sophomore players under her wing. She gives encouragement as well as advice on where to hit within certain coverages. She knows the floor and knows how to respectfully challenge and motivate her teammates. Having her on the court during every rotation makes us a better team. Riley is a true team player and her passion for the game is present at all times. Also, she was willing to get up early and assist the first week of August at our elementary and middle school volleyball camps. She worked well with younger players and really taught some valuable skills and lessons about the game.
During the month of August, our team played in one triangular, one tournament, and one non-conference game. She averaged 15 assists, 4 kills and 6 ace serves in those three outings. More important than any stats, Riley expresses an enthusiasm for the sport of volleyball and her positive energy is contagious. It has been a pure joy to watch her and coach her over the last four years at Ithaca.