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December 2014 Athletes of the Month
RCHS, Senior, Wrestling
Silas is one of our team captains and a leader of our team. He just received his 100th career win wrestling varsity, which is a great feat. Silas competed at the RC Invitational placing fourth then went to the BI State Wrestling tournament, this tournament has 60 teams competing in it. Silas came out with a 7th place which is a great job in one of the hardest tournaments of the year.
Silas continues to be a team leader on and off the mat. He calls team meeting with the wrestling team on his own just to make sure that the younger kids know what is going on. He is a true leader on any team he is on!! He is one of the hardest working kids that I know, and is always giving kids great advice on how to help them. He was also a captain on the football team and was a team leader there to. As a Coach we would love to have 20 kids like Silas.
Ithaca, Junior, Wrestling
Hunter’s record for the month of December is 21 wins with only one loss. He went undefeated in the Holmen duals and the Ridge and Valley conference duals, he won the Richland Center Invite and was runner-up in the prestigous Bi-state Classic. Hunter finished with 5 pins and 5 technical falls.
Hunter continues to lead the team with his hard work and positive attitude toward the younger wrestlers. His modest ego on the mat is very inspiring toward the rest of the team. Hunter also competed on the football team and is very involved in his family’s show steer stock.
November 2014 Athlete of the Month
RCHS, Senior, Basketball
Alex is a tremendous athlete and leader. Over the last year and a half as head coach, I have seen him grow and progress in every facet of the game of basketball. I would argue that Alex has progressed more than any other athlete during this time frame.
Alex started playing basketball later than most kids now days. While this would deter some kids from playing a sport, Alex has worked hard to overcome some of the set backs associated with starting a sport a little later than most. During his junior year, Alex saw very limited time on the court but he never turned sour or poisonous. He knew his role – It was to work as hard as he possibly could to make everyone around him better. It was because of his unselfishness and willingness to do whatever it took, that we were as successful as we were last year.
Coming into this year, I didn’t know quite what to expect out of Alex. I knew that he would work hard and do the little things it takes to be successful, but had he worked on his game in the offseason to earn minutes on the Varsity roster. Alex has exceeded all expectations! He made every single open gym available to the school, he made all of our preseason workouts and pushed his teammates to work as hard as they could and has elevated his game to where he will be a starter on opening night. I have been so impressed with Alex’s work ethic and leadership abilities that I asked him to be one of my captains this year. This is an honor that I do not take lightly, as I expect my captains to be an extension of my voice. I know full well that Alex will always positively push his teammates to bring out the best in them and he will get after kids when it is needed.
Alex Perkins has displayed to my coaching staff and I that he is worthy of being named the athlete of the month!
October 2014 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale High School, Sophomore, Cross Country
Brian has set the example for our young team and has really shown what the results of hard work can be. He placed third overall at the SWAL Conference meet, 6th at the WIAA Sectional meet, and 25th at the WIAA State meet. He has pushed himself as well as making his teammates better day in and day out.
Riverdale High School, Senior, Volleyball
Jaide Johnson has been a part of the Varsity Volleyball team at Riverdale for the past four years. In that time she has progressively improved and turned into a defensive threat as well as an offensive one. Her statistics speak volumes about what she is capable of and I think with the right club and college program she will just continue to blossom for the next four years. Jaide loves volleyball, she plays to win and she expects a lot of herself and her teammates. She is a player that could be placed on any team and still be successful.
Over the past four years, Jaide has placed herself in the record books at Riverdale in four of the five statistical categories; in some multiple times. Jaide led the team this year in kills with 340, only second in history to herself last year with 362. With Jaide getting an immense number of swings per match, she also has more opportunities for errors and getting “junk” balls – however, she maintained a season hitting % of .294. What really cemented her skills in Riverdale Volleyball, was her performance against Lancaster in Regionals. Jaide had 29 attempts and 22 kills, hitting a .552! That is phenomenal!! Jaide is a middle hitter; it is tougher for her to find ways to get kills when she is pinned in the middle of the court much with a large block in front of her. That Lancaster game performance, couldn’t have come at a better time – a five set match, arguably the best match of her career.
Jaide is also second in history in the dig category, to herself finishing three shy of last year’s total with 232. As the Riverdale Volleyball program faces the realization of moving on without her for the first time in four years, I’ve realized that she is going to find a way to be successful whichever program she chooses. There is a huge void that we will need to fill, being an outlet hitter is a responsibility that she has taken on since her freshman year – now we need a new one. As a program, we hope that Jaide can perform like Alex Wiederholt did so many years ago – go off to college and just continue to improve being surrounded by a high level of volleyball 24/7. Her volleyball IQ is there and so are her skills – she will be missed.
September 2014 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca High School, Senior, Volleyball
Being able to say I have coached Jessica Laue is any coach’s dream. I say this because she is the type of athlete that puts in the extra effort to better herself without being asked. Several nights, she stayed after to work on her hitting and practice her setting. In addition, Jessica leads our team through any new task given and has been a positive role model on and off the court. Jessica is a middle hitter and also a setter for Ithaca’s varsity team. Having her on the court during every rotation makes us a better team.
During the month of September, she has played in five matches and one tournament. Her stats are impressive with 78 kills, 33 assists, 17 solo blocks, and 9 block kills. She has served 61 out of 68 serves, a 90% average. Most importantly, Jessica 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 these last four years at Ithaca.
Riverdale High School, Junior, Volleyball
Amanda Meister is a three-year starting setter for the Varsity volleyball team at Riverdale. She is an athletic setter that makes her hitters look good. The past two years Amanda has taken on a major defensive role along with her setting, usually leading or being second high in digs each match. This year, she added on attacking. Amanda is an all-around player that now looks to attack at opportune times and knows when to use her tips to get our serve receive out of weak rotations. Her work ethic and attitude are unparalleled; she demands a lot of herself and her teammates, but she is always positive and encouraging to them.
She has an instinct about the game that you just can’t teach. She finds herself in the right spot at the right time and she is a setter with a hitter’s mentality. If you are going to allow her to find ways to get kills, she will, and she will continue to do it until you stop her. She always has the desire to win but is honest and hard-working to get there. She is an athlete that could play any position on the court and make it look easy. She is hands down the best defense playing setter I have worked with (coached and played). Amanda wants her teammates happy and wants her all-around play to be perfect. She is constantly striving to improve herself and takes criticism and advice with a nod and a smile. She may be the most coachable athlete I’ve ever worked with. Amanda has had countless compliments from officials and coaches pertaining to her play and attitude. She is not only a tremendous player but a tremendous person. She leads both on the court and off by example.
At the end of the season, Amanda was sidelined with a season-ending injury. She had pain weeks before, but had been playing through it. A team that relied so heavily on her play had to adjust to life without Amanda, which hadn’t been done in three years; and being the team player she is, she felt she let her team down. This injury was in-process for some time and Amanda was still striving to contribute to her team in any way; talking in huddles, coaching the setter, calling zones, and being a target. She is one that struggled to be on the sidelined, you have to watch her to make sure she doesn’t sneak into drills. Her thoughts are with her team and their success, even at the expense of her knee.
Statistically, Amanda is in the top three of our team in everything. She is a contender for all-conference and in the future will be a nominee for all-state. In the month of September Amanda has tallied:
67 Kills with a .363 hitting percentage
Riverdale High School, Senior, Football
I would like to nominate Tanner Williamson for September Athlete of the Month. If you were basing this nomination on stats alone Tanner may not be your leading candidate but I thought it was very important to bring recognition to the tremendous leadership that Tanner provides to this football team and to this school. I have been coaching and teaching for over 25-years and I have never had a student/athlete that does more for their school, community and team then Tanner does.
As our starting quarterback Tanner has lead the Riverdale Football team to a 4-1 record (2-1)in conference. He is the main engineer of our option attack with the pressure of making the right reads falling on his shoulders. He also has passed for 347-yards on the season and four touchdowns. Defensively he has been solid at cornerback and has one interception on the season.
However, it is off the field success that makes Tanner a strong candidate for your award. He is tremendously unselfish and will do whatever is needed off the field to help his team, community or school. While being a three sport athlete Tanner is the President of his class, takes part as a teacher in Religious Education classes, volunteers for his local fire department, works at the Blue River Autumn Fest, is a role model for students in the Riverdale School District, coaches youth sports, speaks to younger students about the value of hard work and athletics, is constantly helping others whenever there is a need and the list goes on and on.
It is my opinion that Tanner is a great symbol for what a HS athlete really should be and if he could be selected as Athlete of the Month, I believe he then would be a great choice for Athlete of the Year. I am looking for ways to let more people know about this tremendous young man.
August 2014 Athletes of the Month
Richland Center High School, Senior, Volleyball
Mariah has worked diligently in the off season to improve her skills and earn a spot on the left side. She is playing all around for our team and was a vocal leader during our tournament this past Saturday.
She has dedicated herself to being the team leader and is the organizer of all team activities both during the season and in the off season. She makes sure every team member is included and is a positive voice on and off the court.
The team would not have had the success they did last weekend without her leadership and commitment to the team.
Mariah works hard each and every day and has taken advantage of every opportunity afforded her.
She is the epitome of a team athlete and is always putting the teams best interest ahead of any personal gain.
Richland Center High School, Junior, Cross Country
Janie put together what was one of the strongest and most inspirational performances by an athlete I’ve ever seen at the Cashton Cross Country Invitational. She began the first two miles so strong and she was looking very good, but during the last mile I could tell something was wrong, but she was able to push through the pain and come in with a strong race. After the race she fainted and was having difficulty walking; she was very dizzy and nauseous as well.
Janie needed a few days off before she could return to practice, which I believe is just a testament to how much she pushed herself to finish the race. She is a truly strong runner if she was able to push through that and come in 9th place.
Janie has worked very hard over the summer and at this pace I can’t wait to see what see is able to do come time for Conference.
Riverdale High School, Junior, Football
I would like to nominate Jared Roen for Male Athlete of the Month. Jared is one of the Captains on the Riverdale football team and has helped lead the Chieftains to a 2-0 start. In game one with the Chieftains trailing 6-0 to Royall late in the fourth quarter Jared helped rally his team to the win. He would score the game tying TD on an 8-yard run breaking numerous tackles. With Keegan Franklin’s PAT we would win the game. Defensively he was one of the team’s leading tacklers.
This past week Jared was a one person wrecking crew as he led the team in tackles and forced a fumble. Offensively he carried the ball 15 times for 192-yards and three touchdowns in helping defeat Brookwood 34-0 avenging last year’s play-off loss to the Falcons.
Jared does not just lead during games but in practice he is at the front in all conditioning drills setting an example for others to follow. He is a great person to coach and is a role model for others on the team.
Jared is a three-sport athlete winning a State Championship in wrestling and is a member of two Conference Championships in baseball. Jared also excels in the classroom as he was named to the All District –All Academic team in baseball this past year.
June 2014 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca High School, Sophomore, Track and Field
David has worked very hard this season. He sat out the first half of the season dealing with Osgood Schlatter. We let his knees rest awhile and after basketball season mid way he said his knees weren’t bothering him. He was determined to high jump. Last year his best was 5’4, this year his best was 6’2 just missing 6’3.
David won regional’s 2 at sectionals, and qualified for state. He finished 5th at state making the podium. How exciting! The weather was certainly a set back. David has a great attitude and is very pleasant to his entire team. He has 2 years yet to compete and I’m sure he will break his pr again next year.
Ithaca High School, Senior, Softball
Lacey is a leader, and a supporter of her entire school. She supports her fellow schoolmates in every aspect of their life. On top of that Lacey hit for a .571 average through the playoffs with 7 extra base hits. She had 6 doubles and one triple. One double and one triple came during our State appearance. She carried our team offensively in the month of June.
May 2014 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca High School, Senior, Track and Field
Alex is very hardworking, dedicated to his sport and is an honor student. He participated in long jump, jumping 19’8.50. In triple jump his personal best was 38’8″.
Alex also ran the 200 dash with a time of 24.3 and was in the 4×1 relay. He was a 3 event sectional qualifier the last 2 years and has dedicated his season to a former teammate that has passed away. He wanted to make it to the state meet but his goal was cut short.
It has been a pleasure having Alex on our team. He wants to follow his dream into a career in fitness. He deserves to be honored for all his hard work and for the training he has done.
Ithaca High School, Senior, Softball
Jordan has had another excellent season this year. She batted an even .600 for the month of May, including 6 over the fence home runs. She accounted for 20 RBIs, scored 17 times, and only struck out once.
As a pitcher she had an ERA of 0.91, averaged 2.2 strike outs per inning, and only walked 7 batters total. She led her team to the Ridge and Valley Conference Championship, and the first ever Regional Championship for Ithaca Softball.
She is a leader both on and off the field, and serves as an excellent role model for the entire school. She often stays after practice and works with the younger pitchers in a very encouraging way. She also works with the youth softball players and will be assistant coaching this summer. She has the admiration of the entire elementary school and can often be seen smiling and giving them words of encouragement.
Jordan definitely believes in giving back to the program that has brought so much to her!
April 2014 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca High School, Senior, Track and Field
The Ithaca track coaches would like to nominate Yann Bregy for athlete of the month. Yann usually competes in long jump, triple jump, 200 & a relay at most meets. Yann has never competed in track before. He always comes to practice and meets with a positive attitude and outstanding work ethic. He stays after practice to learn technique and really wants to improve. He has high goals!
Yann has jumped 25’10” in tj , 17’10” in lj, and runs about a 24.0 in the 200. We have enjoyed having Yann on our team!
Richland Center High School, Senior, Soccer
Michela had an excellent month with goals and assists, and helped her team win numerous games in April, but I am driven more by what doesn’t show up on the stat sheets. She is a phenomenal personality to have on the team: self-sacrificing, hard-working, uncomplaining. Having her as one of our captains I think has been a part of our success this last month. The team has started with a perfect record in the first round of the conference, better than any team I have yet coached. They are 5-0 in the SWC and managed to beat Platteville, who has dominated the conference in Girls Soccer since the conference was formed for our sport. I am very proud of the girls’ attitude this year, and their success thus far, and I think most of the credit is owed to internal leadership. Beating Platteville for the first time in many years is not about skill, it has been a battle of psychology for years, and to see the team overcome the idea that the Hillmen are invincible is very gratifying to me in terms of their growth as young adults. I place more credit in the hands of student leaders on the team, Michela being an excellent example, than I give myself or any other influence on the team.
Success this season has been bought by great attitude and great work ethic, two areas where Michela excels. She never complains, no matter how hard I push her or how sacrificing the task. We have done a certain interval sprint training drill this year, very regularly, to get yourself into excellent match fitness. The drill is tough, and we had to start with only about 8 minutes at a time in order to be able to complete it with intensity, but, the first time we did it, I thought we could do 20 minutes. Only 2 or 3 players could complete 20 minutes that first time around, and Michela was one of them, she just won’t give up, and it was a critical moment for student leadership on the team. Another afternoon when we went out to run that drill, she was sick with a bug, and yet refused to sit it out. Attitude like that really changes a practice environment.
I could tie up more time with stats and GPA an such, but really, this is a player and captain really deserving of some recognition for leading her team to their best start in the SWC, probably ever. I wish we could clone her.
Riverdale High School, Senior, Baseball Player
Alex picked up key pitching victories over Richland Center, Southwestern and Mineral Point. In the Mineral Point game Alex limited the conference rivals to just two-hits in a 1-0 win. His only loss of the month came to Cuba City in a game in which he gave up just one hit.
Alex biggest attributes are not just his athletic abilities but his leadership skills. He is one of the most respected students in the school and is a tremendous person and leader. He is always looking out for the younger players and students and will do whatever he can to help out. I have coached and taught at Riverdale for 25-years and Alex is one of the top student-athletes I have had the privilege to coach.
March 2014 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca High School, Senior, Basketball Player
Come tournament time Jordan up her scoring and rebounding compared to the regular season. She had 19 points and 15 boards and 3 assists in our opening tournament game in which we trailed midway through the 4th quarter. Then the next game against Wauzeka who we had barely beaten twice in the previous 3 weeks, Jordan put up 14 points gathered 11 rebounds to go with 2 assists and 2 steals helping us beat Wauzeka 49-29. Against Barneveld she, along with Kati had to do basically everything for us. She had 15 points and 10 rebounds against the State Champs.
Speaking of the state level, Jordan was named to the WBCA All-Star team this coming summer. Her strong push and the fact that she is a 3 time First Team All-Conference player helped. She finished her career with 911 points, 619 rebounds, and 156 assists.
Riverdale High School, Senior, Softball Player
Despite having not played the game in a number of years, Emily Wollyung has hit the ground running and has immersed herself in softball at the varsity level. She can be counted on to be at every practice, working hard and being an encouraging teammate to others. Her can-do attitude, positive demeanor andenthusiastic nature makes her a pleasure to coach and a great member of the team. A couple of days into practice, Emily was going after a fly ball. It hit her throwing hand, sprained her thumb and bent the nail back. If it would have been up to Emily, she would have continued practice! Despite the sprained thumb, Emily returned to practice the next day and hasn’t complained about it since.
Emily is the kind of person that coaches dream of having multiples of on their team. We always tell the girls, you can have all the talent in the world, but without a positive attitude, your skills are a waste. Emily has the kind of attitude that will take her to great places in life. I honor her courage to join the softball team after years of no skills’ training. She has taught the other players on the team, as well as the coaches, that life is bigger than the “wins.”
February 2014 Athletes of the Month
Richland Center Senior, Basketball
Leigh has been a positive addition to our basketball program, as well as our high school community, since her arrival, prior to her junior year. However, it has been most recently that Leigh has developed into a true leader on the basketball court. This past month, Leigh led our team in scoring and was second in rebounds. In addition, she has provided great guidance to our very youthful team, as one of our captains. Sometimes, it is easy to get down when things don’t go smoothly for you, as an individual. We have worked with Leigh on her ability to overcome adverse situations and not let one mistake compound in multiple mistakes.
A great example of Leigh’s recent ability to overcome adversity was this past week when our basketball team played at Dodgeville. Dodgeville was undefeated in conference play during the season and we were riding a nice, six-game winning streak. Late in the game, with Richland Center leading by 7, Leigh missed three consecutive bonus free-throws. In the past, I believe this would have resulted in Leigh getting frustrated and potentially missing more (or making other mistakes) late in the game. However, she responded by making her next six free-throws and was instrumental in helping the Hornets hand Dodgeville its first—and only—conference loss on the year. Seeing young athletes turn negative situations into a positive one is a great reward, as a coach. Please consider Leigh for Athlete of the Month for her ability to lead our basketball team, in a variety of ways.
Ithaca Senior, Basketball
James Oelke a senior at Ithaca High School has a 3.9 GPA and is the Valedictorian for 2014. He has been involved in multiple sports from Football, Basketball, and Baseball and is a gifted athlete with a huge ability and he is a leader. He also volunteers at the hospital, works at Culvers, mentors youth Athletes, is a National Honor Society representative along with being on Student Council.
As my first year of coaching I was looking for people to assist me in my task. I have two seniors and James Oelke is one of the most outstanding anywhere. James is always first to practice and makes sure he is ready along with his teammates. He has the ability to push himself, as an example to push others. He is very well known in the school, conferences and community. He respects the competitors, officials, and coaches but still is very passionate about doing his best and leading his team to do their best.
This year in basketball James started 95% of the games. He knew his role as a teammate. James is one of the better defenders in the conference. We always depended on him and gave him a large responsibly and he did his best.
On offense he is one of our guards and ball handlers. I would always try to get him to shoot more because of his ability, but he would rather have one assist than the two points.
In the month of February the Ithaca Basketball team had two great games. The first against LaFarge (ranked 5th in the state) came to Ithaca. The first time we only lost by three at their house so revenge was in the eyes of the tam but especially James. He played his best game and had ten points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 assist, but that wasn’t what he did the best. His defense was superb, with one of the leading scorers in the conference to guard, he wanted the task. The competitors finish the game with six points and fouled out at the 30 minutes mark. This player was predicted to score his 1000 point at Ithaca but came twelve points short, because of the defense. James was enlightened by his team’s accomplishment.
One week later at DeSoto the task was just as large. James had twelve points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 assist, but once again his defense is what he made a claim for. With the game on the line in the final minute James made a steal in the open court and scored a lay-up to seal the upset.
James is very worthy of the Athlete of the month award. He is what every school wishes to have to represent what they stand for.
January 2014 Athletes of the Month
Senior, Richland Center High School, Boys Basketball
I am nominating Alex Mortimer for his outstanding leadership and play over the month of January. I have had the honor of coaching him over his high school career in both football and basketball and he has progressed and excelled in each. He is one of the most talented athletes that I have ever been around and his work ethic and drive to succeed is unmatched by any other student athlete.
Alex has had an outstanding year so far for the RCHS boys’ basketball team. He has averaged 19.2 points per game, 12.1 rebounds per game and currently leads the team in points scored, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. During the month of December, he had a tremendous Cuba City tournament, which led to him being a Wissports.net ‘athlete of the week’ nominee. He currently is one of 43 “wings to watch” on Wissports.net which will be narrowed down to 15 players shortly. He currently sits at 65th in the state in total points scored and 4th in the state in total rebounds.
Alex is a leader. When he talks, everyone listens. He has earned his teammates respect through ability (on and off the court) and hard work. In January, we (like other schools) have experienced many school cancellations causing us to have missed a lot of practice time. Alex has orchestrated captain’s practices that are held at the community center and other local gyms to keep him and his teammates in peak form. He has been my on court captain every game this year. This is not something that I take lightly. I expect my court captain to be an extension of my voice; both in holding his teammates accountable and giving praise when deserved. He has earned that designation and has not let me down.
Not only is Alex a tremendous athlete, he is an exceptional student as well. He has averaged a 3.94 GPA over his high school career while being a three sport athlete. His grades mean a lot to him and he hopes to go to an exceptional engineering school to continue his education next year.
Alex is not the athlete of the month, he is the athlete of the year! He is the kid that wants the ball in his hands at the end of the game. He is the athlete that isn’t afraid to openly praise his fellow teammates over a good play. He is the athlete that will call up each individual teammate to make sure that they make it to morning practice on time during two-a-days. Alex Mortimer is a great kid, athlete and leader. He makes it a little easier for a first year coach to be successful.
Senior, Ithaca High School, Girls Basketball
Kati Clary had a great month in January. She emerged as another consistent scorer for the Bulldogs as well as being a consistent rebounder. The month started with Kati becoming our leading scorer in a win against DeSoto. The next night she helped lead a charge of comeback against undefeated Hillsboro. The Bulldogs trailed by 14 with a 1:10 to go and her efforts rallied the team to go to overtime. Her steal and score at the buzzer capped off this comeback. Unfortunately, the team lost in overtime.
Her efforts on the rebounds and scoring continued to improve over the month as her minutes went up as she become more confident on the floor and more confident in her knees and can sustain more time as she builds up endurance after suffering and overcoming multiple knee issues.
Her game of the year came against conference leader and at the time undefeated Seneca team. She led the team in scoring, assists, rebounds, and blocked shots that night and allowed us to move into a first place tie. She 15 points 4 assists, 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
She followed up that performance as we faced North Crawford the team who gave us our only loss to this point in conference, who incidentally who was also in 1st place. Though she did have the points, with the game in balance she hit 4 free throws to extend our lead from 31-30 to ice the game 35-30 with the last 2 free throws coming with 5.4 seconds left.
In the last game of the month she helped us break open a close game where she scored 8 of our first 17 points in the 2nd half within a 4 minute spurt. The win, along with North Crawford beating Seneca, the Bulldogs now sit in first place by themselves and Kati Clary had huge help in our 4-0 run in conference.