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December 2015 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca, Senior, Wrestling
Hunter’s record for the month of December is 22-1. He won the Blackhawk invite and finished 5-0 in the Ridge and Valley Duals. He became a 4 time winner at the Richland Center Invite, only the 10th wrestler to do that in the history of the tournament, which is the longest running tournament in the state. He won 4 straight matches to comeback to take 3rd place at the Bi State Classic in LaCrosse. Hunter continues to lead by example in the practice room. He is a big leader to the other wrestlers by helping them with their technique and persistent work ethic.
In the hallways at Ithaca he is looked up to by the other students and especially by the younger Ithaca students. So many times community residents as about Hunter and comment how much he is respected by them. His senior class again organized the food pantry drive for Passages in the 2015.
Hunter also excelled in football this season.
Riverdale, Senior, Girls Basketball
The Riverdale Girls’ Basketball coaches would like to nominate senior, Amanda Meister, as December Athlete of the Month for her leadership qualities and her outstanding athletic performances this month.
Amanda truly takes her role as a co-captain seriously and with dedication. She has helped the Lady Chieftain basketball team mesh as a cohesive unit by coordinating events and acting as the player liaison to the coaches, which can be a time-consuming task of relaying messages both directions. Amanda communicates her concerns about situations and asks for advice on how to best approach and resolve potential issues before they become a problem, which shows her maturity and desire for the team’s success. As a staff, we appreciate her efforts in this capacity because we know that her leadership has had a positive influence on the entire team.
Anyone who knows Amanda recognizes her natural athletic ability but that combined with her determination makes her a force to be reckoned with on the court. This season has been no exception as she has averaged 17 points per game and is just shy of 10 rebounds per game, which is quite remarkable for a point guard. In the month of December, Amanda has had three double-double games with scoring and rebounds and was one rebound short in one other game. Due to her tenacious defense and play anticipation, Amanda leads the team in steals, which helped her accomplish a quadruple-double in our victory over Wauzeka on December 8. Amanda scored 22 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, gave 10 assists, and snagged 10 steals that game, which was unprecedented in Riverdale Girls’ Basketball history and a rare event in basketball at any level. This achievement garnered her the WSN Athlete of the Week. Amanda Meister has proven herself an effective leader on and off the court.
November 2015 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale, Junior, Wrestling
Athan is new to the sport of wrestling. Through the first three weeks of practice Athan is working hard learning his new sport. Every practice Athan shows up looking to learn new technique. He is always open to coaching suggestions which has enabled him to develop as a wrestler. Athan also brings a positive attitude to the wrestling room each and every night. He encourages teammates through conditioning and live wrestling.
Athan has been a welcome addition to the Riverdale Wrestling program. I look forward to seeing Athan develop in the sport of wrestling.
Richland Center, Senior, Girls Basketball Manager
I would like to take this time to nominate Alex Toney for Athlete of the Month. While we often think of athletics as making a tackle, diving for a ball, or hitting a jump shot, it is really much more than that.
Athletics teaches students about special qualities, such as being a good teammate, hard work, commitment, and loyalty. I cannot think of a better person that exhibits those qualities than our manager, Alex Toney. Alex does not do his job for glory or recognition, nor for any special attention or awards. He does his job, quite simply, because he loves it. While some might think of filling water bottles as a meaningless task, Alex does it with those very qualities we try to instill in every player. He does his job with loyalty and commitment–knowing that he has the ability to help the team out and thrives at the opportunity to do so.
Anyone who has ever spoken with Alex knows that their day has just been enhanced with even the shortest conversation. Alex brings that quality to every game he manages, by enhancing the day of every player on our team, putting their needs before his own. He possesses qualities of team work and unselfishness that far too few people in today’s society have–and he does it every day, to everyone he meets! When I think of an Athlete of the Month, I can’t think of a person more deserving than someone who demonstrates the qualities of a great teammate. No one, shows more loyalty and commitment towards helping out a team than Alex Toney does. I strongly urge you to consider giving the award for the month of November, to someone that has not ever put up impressive statistics on the court. In fact, he has never even set foot on the court in high school competition. Yet, the impact he has on our Girls Basketball Team at Richland Center is bigger than any game-saving tackle or game-winning shot. He helps our team in an even greater area–he helps them learn the qualities of being a good person and a good teammate. These are the qualities that they will carry on throughout their lives and Alex is a strong reason for making that happen.
October 2015 Athletes of the Month
Richland Center, Junior, Football
Caleb was a starter on both offense and defense for every game this year for the Hornets. His work ethic was second to none as he led by example. He led the team in rushing and return yards this year.
Caleb was voted honorable mention All-Conference this year by the conference coaches.
Riverdale, Junior, Cross County
Brian qualified for the state and placed 9th.
Riverdale, Senior, Volleyball
For the past four years I have had the opportunity to coach Amanda Meister. To say that she has been an integral part of developing a successful volleyball program would be an understatement. She is one of those rare athletes/people that ignites a fire in a coach’s belly; she will lead her team anywhere and find a way to win with the team on her back. She is an exceptional individual, both on the court and off, representing her school, team, and community with pride.
Throughout the month of October – Amanda has prepared herself and her team as best she can for the state tournament run. She has put in time on and off the court discussing scenarios and strategic advantages with the coaching staff – looking for anyway to get a ‘leg up.’ Within October Amanda had four matches that she registered a double-double in assists and digs and one match where she had a triple-double with assists, digs, and kills. The match that Mandy had a triple double would qualify her as being “in the zone.” It was against Mineral Point and she led the team in aces with 5, kills with 18 and hit a .261, 24 assists, and 30 digs. She led in four stat categories! Then again when the Chieftains faced Darlington, Amanda again led in aces with 5, second in kills with 9 and a .389 percentage, led in assists with 23, led in blocks with 3, and top three in digs with 11. The reoccurring theme is that every night was similar to this. Amanda found ways to work for the win. If her hitters weren’t getting the kills, she’d find a way to get them herself. Teams prepared for her knowing her tendencies, but they still struggled containing her. She was smart and it showed nightly in her performances.
Amanda has racked up a pile of athletic awards in her four years at Riverdale in all three sports she participates in. There’s no question she’s a talented athlete: first team all-conference multiple times, team MVP, captain, and statistical record holder; but what truly sets Amanda apart from others is her heart and her work ethic. Amanda cares about each one of her teammates, their success, their feelings, and their overall well-being. Her values are evident in everything she does and officials/coaches/athletes comment on not only her play but how she represents her school with such class.
Over the four seasons Amanda has been on the Varsity volleyball team her role has varied; but wherever she is on the court she plays her hardest. She works with youth programs and is the best babysitter for my own children – a role model that I value for my own daughters.
Overall, our program will suffer with the loss of Amanda next year. Every game Amanda stepped on the court and gave her best effort. If she was setting and hitters weren’t getting kills, Amanda would take it upon herself to find a way to get a win. As a coach, I relied on Amanda’s energy and drive to push the team forward. She’s a reliable individual with the best court sense and game awareness any athlete has had in our program. There are “coaches’ favorites’ but it isn’t always the most talented player, it’s the one that displays characteristics that are beneficial to the individual beyond sports and school; Amanda just happens to be the whole package – values, skills, and a genuinely ‘nice’ person.
Amanda’s statistical totals for the year:
Aces – 61
Kills – 204 (as a setter!!)
Assists – 346
Blocks – 16
Digs – 265
September 2015 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale, Junior, Cross Country
Hannah is a natural leader. Hannah makes sure everyone is on the same page, motivated and working hard. She is a leader on the course in the weight room, and in the classroom. We owe plenty of our boys and girls teams’ success to her commitment.
Hannah has run on varsity every race this year.
Richland Center, Senior, Cross Country
Continuing to defy the odds, Jordan continues to significantly cut down his times and be a leader that is rare to find. While working on improving himself and meeting his goals, he helps the younger athletes with their own. We practice with the Middle School CC team and although they get on the high schoolers nerves at times, Jordan does what he can to help them improve even though he won’t be around after his season. He supports them as well as the girl’s HS team. He emphasizes their success and did so when he spoke for the team at the homecoming assembly. While at the assembly he even used the opportunity to try to recruit more athletes for the future. During homecoming he cut his lunch to go to the Elementary School to work with younger kids. He shows a great appreciation for his community and does what he can to help its future.
He earned Athlete of the Meet honors at River Valley as well. “The outstanding Senior year for Jordan continues. He set another PR today at Spring Green Golf Course. He paced himself smart and moved up the ranks as he came in with a strong finish. After his new career best, Jordan still wasn’t satisfied, saying he is capable of more. This is a good sign as we head to the hilly Brookwood, then our home Claire Hagg Invite. He continues to move up the Conference ranks and his drive will only lead him and this team to further success.”
June 2015 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca baseball team
The Ithaca baseball team finished its most successful season in school history with a 2nd place finish at the WIAA State Baseball tournament held in Grand Chute, WI. The won the semifinal game 9-0 to advance to the championship game where they lost a hard fought battle 1-0 to Rio. The Bulldogs won Regional and Sectional Championships to advance to their second consecutive State tournament. The also added another Ridge & Valley title this year as well. With only 1 senior the future looks bright for Bulldogs
Overall record 23-4, conference record 13-1
Photos of the Ithaca Baseball team and their State Runner-Up trophy can be found on the Ithaca High School Facebook page
RCHS, Freshman, Track & Field
Madison Rizner is a very hard working and motivated person, I feel that with the listed accomplishments Madison deserves to be the athlete of the month. Madison was 2nd place in the Triple Jump at the WIAA state track and field championships in Lacrosse. Jumping a new school record 36’8.5″. Madison was also the Regional and Sectional Champion in the Triple Jump. Madison was also SWC conference champion in the triple jump setting a new conference record, she was also 2nd in the High Jump at the conference championships.
During this season Madison set meet records at 3 meets, those meets are Ginger Morrey invitational at Riverdale High School, Uff Da Invitational at Westby High School, and the River Valley Alumni Invitational at River Valley High School. Madison also ended the season with the 4th best jump in Division 2, and the 16th best jump in the state of Wisconsin all divisions.
May 2015 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale, Senior, Baseball
Brett Hach is a three-sport athlete who has lettered in football, basketball and baseball the past two seasons. Brett is very well liked and respected by his peers and is very easy to coach. This past month he has helped to lead the Riverdale Baseball team to a 10-4 record. During that stretch Riverdale defeated three teams that were ranked #1 in the State at the time we played them. Fennimore (which we defeated 4-3), Aquinas (who we dealt their first loss of the season by the score of 5-4) and Ithaca (who we defeated 9-3). This has enabled the Riverdale Baseball team to be ranked #3 in the State in Division III.
During that 14-game span Brett went 15X41 (.365AVE), he also drove in an amazing 16-runs during that time while batting second in our order. He also pitched six strong innings in the Aquinas game bottling up an excellent hitting team.
Brett is a senior and he sometimes gets’ overlooked because of his quiet personality. He really knows the game of baseball and has done a tremendous job on and off the field. I think he is very of May Athlete of the Month.
*Just remembered he also teaches Catechism…kind of neat.
Riverdale, Junior, Softball
Amanda Meister is a junior softball player for the Riverdale Chieftains. She is a standout 3 sport athlete who also plays volleyball and basketball.
During the month of May, Amanda had to prove her mental and physical perseverance as she has been recovering from a knee injury. In the last part of her volleyball season, she suffered an injury to her meniscus. She played basketball, but coming into the softball season, her knee was still very weak. She could not pitch. Not being able to pitch was hard for Amanda because she is a true competitor who wants to be in charge of the game. She worked hard, rehabbed her knee with Angie Hackl, and toward the beginning of May was ready to start throwing hard again.
On the season, despite not pitching the first 5 conferences games, Amanda still managed to record some outstanding pitching stats. She marked 163 strike-outs and had a 2.89 ERA. Offensively, Amanda led the SWAL conference in batting average with a .604. She hit 7 doubles, 3 triples, and 1 homerun. She also had 20 RBI’s on the season.
Statistics aside, Amanda is the kind of player that any coach would love to have. She is one of the hardest workers you will see. But, what is most impressive about her is her humility. She is proud of what she has accomplished, but Amanda is MORE happy to see her teammates succeed. When Kaylee Hanke received the April Athlete of the Month award, Amanda cried for her. Last week when we won our first regional game, the coaching staff awarded Amanda the “game ball” for the win. She turned and gave it to her catcher, Tiara, and said, “I couldn’t have done it without you.” These examples just epitomize the kind of person Amanda is.
April 2015 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale, Senior, Softball
Kaylee Hanke is a senior softball player for the Riverdale Chieftains. She is a 3 sport athlete who also plays volleyball and basketball. She is also a very hardworking and high-achieving student who maintains high-honors.
During the month of April, Kaylee has been an outstanding leader/captain on the team. She has led the Chieftains to an 8-7 overall record thus far. Her normal position is second base where she is a vocal leader on the infield. However, a couple of weeks ago, our team had some personnel changes and there was a need for a left-fielder. Since we had a back-up 2nd baseman, but no one to play left field, we asked Kaylee to fill the position. This can be a difficult thing to do as a senior – but she jumped at the opportunity and has taken on the position as her own. She puts the needs of the team above her own wants/desires.
On offense, Kaylee has one of the best batting averages on the team. She’s batting an impressive .438 overall and .468 in conference.
The most impressive thing about Kaylee is the grand picture of her high school athletic career. In both volleyball and basketball, Kaylee has played supporting roles on the team throughout her 4 years. Her dedication and perseverance in both of those sports never translated into playing time on the court. However, she understood her role and played for her TEAM, not herself. In softball, she is a standout player. She received all-conference honorable mention last season, and is leading the team in many statistical categories this year. Beyond the numbers, she is a coach’s dream. She has a “yes-coach” attitude and has been an outstanding captain.
This award is one of the greatest honors of Kaylee’s career. She deserves it.
Ithaca, Junior, Baseball
Jacob is off to a great start to the baseball season with a perfect 4-0 pitching record. He has one perfect game and another no-hitter while pitching this year. He is also off to a great start hitting this season. Jacob is extremely coachable and one of the hardest workers on the team. He is always willing to put in the extra effort.
What Jacob does off the field also makes him very deserving of recognition. He is an honors student and a member of the National Honors Society. He is involved in numerous extra-curricular activities. He always displays a positive attitude on the field and in the classroom which allows him to be a great student and teammate. The perfect game against north Crawford, he had 18 strikeouts. This is the 1st perfect game in Ithaca school history.
Riverdale, Junior, Baseball
Trevor plays baseball at Riverdale HS and is not only a great baseball player but a great leader and role model. On the baseball field he has helped lead us to a 7-2 record and we were ranked number three in the state in Division III for baseball the highest rank for any public school at the time. As a pitcher he was 3-0 on the mound with 26 strike outs. He pitched a one hitter vs Seneca and also went all 8-innings in a win against Markesan who was ranked 5th in the State in Division III. He is batting .433 on the season and is an excellent fielder on the mound and at second base when he is not pitching. He is also a great teammate who no matter what will always support his teammates and if things get tough will take it upon himself to make things happen.
Trevor is also involved in many different activities at Riverdale including much success in FFA. Trevor is an outstanding leader and person who is a great role model at Riverdale and his highly respected by his teammates, classmates, student body and staff. Based just on his character and leadership he is a great candidate for Athlete of the Month.
Also he was 1-2 vs Wisconsin Heights in helping us to defeat the defending State Champs. He had a key two-run single in that game.
Last night Trevor Troxel added to his impressive April resume by tossing a two-hit shut-out over Cuba City. The Cubans had been preseason picks to win the conference. Trevor struck out 14 in the ball game. Trevor ends up 4-1 for the month of April. The Chieftains are now 8-2 overall and tied for first in the SWAL Conference.
March 2015 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca, Senior, Track and Field
Molly is a senior this year, she is a team leader with a positive attitude during school and track. Molly’s work ethic makes it enjoyable to coach her. Molly long jumps, triple jumps, runs the 200, and is in the 4×2 relay that was a sectional qualifier. She’s has also been learning the skills of high jump.
Earlier this spring Molly went to the UW Madison Track Camp to improve her techniques. Molly will be going to Viterbo University in LaCrosse next year. She will be signing her letter of intent to be part of their track team. Congrats to Her!!!
Molly was on the basketball team, she is on high honors, and is a member of different community clubs.
Thank You to the Richland Hospital Sports Medicine Team for all they do for us!
February 2015 Athletes of the Month
Riverdale, Senior, Basketball
The Riverdale Boys Basketball Team played eight games over the course of February. The team had it’s ups and downs, but through it all our team Captain, Montana Lins was a great leader for his squad. Whether it was a victory or an exciting close game which ended in defeat, he always put his full effort fourth, and insisted that his teammates do the same.
During February Montana averaged 18.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. This was highlighted by a 17 point and 14 rebound game in which he led his Riverdale team to a SWAL Conference win on Senior Night over Fennimore. He closed out the regular season by almost leading the team to a comeback from behind upset victory over Iowa – Grant with a 24 point and 9 rebound performance.
Not just a superb athlete on the basketball court, Montana is also an excellent student. It’s not difficult to see that his hard work in the classroom carries over to the basketball court where his relentless effort is one of the main reasons that he is the team captain, and also the players’ voice in the locker room. Showing off his “never say die” attitude, Montana’s game energy has rubbed off on the rest of the team, and helped Riverdale consistently play competitive with the other teams in the SWAL conference during the second half of this season.
His style of play, and great attitude has without a doubt made Riverdale a stronger team heading into the WIAA Regional Playoffs this season.
Riverdale, Senior, Wrestling
Jared just has won a state title. He has put all his hard work and dedication into the sport of wrestling. Jared lost in the sectional semi-final and had to wrestle Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the state tournament to boast him another title.
Jared is Riverdale’s 2nd 2x state champion and is an excellent example of a leader on and off the mat. Jared has kept his GPA over a 3.5 for all 4 years of high school. He also won his 3rd conference title in the month of February. Jared avenged all of his losses besides one going up weight classes and finding the best competition he could throughout the whole season.
January 2015 Athletes of the Month
Ithaca, Junior, Basketball
On the Basketball floor Nolan Clary is the point guard, the captain, and the leader. We are off to a 10-5 record as of 2-1-15. Nolan has a lot of basketball skill, making confident decisions, with or without the ball. He is currently leading the team in scoring with 14 points per game. He understands that making mistakes is part of the game, but is willing to ask and listen to what he can do to improve.
Nolan’s work ethic is what sets him apart from his teammates. He is always one of the first players to be ready for practice, not just physically, but more so mentally. How can I improve myself, but also my teammates and team. In conditioning (running) he always leads the team by example, by being first. Then he waits for his teammates to finish, with encouraging comments, finish hard, to do your best, and give all you have.
Nolan’s athletic abilities are many: Three year Varsity Basketball letter winner and starter, first team all-conference as a Sophomore, Three year Varsity Football letter winner and starter, second team all conference as a Junior, defense back and wing back , with a undefeated regular season last year. Two year Varsity Baseball letter winner and starter (will be three) starting short stop, last year for the State qualifying baseball team. Nolan is a very talented person, with the will to achieve his best at whatever he does.
Nolan’s academic career is just as impressive as his athletic career. He currently has a 3.775 GPA and has received high honor for all five of his semesters at Ithaca High School. A well deserving member of the National Honor Society, Honors Choir (3 years), honors Band (three years), Forensics (3 years) State qualifier as a sophomore and a Student Council member. He also was in all the Drama and Musical productions the last 3 years at Ithaca Schools. As you can see he not only participates but he achieves at the highest level.
With all his talents and abilities, I think his strongest is time management. He volunteers every Saturday to help coach and demonstrate at youth basketball. Nolan also has a deep faith, volunteering as a server, lector, and youth group, member at St, Patrick’s of Loretto.
RCHS, Senior, Basketball
Shauni Fink started her senior year as one of the first players to come off the bench for the Richland Center Hornets Girls Basketball team. However, due to unforeseen injuries, the opportunity opened for someone to step up and take this spot. Shauni earned the right to start and has played with passion and heart ever since. While making the most of her opportunity, she has developed into a great teammate and leader for this young squad, making great passes to her post players, while playing exceptional team defense. She is rarely out of position on either end of the floor and has truly defined the word perseverance, by patiently waiting for her opportunity.
She is a poster-child for high school sports and how hard work and a great attitude pays off in the end. Her unselfishness and knowledge of the game have made her a worthy candidate for this award. While she may not lead the team in statistical categories, she has certainly led our team in doing what is best for the overall program. For that, I truly thank her.