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Benton star slams 57 kills to lead second-place Zephyrs
ben lawrence vb
Benton junior Emma Lawrence posted 57 kills, 14 kills and four aces to lead the Zephyrs to a second-place finish at last Saturdays' Six Rivers Tournament at Monticello.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday morning throughout the calendar year.

Emma Lawrence, Jr., MH, Benton volleyball

     Benton’s Emma Lawrence was in a groove at last Saturday’s Six River Volleyball Tournament at Monticello. The junior middle hitter recorded a team-high 57 kills, 14 blocks and four service aces to lead the Zephyrs to a second-place finish and earn a spot on the six-player All-Tournament team. Lawrence is also our Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week.

     The athletic Lawrence was a force at the net all day long leading Benton (3–1–1) to a first-place finish in its pool after 2–0 victories over Monticello 25–10, 25–20, and Albany 25–14, 25–10, and a split with Darlington 23–25, 25–16. The Zephyrs then swept Juda 25–22, 25–15 in the semifinals, but lost the championship rematch with the Redbirds 25–18, 19–25, 8–15 after winning the opening set.

    With Lawrence leading the way, Benton once again hopes to contend for this year’s Six Rivers West crown. The Zephyrs finished second behind River Ridge a year ago, going 10–2 in league play.

    Benton opened conference play on Tuesday with a sweep of Cassville 25–19, 25–9, 25–20. Lawrence and the Zephyrs (4–1–1, 1–0 SRW) will look to go 2–0 in the Six Rivers West when the Zephyrs host Highland tonight (Thursday).


Amber Brand, Sr., MH, Southwestern volleyball

     Brand tallied a team-high 22 kills in four matches to lead two-time defending SWAL champion Southwestern (also the Division 4 state runner-up a year ago) to the championship of Saturday’s Six Rivers Volleyball Tournament at Highland last Saturday. Brand and the Wildcats (4–0) rallied to defeat Highland 16-25, 25–19, 16–14 in the championship match to finish a perfect 4–0 day.

Charles Christianson, Sr., WR/DB,  Iowa–Grant football

     The speedy senior wide out had a fantastic nigh in defeat, catching five passes for 131 yards in Friday’s 35–6 loss to Pecatonica/Argyle. Christianson beat the Vikings deep for a 75–yard TD catch with 21 seconds left in the half. He also made a spectacular leaping 26-yard catch over a pair of defenders that moved the Panthers to the 1-yard-line.  

Hunter Johnson, Sr., RB/LB, Darlington football

     Johnson rushed for 149 yards and six touchdowns in Darlington’s 42–0 shutout over visiting Prairie du Chien last Friday night. Expect to see Johnson’s name on this list a lot this year as the high-powered Redbirds figure to pile up plenty of points and yards this season.

John Ross Linscheid, Sr., QB, Highland football

     Linscheid rushed for 168 yards and four first-half touchdowns as the Cardinals blew out the struggling Belmont Braves 49–13 last Friday night. He scored on runs of 53, 43 and 10 yards in the first quarter, then found the end zone again late in the second quarter to make it 39–0.

Skyler Olson, RB, North Crawford football

     Olson rushed for 218 yards and three first-half TDs on just five carries in North Crawford’s dominating 36–7 victory over visiting Southwestern last Friday night.

Kennedy Rankin, Sr., MH, Darlington volleyball

     The senior middle hitter floored 26 kills and 18 blocks to lead Darlington to the championship of the Six Rivers Tournament at Monticello last Saturday. Rankin also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team as the Redbirds (3–0–2) defeated Benton in the championship match 18–25, 25–19, 15–8.

Skylar White, Fr., OH, River Ridge volleyball

     The River Ridge freshman slammed a team-high 32 kills to go along with four blocks and a team-high 28 digs to help the Timberwolves to third-place finish at last Saturday’s Six Rivers Invitational at Monticello. Ridge went 2–1–1 with pool play victories over Juda and Pecatonica and a split with Black Hawk, before ending the day with a straight sets loss to Darlington.