EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Kyle Lovelace, Sr., QB/DB, Black Hawk football
MIDDLETON — Black Hawk senior Kyle Lovelace couldn’t be tricked. After Bangor ran the ball 12 straight times to reach the Warriors’ 9-yard line, the Cardinals tried to surprise Black Hawk on 1st-and-goal. But Lovelace picked off the pass attempt in the end zone to preserve the Warriors’ 16–6 lead. Two plays later the speedy senior pulled the ball on an option keeper and raced 77 yards to extend Black Hawk’s lead to 24–6 with 11:46 left in the game, ultimately the final score in Friday’s WIAA Division 7 Level 4 playoff victory at Middleton.
Lovelace finished the game with 116 yards rushing on 10 carries, completed a 20-yard pass and converted a two-point conversion following Black Hawk’s first touchdown late in the first quarter to lead the Warriors to victory. The senior signal-called is this week’s Mast Water Technology SWNews4U.com Athlete of the week.
“I give all these kids credit,” said Black Hawk head coach Cory Milz. “We talked all the time that every play is like a mini battle. If you win more plays than the other team, you’re probably going to win the game. Let’s not get caught up on getting
too excited or too disappointed with one individual play. They do a great job with that. We were on (Kyle) a little bit early in the game, but it didn’t get him down and he turned around and made a couple of great plays. That’s the way our kids are, one play at a time. They don’t let things rattle them.”
Second-ranked Black Hawk (12–0) will face top-ranked Edgar (13–0) at 10 a.m. Thursday morning in the WIAA Division 7 state championship game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. Lovelace has rushed for 463 yards and seven TDs on 91 carries, and completed 38 of 70 passes for 631 yards and 9 touchdowns entering the state championship.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Colby Argall, Sr., RB/DB, Black Hawk football
Argall rushed for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and caught a 20-yard pass, in Black Hawk’s 24–6 victory Bangor in last Friday’s WIAA Division 7 Level 4 playoff game at Middleton’s Otto Breitenbach Stadium. The Warriors face the top-seeded Edgar Wildcats (13–0) in Thursday’s WIAA D7 state championship game. Colby Argall was also named the Six Rivers Conference Offensive Player of the Year this week. He had 1,938 yards and 27 TDs on 215 carries in 12 games entering Thursday’s state championship game.
Gavin Gillitzer, Sr., QB, Prairie du Chien football
Gillitzer was recently named the SWC Offensive Player of the Year after completing 130 passes of 226 passes (57.5 percent) for 2,144 yards, 27 TDs and six interceptions, and rushed for 304 yards and six TDs on 63 carries in 10 carries for the SWC champion Blackhawks (8–2).
Drew Hennessey, Sr., LB/OL, Potosi football
Hennessey was named the Six Rivers Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and first-team all-conference as an inside linebacker and as an offensive specialist, 632 kicker and punter. Hennessey finished his senior season with a team-high 112 tackles, including 39 solo tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three sacks. Offensively, he rushed for 931 yards and 16 TDs on 115 carries, and caught 14 passes for 278 yards and six TDs. He led the league in punting with a 36.9 average on 26 punts, 10 of which were downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
Derek Kephart, Sr., LB/C, Fennimore football
Kephart was named the SWAL Defensive Player of the Year this season after leading the Golden Eagles (10–2, 5–1 SWAL) with 67 total tackles. He was the leader of a defense that pitched five shutouts in 12 games and held opponents to an average of 7.3 points and 152.5 yards per game. He was named first-team All-SWAL on defense and second-team all-conference on the offensive line.
Troy Klein, Sr., LB, Lancaster football
The Lancaster senior was named the SWC co-Defensive Player this year after posting 96 total tackles, including 49 solo stops, 15 tackles for loss and three sacks to lead the Flying Arrows (9–4, 3–2 SWC) to Level 4 of the WIAA Division 6 playoffs. Klein shared the SWC DPOY honor with River Valley senior linebacker Shane Liegel.
Isaac Lindsey, Jr., QB, Mineral Point football
Lindsey was recently named the SWAL Offensive Player of the Year after completing 142 passes of 237 passes (59.9 percent) for 2,260 yards, 26 TDs and six interceptions, and rushed for 632 yards and 10 TDs on 115 carries in 11 carries for the SWAL champion Pointers (9–2).
Cyrus Siegert, Sr., LB/OL, Potosi football
Siegert was named the Six Rivers Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and first-team all-conference as an inside linebacker er and offensive guard. Siegert finished his senior season with a team-high 142 tackles, including 46 solo tackles, 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 11 games for the Chieftains (8–3).