EDITOR'S NOTE: The SWnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a new web-only feature that will publish each Friday throughout the calendar year.
Cuba City's Mitchell Splinter's 90-yard kickoff return midway through the first quarter of last Friday's clash with visiting Lancaster quickly turned the tide.
The speedy senior took the kick at the 10-yard line, followed a group of blockers up the middle of the field and raced 90-yards to pay dirt for a back-breaking special teams touchdown. The big play answered Lancaster's 10-play scoring drive to open the game and gave the host Cubans all the momentum. Lancaster never recovered and never scored again. Meanwhile Splinter added a 80 run the next time Cuba got the ball, and the senior running back's big plays propelled on offensive onslaught that resulted in a 39–7 victory over the defending WIAA Division 5 state champions.
Splinter, this week's McDonald's Swnew4u.com Athlete of the Week, finished his night with a game-high 151 yards on 18 carries in Friday's rain-soaked non-conference affair.
He and his Cuban teammates are now 2–0 on the season after a 47–0 season-opening win over Viroqua and Friday's dismantling of the Arrows. Splinter and the Cubans will look to keep their hot start alive tonight when neighboring rival Southwestern (0–2) comes to town for the 2015 SWAL opener.
Morgan Stecklein, Platteville, Sr., Outside Hitter
Stecklein led the Hillmen to an 8–1 record and a second-place finish Saturday at the two-day UW–Whitewater Warhawk Open. Stecklein smashed a match-high 16 kills to lead Platteville to a 2–1 semifinal victory over Union Grove. Stecklein finished the two-day tournament with 81 kills, 26 aces and eight blocks to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Michelle Budden, Southwestern, Sr., Middle Hitter
Budden had 57 kills, 16 digs and seven blocks in four matches to lead the Wildcats the championship at Saturday's nine-team Six Rivers Jamboree at Highland. Southwestern swept Highland, 2–0, and Dodgeville, 2–0, in the gold pool to win the title.
Jacob Quinn, Black Hawk, Sr., Running Back
Quinn rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carriers to lead the Warriors to a 24–0 shutout over visiting Shullsburg. Black Hawk will travel to Pecatonica/Argyle Friday in an early-season battle of Six Rivers unbeatens.
Bridgett Myers, River Ridge, Sr., Outside Hitter/Setter
Myers tallied 39 kills, 25 assists, 24 digs and six aces to lead River Ridge to a 4–0–1 record and the title at the Six River Volleyball Jamboree at Monticello last Saturday. River Ridge swept Darlington, 25–23, 25–23 in the championship match. The do-it-all Myers also posted 15 kills, six assists, five digs and two aces in a non-conference sweep of Kickapoo last Thursday to open the season.