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Darlington halfback Trevor Johnson (#22) leaps up a snag away a pass from Melrose-Mindoro defender Aaron Scafe (#85). Johnson took the pass 46 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to give the Redbirds a 28-6 lead.

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

Trevor Johnson, Jr., Darlington football

     Johnson has been a main cog in the Redbird offensive machine all season. The multi-talented junior halfback topped 100 yards both rushing and receiving, and scored a pair of touchdowns in Darlington’s 42–14 victory over Melrose–Mindoro in last Friday’s WIAA Division 6 Level 4 playoff game at Middleton High School. Johnson is this week’s Mast Water Technology Athlete of the Week.  

     Johnson finished the game with 145 yards rushing on 13 carries and also caught three passes for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns from junior quarterback Jared Meister. Meister connected with Johnson on a 26-yard TD pass with just 13 seconds left in the first half to up the Darlington lead to 14-6. Johnson later made a spectacular leaping grab on a 46-yard catch-and-run scoring strike on the Redbirds’ second drive after halftime to extend the lead to 28–6.

     The first-team All-SWAL running back and his Darlington teammates will face Fond du Lac Saint Mary’s Springs (11–2) in today’s WIAA Division 6 state championship game at 1 p.m. at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

     Entering Thursday’s state championship game, Johnson has rushed for 1,137 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is also the Redbirds leading receiver with 13 catches for 407 yards and eight TDs. Johnson is one of three Darlington running backs to top 1,000 yards on the ground this year joining fellow junior and Hunter Johnson (2,248, 40 TDs) and senior fullback Conrad Blosch (1,047, 8 TDs).

     “We have such a wonderful dimension — running inside or outside — that it is very tough to stop us,” said Darlington head coach Scott Zywicki. “You have to pick your poison.”



Melissa Wood, Sr., Platteville/Lancaster girls swimming

     Wood capped her stellar career with a 10th-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly at 1:01.45 at last Friday's WIAA Division 2 girls swimming and diving state championships. Wood battled through injuried throughout the season just to earn a return trip to state. A year ago the senior from Mineral Point placed 15th at state in both the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.

On June 1, Wood underwent hip surgery to fix a torn labrum, an injury suffered in the spring of her sophomore year. After spending the summer on crutches, Wood fought hard to get back in the pool by mid-August in time to start the season, but often had to miss meets and sit out parts of practice. Wood worked her way back into shape and eventually finished seventh in the 100 butterfly two weeks ago at the WIAA D2 Barbaoo Sectional to earn an extra qualifier berth to state. Wood plans to continue her career at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. next year.

Hunter Johnson, Sr., Darlington football

     The SWAL Offensive Player of the Year rushed for 188 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries in Darlington’s 42–14 WIAA Division 6 Level 4 playoff victory over Melrose–Mindoro last Friday night in Middleton.

 Kara Crowley, Jr., Dodgeville girls basketball

     The 5-foot-10 junior wing scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Dodgers to a 67–51 non-conference victory over Evansville in Tuesday night’s season opener. Crowley averaged 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds a game a year ago as a sophomore to earn first-team All-SWC honors.

Kylie Hoffman, Sr., River Valley girls basketball

     Hoffman scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Blackhawks to a 67–22 rout of Pecatonica in Tuesday’s non-conference season opener at River Valley High School. The 5’11” forward averaged 9.3 points per game as a junior to earn second-team all-conference accolades.