EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Evan Gates, Sr., RB, Lancaster football
Lancaster senior running back Evan Gates keeps piling up big numbers with record-breaking performances. Just three weeks after scoring a school-record seven touchdowns in a non-conference victory over Westby, Gates broke three single-gam records with another monster night to earn a second Mast Water Technology SWNews4U.com Athlete of the Week honor this season.
Gates rushed six touchdowns to lead first-place Lancaster to a 62–27 road victory at Prairie du Chien. He set new single-game school records with 50 carries, 387 yards rushing and 403 all-purpose yards. He also had a 16-yard reception in the win. Gates is currently third in the state with 1,438 yards rushing on 197 carries and is also closing in on a pair of all-time Lancaster records. With two games left in the regular season, he has 4,111 career rushing yards and 52 rushing touchdowns on 551 carries. Trevor Landon is first in Lancaster history in both yards (4,277) and carries (658). Tyler Glass (4,034 yards on 476 carries) is tops in rushing TDs with 72.
Lydia Murphy, Jr., Lancaster girls cross country
Junior Lydia Murphy blew away the field at Saturday’s 50th annual Platteville Dick McKichan Invitational, finishing first out of 148 runners in the girls’ varsity race with a winning time of 19:04, nearly 40 seconds faster than runner-up Abby Martin (19:43) of Union Grove. Murphy’s winning performance helped the Lancaster girls, ranked third in the state in Division 3, finish second in the small schools division of the Platteville Invite behind only Southwest Wisconsin Conference rival Prairie du Chien 36–52. Murphy is the favorite to win the girls’ individual SWC title at next Thursday’s conference meet at Dodgeville.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Jacob Berendes, Sr., QB, Shullsburg
Berendes completed 22 of 47 passes for a school record 314 yards in Saturday’s 33–8 Homecoming loss to Pecatonica/Argyle (5–2, 4–2 SRC).
Andy Clendenen, Jr., QB, Cuba City football
Clendenen tossed four touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Cubans to a 36–7 victory over host Mineral Point last Friday night. Clendenen completed 8 of 11 passes for 230 yards and rushed for 59 yards on 17 carries as Cuba City improved to 5–2 overall and 5–0 in the SWAL.
Payton Heinberg, Sr., boys’ cross country
Heinberg won the boys’ small schools varsity race for the second straight year, and placed fourth overall in the boys’ varsity race at Saturday’s 50th annual Platteville Dick McKichan Invitational with a winning time of 16:27 to lead the Redbirds to their 10th straight small schools team title at the event.
Ethan James, Jr., RB/DB, Belmont football
James rushed for 47 yards and a pair of touchdowns and recorded a team-high 10 tackles in Belmont’s 27–12 non-conference win at Wonewoc–Center/Weston last Friday night. The Braves improved to 2–5 on the season.
Taylor Langmeier, Jr., MH, River Ridge volleyball
Langmeier posted 19 kills, 17 digs, two aces and a block to lead the undefeated Timberwolves (18–0, 9–0 SRW) to a 24–26, 25–15, 25–19, 25–18 victory last Thursday night.
Brinley Wood, Jr., MH, Cuba City volleyball
The standout junior totaled a team-best 23 kills and five blocks in a pair of SWAL victories last week. Wood floored 12 kills and had two blocks in a key 25–23, 25–8, 25–17 sweep of second-place Darlington last Tuesday. She then had 11 kills and three blocks as the Cubans improved to 20–5 overall and 8–0 in the SWAL with a sweep at Boscobel last Thursday.