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Freshman's pin helps Fennimore reach Team State finals.
Glasbrenner 2
Fennimore freshman Jayden Glasbrenner rallied from a 6–0 deficit to score a season-saving pin late in the third period of his 113-pound match during Saturday’s 37–31 victory over Stratford in the WIAA Division 3 Team State Semifinals. - photo by Jason Nihles

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

Jayden Glasbrenner, Fr., 113 pounds, Fennimore wrestling

      Jayden Glasbrenner was down 6–0 early in the third period and his team’s season was slipping away. Then, the Fennimore freshman pulled off the improbable in the 113-pound match of Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 Team State semifinal against No. 2 Stratford to save the Golden Eagles’ season.

     Glassbrenner (36–12) rallied from the six-point deficit to pin Stratford’s Karter Stuttgen (25–9), a sixth-place finisher at individual state a week earlier, with 48 seconds left to give the Eagles a huge six-point win with just two matches remaining.

     Senior Luke Blair (26–6) followed Glasbrenner’s pin with one of his own at 120 pounds to clinch Fennimore’s 37–31 victory over the Tigers and send the Golden Eagles to a fifth straight D3 state championship dual.

     “Jayden is a gamer,” said Fennimore head coach Chad Steldt. “He has the ability to really rise to the occasion at a young age. His success is in a huge part due to the competition in the room. He and Brecken Muench have battled all year for that spot and it really has helped both of them grow mentally and technically.”

     Had Stuttgen held to beat Glasbrenner, the Tigers would have taken a 28–25 lead and most likely clinched the victory to end Fennimore’s season, as the Stratford had undefeated state champion Gavin Drexler (51–0) waiting in the wings for the final match at 126 pounds. Instead, Glasbrenner’s win was a nine-point swing that gave the Eagles a 31–25 lead with just two weight classes remaining.

HONORABLE MENTION (In alphabetical order):

Alex Birchman, Sr., 132 pounds, Fennimore wrestling

      Birchman's pin over Noah Chang tied Saturday's WIAA Division 3 Team State Championship dual with Coleman at 26–26 in the dual's final match. Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles were declared the D3 team state runner-up by the ninth tie-breaker, most total first points scored in all 14 matches. Coleman won the tie-breaker 14–13. Birchman, who was the WIAA Division 3 individual state champion, scored a 6–3 win at 138 pounds over Elijah Lucio in Fennimore's 37–31 comeback win over Stratford in Saturday morning's WIAA D3 Team State Semifinal.

Nick Edge, Sr., C, Potosi boys basketball

      Edge averaged 13 points, a team-high 13 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in three Potosi wins last week to lead the Chieftains to their 12th, 13th and 14th straight victories and a WIAA Division 5 regional title. Edge began the week with a 10-point, 14-rebound performance in Potosi's 78–31 regional quarterfinal victory over Riverdale (2–21). He then scored a game-high 17 points and season-high 16 rebounds in Friday's 56–37 regional semifinal victory over Seneca. Edge added 12 points and nine rebounds in Saturday night's 59–48 victory over Kickapoo in the Potosi regional final. Edge and the Chieftains (19–6) will face top-seeded Wauzeka/Steuben (21–3) in a D5 sectional semifinal at Belmont Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m. 

Adam Larson, Jr., F, Fennimore boys basketball

     The 6-foot-8 Larson posted a monster triple–double of 23 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 13 blocks to lead Fennimore to a 63–51 victory over defending WIAA Division 4 state champion New Glarus in a D4 regional semifinal game last Thursday night. Larson then scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in the Golden Eagles' 78–53 regional final loss at Cuba City Friday night. Fennimore finished the year 17–7 overall after going 8–6 in the SWAL.

Sami Martin, Sr., C, Platteville girls basketball

      Martin scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed 13 rebounds for her 14th double–double of the season and played a key role in limiting #5-ranked Marshall to a season-low offensive output in Platteville's 50–34 victory over the Cardinals in Saturday's WIAA Division 3 Baraboo Sectional final. Martin helped the Platteville girls clinch their first trip to the state tournament since 1984. Martin also finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds in last Thursday's 49–44 D3 sectional semifinal victory over SWC rival Prairie du Chien last Thursday night at Lodi.

Brady Olson, Sr., PG, Cuba City boys basketball

      Olson made five 3-pointers and poured in a game-high 29 points to go along with six rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead the undefeated Cubans (24–0) to a 71–48 WIAA Division 4 regional final victory over SWAL rival Fennimore Saturday night. Olson also had 11 points, six rebounds and three steals in Friday's 71–48 regional semifinal victory over Boscobel.

Brooklyn VanNatta, Jr., Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster gymnastics

      VanNatta posted team-best scores on the floor exercise (8.717), vault (7.9) and the balance beam (8.050) to lead the Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster co-op to a ninth-place team finish at last Friday's WIAA D2 Team State Championships at Wisconsin Rapids High School. VanNatta then placed 15th in the balance beam (8.533), 17th on the floor exercise (8.697), 17th in the all-around (33.833) and 24th on the uneven bars (6.8) at Saturday's Individual State Championships.