EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Brecken Muench, Jr., 120 pounds, Fennimore wrestling
Fennimore junior Brecken Muench missed the entire 2020–21 pandemic-shortened season with an injury. But Muench has returned with a vengeance this year. Last week Muench (15–2) scored a decision over over Kade Rule in Fennimore's dominating 42–21 SWAL dual victory over reigning WIAA Division 3 Team State Champion Mineral Point last Thursday night. Muench then went 5–0 with a pair of byes and three straight pins to scored a team-high 34 points to lead the Golden Eagles (2–1, 2–0 SWAL) to the team title at last Saturday's 18-team Badger State Invitational. Muench, who is now ranked #4 in Division 3 at 120 pounds, pinned Pewaukee's Levi Koepp (12–5) at the 1:38 mark of the first period in the semifinals, then pinned Laona–Wabeno's Brady Shepard (11–6) with 10 seconds left in the opening period of the 120-pound championship match. Fennimore was named the new #1-ranked team in Division 3 when wiwrestling.com announced its updated weekly rankings Wednesday.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Brett Birchman, Jr., 126 pounds and Amryn Nutter, Fr., 113 pounds, Fennimore wrestling
Birchman (14–2) and Nutter (16–3) won individual titles at 120 and 113 pounds, along with junior teammate Brecken Muench at 120 pounds, at last Saturday's 18-team Badger State Invitational to help the now top-ranked Golden Eagles win the team title. Fennimore scored 246 team points to defeat runner-up Stoughton (208), ranked #10 in D1, and SWAL rival Iowa–Grant/Highland (179), formerly ranked #2 in D3, for the title. Nutter and Birchman also scored three-point decisions in Fennimore's 42–21 SWAL dual victory over #6 Mineral Point, the reigning WIAA D3 Team State Champion last Thursday night.
Rex Blaine, Jr., F, Benton boys basketball
Blaine made 6 of 8 3-point attempts, went a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line and finished with a career-high 38 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and three steals in a 70–56 Six Rivers West victory at Highland Tuesday night. Blaine also had 17 points and nine boards in a 67–47 SRW win over Cassville last Thursday and a a game-high 30 points in a non-conference win at Albany last Monday. Blaine is averaging a league-high 23.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 2.1 steals per game for the first-place Zephyrs (7–1, 3–0 SRW).
Cayla Golackson, Jr., F, Darlington girls basketball
Darlington junior forward Cayla Golackson scored 18 of her game-high 20 points in the second half to rally the Redbirds past the Fennimore Golden Eagles, 42-38, in a SWAL girls' basketball battle at FHS last Tuesday, Dec. 14. She also pulled down 12 rebounds for a double-double and also added six steals, two blocked shots and two assists in the game. Then, Golackson scored six points of her team-high 12 points during a 26-0 first-half run that helped propel the Redbirds to a 68–25 win over Iowa-Grant on Friday, Dec. 17. She added three steals and a blocked shot.
Mark Kenney, Sr., F, Fennimore boys basketball
Kenney erupted for a career-high 31 points on 9 of 13 shooting, and had eight rebounds and two assists to lead Fennimore (4–2) to a 60–55 double overtime victory over Prairie du Chien Tuesday, Dec. 7. Kenney also had 15 points, five rebounds and three steals in a SWAL 67–42 victory over visiting Iowa–Grant last Thursday night.
Olivia Olson, Fr., PG, Cuba City girls basketball
Cuba City freshman point guard Olivia Olson scored 10 of her game-high 24 points during a 26–4 scoring run in the first half to carry the Cubans over the Boscobel Bulldogs 75-45 in a SWAL girls’ basketball game held at CCHS last Tuesday, Dec. 14. At Muscoda, on Friday, Dec. 17, Olson knocked down 11 field goals, including three 3-pointers, on her way to a season-high 26 points and she also had a team-high five steals to help the Cubans run their winning streak to five games with a 69–45 SWAL win over the host Riverdale Chieftains.