EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal
Bryce Hillers, Sr., RB/LB/K, Richland Center football
Senior Bryce Hillers ran for 270 yards and a touchdown, and booted a 37-yard field goal to lead the host Hornets to a 31–6 victory over visiting Fennimore. Senior Mark Kenney connected with classmate Austin Horn on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 2:50 left in the first quarter to give the Golden Eagles and early 6–0 lead. The Hornets (1–1) answered with a long scoring drive, capped by a 2-yard TD run by senior Aaron Davis (5’11”, 190 pounds) with 10:24 left in the half. Hillers booted the extra point for a 7–6 lead and Richland Center never trailed again. Fellow senior Konner Ellenson scored on a 24-yard run with 2:17 left in the half, then after the Center defense forced a punt, Ellenson broke loose for a 72-yard punt return to make it 21–6 with 47 seconds left in the second quarter. The teams traded possessions in a scoreless third quarter, before Hillers kicked a 37-yards field goal with 5:08 left in the game. The 5’10”, 190-pound Hillers finished his 270-yard career-best night with a 49-yard touchdown run with 1:20 remaining to close out the scoring. He was also a perfect 3-for-3 on extra points in the win.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Dominick McVay, Sr., RB/DB, Mineral Point football
McMay scored on a 70-yard run on the Pointers' first offensive play and finished the night with 193 yards and 4 TDs on just 11 carries in a lop-sided 63–14 win over Dodgeville last Thursday night.
Payton Millin, Jr., MH, River Ridge volleyball
Millin posted 22 kills, 13 blocks and five aces in five matches to lead the Timberwolves (6–2, 2–0 SRW) to a 4–1 record and a second-place at last Saturday's eight-team Monticello Six Rivers Tournament. Ridge defeated SRW rival Belmont in the semifinals before a 25–17, 25–13 lost to the host Ponies in the championship match. Millin also had 11 kills and 5 blocks in a sweep of Highland during a SRW conference match Tuesday night.
Carter Olson, Sr., WR/DB, Cuba City football
Olson hauled in four passed for 140 yards and a pair of TDs in just a half to lead the Cubans (2–0) to a 36–0 victory over Montello/Princeton/Green Lake last Friday night. The game was called at halftime due to lightning. Olson scored on a 56-yard pass from senior Beau Kopp in the first quarter, then again from 45 yards out late in the second quarter.
Waylon Palzkill, Sr., QB, Belmont football
Palzkill ran for four touchdowns and threw for another score to guide the visiting Belmont Braves over North Crawford 42–0 in their season opener last Friday. Palzkill capped the Braves’ opening drive with a 4-yard TD run to get things rolling for Coach Brandon Wiese’s squad. The senior signal caller sandwiched TD runs of three and one yard between a 39-yard scoring strike to junior Noah Fritz to increase Belmont’s lead to 30-0 at the half. Palzkill tacked on a 15-yard TD run in the third quarter, and junior Kolby Lancaster added an 11-yard scoring jaunt in the fourth quarter to close the scoring on the night as the Braves (1–0) cruised to their eighth consecutive victory.
Kylie Reuter, Sr., MH, Potosi volleyball
Reuter posted a team-high 40 kills and 12 blocks to lead Potosi to five straight victories and the team championship at last Saturday's eight-team Highland Six Rivers Jamboree Tournament. Reuter and the Chieftains rallied to beat pool B runner-up Southwestern 19–25, 25–17, 15–11 in the gold bracket semifinals, then rallied once again from a game-one loss to pull out a 21–25, 25–14, 15–9 victory over the host Cardinals in the championship match.
Treyton Starkey, RB/LB, Iowa–Grant football
Starkey rushed for a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries to lead host Iowa–Grant to a 26–14 non-conference victory over former SWAL rival Riverdale last Friday night. Iowa–Grant is playing in the Six Rivers Conference this fall, while Riverdale has been a part of the Ridge & Valley Conference the last couple of year for football. Starkey scored on runs of 86, 40 and 12 yards in the victory.