EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Druw Fifrick, Sr., WR/DB, 2B, #2 man, Fennimore football, baseball and golf
Druw Fifrick is a busy young man. The Fennimore senior is doing his best Bo Jackson impersonation this spring. Fifrick is a starting wide receiver and defensive back on the Fennimore football team, which lost it’s fifth game of the WIAA Alternate Fall season at Brodhead/Juda last Friday night.
The multi-sport Fifrick is also in the midst of preparing to play both baseball AND golf in the traditional spring season, which began two Mondays ago. He is the starting second baseman on the baseball team and the Eagles’ number two golfer this spring in his first season on the team.
He was also the sixth-man on the Fennimore boys basketball team at went 16–6 this winter, finished third in the SWAL, and advanced to the WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinals. Did I mention Fifrick is also this year’s Fennimore High School valedictorian?!
In the past nine days, Fifrick’s schedule would make anyone’s head spin. Last Monday, Fifrick practiced with the baseball team. Tuesday and Wednesday he went through practice doubleheaders, practicing first with the football team, followed by a later baseball practice. Last Thursday, Fifrick pulled out the golf clubs and shot a team-best 44 — in his first varsity golf meet — to win medalist honors and lead the Golden Eagles to the team title at the season-opening Prairie du Chien Quadrangular.
Not a bad start to a prep golf career, but Fifrick was only getting started! Friday, Fifrick had one catch for eight yards and one tackle in the Fennimore football team’s 48–7 loss at Brodhead/Juda. Saturday, morning he was back on the links, this time carding an 88 — second on the team — to tie for 16th overall and place fourth in the No. 2 man flight at the 15-team Dodge–Point Invitational.
Sunday, he finally took a break from competition, but Fifrick was back at practice Monday, and batted second and started at second base Tuesday afternoon, going 1-for-3 and driving in one of the Eagles' two runs in a 3–2 loss at Iowa–Grant’s new Jinkins Field in Livingston in the 2021 season opener for both teams.
“Druw is one of those kids that every coach loves to have,” said Fennimore baseball coach Brent Sheckler. “He’s like a coach on the field. He is extremely intelligent. He is also a skilled hitter and fielder, but he always knows the situation and he is like a conductor on the field.”
“It’s remarkable that Druw has been able to play three varsity sports in five days. Playing baseball and football at the same time is an amazing thing itself; I only hope that golf swing doesn’t mess up his baseball swing,” joked Sheckler. “But he has my blessing, and from the other coaches, to do all these sports at the same time. He talked to me about playing golf and baseball at the same time this year and I was all for it.”
Peerson Kephart, Jr., QB, Southwestern football
On his way to leading the Southwestern Wildcats to their first victory of the spring football season, junior quarterback Peerson Kephart tied a state record for throwing the most touchdown passes in a single game last Fridaynight against visiting Poynette.
Kephart’s eight TD passes against the Pumas Friday night matched a state record that is shared by four other quarterbacks throughout state history, and propelled the Wildcats to a 62-34 victory on their home turf.“He gives me the confidence to call any play in any situation and know that he is going to get the ball where it needs to be, depending on the defense,” said Southwestern head coach Pete Murphy. “He understands the offense better than most of the QBs we’ve been with. Hats off to him and he deserved a big night.”
On the night, Kephart completed 30-of-49 passing attempts for 465 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. In five games this season, the Southwestern junior leads all quarterback in the state with 1,235 passing yards and 15 touchdowns.
“Peerson was the beneficiary of the total team effort,” said coach Murphy of his quarterback. “Not to take anything away from him. He is the conductor that makes the train go.”
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Skye Digman, Jr., throws, UW–La Crosse track and field
LA CROSSE — UW–La Crosse junior Skye Digman broke the women’s hammer throw school record with a winning-toss of 54.71 meters (179’6”) on first day of competition at the UWL Phil Esten–Ashton May Invitational Friday, April 16. The previous record of 53.57m (175’9”) was set in 2003 by Kristin (Raether) Jacobson. Digman had two throws beyond the previous record. Digman also placed second in the shot put (44’11”) Friday and second in the discus (144’7”) Saturday to help the Eagles win the women’s team title at the four-team meet with 217.5 points. Digman was the WIAC indoor champion in the shot put (48’3.5”) and weight throw (56’0.5”) in 2020 and a NCAA Division III national qualifier before the coronavirus forced the cancelation of the 2020 D3 Indoor National Championships and the entire 2020 out season. Digman was also an outdoor national qualifier in 2019 as a freshman, seventh in the shot put (45’4.25”) and 21st in the discus (121’9”), and was also an indoor national qualifier as a freshman, placing fifth in the shot put (44’10.75”).
Isaac Hill, Sr., P/2B, Iowa–Grant baseball
Hill and the Panthers open their brand new Jinkins Field in Livingston in grand style Tuesday afternoon. Hill tossed five no-hit innings, striking out seven Fennimore Golden Eagles and he drove in what turned out to be the eventual game-winning with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to give Iowa–Grant a 3–0 lead. Then, after Fennimore scored two runs in the sixth to pull within, Hill made a diving stop in the hole between first and second and threw out Mason Adkins from his backside for the second out of the seventh inning to help preserve the win. Josh Cartwright struck out the next Fennimore batter to end the game, stranding the tying run on first base.
Noah Kirsch, Jr., Lancaster boys golf
Kirsch is off to an excellent start to his junior season. The 2019 Division 2 state golf qualifier has won the first three events he has played in this year. Kirsch opened the season with a 2-over-par 72 to win the Division 2 individual title at last Thursday's Reedsburg Invitational. Kirsch beat the other 44 golfers in D2 and finished second overall out of 94 total golfers at the 20-team event, behind only Onalaska's Max Breiling (71). Kirsch then shot an even-par 70 to finish first out of 74 golfers and led the Flying Arrows to a sixth-place team finish at Saturday's 15-team Dodge–Point Invitational. Tuesday night, Kirch carded a 1-over-par 37 to share medalist honors with River Valley's Eli Johnson to help Lancaster finish in a second-place tie at the first SWC regular season meet at the Prairie du Chien Country Club.
Mason Reese, Jr., WR, Cuba City football
Reese hauled in a game-high 11 passes for 126 yards and 25-yard TD catch in the Cubans' 28–13 victory over New Glarus/Monticello last Friday night. Cuba City (4–1, 3–1 COVID Spring-Small Schools) will now host Black Hawk/Warren (4–1, 3–1) in Friday's Alternate Fall season finale with at least a share of the COVID Spring-Small conference title.