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 Tom Gunnell, Republican Journal
A.J. Rury, Sr., Mineral Point wrestling and Owen Huschitt, Sr., Darlington/Black Hawk
MINERAL POINT — During last Friday’s Darlington/Black Hawk versus Mineral Point SWAL wrestling match, Pointer senior AJ Rury pinned WarBirds’ senior Owen Huschitt in an exhibition match following the varsity competition.
Though the meet didn’t officially count, it will go down as a win for both wrestlers and both teams since it was glowing act of sportsmanship display for everyone involved with the match.
Huschitt, who is currently holds a 22-1 record on the season and is ranked fourth in the state in the Division 2 182-pound class, was asked by his coach Casey Horne to wrestle Rury, who has Downs Syndrome, in an exhibition match following the WarBirds’ 48-36 dual meet victory over the Pointers.
The Black Hawk senior not only agreed to wrestle Rury, but also let Rury get the best of him for a heartwarming pin that saw the crowd for both teams stand to loudly cheer both competitors.
Huschitt made Rury work for his takedown and also made Rury struggled to him on his back before ultimately being pinned by the Pointer. Following the ritual handshake between the wrestlers, Huschitt joined the referee to raise Rury’s hand in victory to a standing ovation.
"I just wanted to show AJ and the team that I was supportive of the situation and give him all of the credit for the win," Huschitt told WKOW sports reporter Pablo Iglesias.
Huschitt recorded a pin of his own over MP’s Jarvie Nafzger in 1:09 in their 182-pound varsity match to help the WarBirds earn just their second team victory over the Pointers in 31 years.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order)
Braden Crubel, Jr., G, River Ridge boys basketball
Crubel finished the night with a game-high 30 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-10 from 3-point range to lead short-handed River Ridge to a 59–45 victory over Benton (10–4, 3–2 SRW). Crubel also added four steals for the first-place Timberwolves (12–1, 5–0), who were playing without 6'5" senior big man David Nies (12.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg), who injured his knee in a recent game against Boscobel.
D.J. Kelley, Sr., G/F, Lancaster boys basketball
Kelley averaged 24.5 points over the Flying Arrows' last four game to lead Lancaster to a pair of victories. Kelley scored a game-high 28 points and had five rebounds in a 53–51 last-second win at Potosi, where classmate Ian Klaas banked in the game-winner with 2.5 seconds left. Kelley then posted 19 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in a 69–66 overtime win at Richland Center last Thursday night. He finished with 15 points and six rebounds in a 56–47 loss to Southwestern Saturday at the Wendy's/Midwest One Bank Classic in Dubuque, before scoring a career-high 38 points on 16 of 25 shooting in a 99–74 loss at #3-ranked Cuba City Monday night.
Carter Olson, Sr., G, Cuba City boys basketball
Olson averaged 21.8 points per game over the last four game — all wins — for the #3-ranked Cubans (13–1, 5–1 SWAL). Olson finished with 23 points, five rebounds and three steals in a 74–59 win at Fennimore last Thursday night, then posted 15 points, five assists and four blocks in a 69–51 win over Dyersville-Beckman Saturday at the Wendy's/Midwest One Bank Classic in Dubuque. He also poured in a team-high 29 points on 11 of 15 shooting, to go with a game-high eight assists in Monday's 99–74 blowout of visiting Lancaster and finished with 20 points in a 91–64 SWAL win over Riverdale Tuesday night.