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Senior rushes for 197 yards and three scores in state semifinal victory over Wabeno–Laona
Noah Fritz
Belmont senior Noah Fritz stiff-arms away a Wabeno-Laona tackler during last Friday's 44–18 WIAA 8-Player semifinal victory. Fritz finished the game with 197 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries.

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

By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal / Boscobel Dial / Fennimore Times

Noah Fritz, Sr., RB/WR/LB, Belmont football
Seniors Noah Fritz and Kolby Lancaster combined to rush for 366 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Braves to a come-from-behind 44–18 victory over the Wabeno–Laona Rebels in an WIAA 8-Player state semifinal playoff game held on a rainy night at Lomira High School on Friday.

After the Rebels (8–3) took an 18–10 lead on a 50-yard fumble return, Fritz scored on a 29-yard TD run with 3:09 left in the first half to bring Belmont back within two at 18–16. Fritz scored on a 14-yard TD run with just over two minutes remaining in the third, and then tacked on an 18-yard score following senior Casin Carey’s second fumble recovery of the half to put the Braves up 44–18 with 6:04 to play.

When it was all over, the Braves had run the ball 70 times for 414 yards with Fritz rolling up 197 yards on 30 carries with three scores. He also hauled in two passes from Lancaster for five yards and completed a pass to his senior quarterback for a 22-yard gain. He added five tackles on defense.

The Braves (10–1 overall), who won an “unofficial” state title during the COVID season in 2020, advance to the 2022 WIAA 8-Player State Championship game against defending champion Wausau Newman Catholic (11–0). The top-ranked Cardinals blanked Siren, 35–0, Friday night to earn their third straight state finals appearance.

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order)
Breylin Goebel, Sr., RB/LB, Darlington football
Goebel rushed for a team-high 57 yards and a 4-yard second quarter touchdown, and recorded a co-team-high six tackles and forced a fumble in the Redbirds' 20–7 WIAA Division 6 Level III playoff victory over top-seeded Kenosha St. Joseph's last Friday night.

Katie Hahn, Sr., MH, River Valley volleyball
Hahn was recently named the SWC Player of the Year for the co-conference champion Blackhawks (27–12, 7–3 SWC). Hahn finished her senior year with 403 kills, a .182 hitting percentage, 101 total blocks, 25 aces, and a 289 digs.

Payton Millin, Sr., MH, River Ridge volleyball
Millin was recently named the Six Rivers West volleyball Player of the Year after leading the Timberwolves (23–1, 12–0 SRW) to an undefeated regular season and a repeat conference championship. She posted 356 kills, 105 blocks and 45 aces, all team highs.

Ty Wagner, Jr., RB/LB and Rhett Koenig, Sr., RB/DB, Prairie du Chien football
Wagner rushed for a team-high 131 yards on 16 carries and added two tackles on defense, while Koenig rushed for 112 yards and a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter during the Blackhawks' 14–6 WIAA Division 5 Level III playoff victory over No. 2 seeded Brodhead/Juda (9–3)

Kennedy Wenger, Sr., OH, Mineral Point volleyball
Wenger was recently named the SWAL Player of the Year for the conference champion Pointers (26–8, 11–1 SWAL). Wenger finished her senior year with 370 kills, a .256 hitting percentage, 29 blocks, 63 aces, and a team-high 315 digs.