The best of the winter in area prep sports
It’s time to put a wrap on the winter high school sports season.
The area didn’t crown any state team or individual champions, but it produced plenty of outstanding performances.
Here’s a list of my award winners.
Best Boys Team
Four teams came to mind, but in the end, it was a two-horse race.
Milton’s wrestling team won its mind-boggling 21st straight conference dual meet or tournament championship, and Orfordville Parkview won its first conference basketball title since 1966 to both earn consideration.
The award, however, came down to Evansville/Albany wrestling or Edgerton basketball.
Evansville/Albany won the Rock Valley North dual-meet title and the conference tournament title. The Blue Devils capped off the season by winning a Division 2 team sectional title and advancing to the WIAA state tournament for the first time in program history.
Edgerton rolled through the Rock North with only one loss and spent the majority of the season ranked in the top five in Division 3.
• And the winner is: Coach Rob Kostroun and the Evansville/Albany wrestling team.
Best Male Athlete
This award offered plenty of candidates to choose from.
In basketball, Janesville Craig’s Jerry Ngobi, Edgerton’s Adam Converse and Parkview’s Garrett Reinhardt all deserved consideration.
Ngobi earned all-Big Eight first-team honors, while Converse and Reinhardt were players of the year in the Rock Valley North and South, respectively.
The wrestling spotlight shone on Evansville/Albany’s Jordan Meyer and Brodhead/Juda’s Logan Maurer. Meyer finished second at state in Division 2 at 132 pounds, while Maurer was third at 285.
Sam Johnson of Elkhorn and Mitchell Roberts of Milton made a splash in the pool. Johnson finished third at the Division 2 state meet in the 200 freestyle and was fourth in the 500 freestyle. Roberts was third in the 100 breaststroke.
• And the winner is: Johnson by a nose over Meyer. The Elks senior capped off a remarkable career by finishing in the top four in two events at state. Meyer was equally impressive in finishing second his sophomore year, but he already won an award for being an integral part of the best boys team in the area. Plus, he has two more years to pad his resume.
Best Girls Team
This was a no-brainer.
The Brodhead basketball team wins in a landslide. The Cardinals ran roughshod through the Rock Valley en route to an unbeaten regular season and the state’s No. 2 ranking in Division 3.
Brodhead won its third straight Rock Valley South title and advanced to the WIAA state tournament for the first time in school history, losing to top-ranked Neillsville in overtime in a state semifinal game.
Kudos also go out to Whitewater, which won the Rock Valley North title, and Janesville Craig, which advanced to a Division 1 sectional semifinal game.
• And the winner is: Brodhead basketball.
Best Female Athlete
This was an impressive list to put together, to say the least.
On the basketball court, Brodhead’s Carly Mohns, Whitewater’s Brooke Trewyn, Craig’s Al Hughes and Janesville Parker’s Paige Smith all carried their teams at times this year.
Mohns, a University of Iowa recruit, led the Rock Valley South in scoring and was an Associated Press second-team all-state selection. It’s hard to believe there were five better girls basketball players in the state than her, but apparently that’s the way the votes came in.
Trewyn led the Rock Valley North in scoring and is the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Hughes was the Big Eight’s player of the year, while Smith earned all-Big Eight first-team honors.
In hockey, Rock County Fury defenseman Ellie Woodman was an all-state first-team selection and a four-year starter for the area’s co-op team that finished 12-10-2.
• And the winner is: Mohns. I’ve been her biggest fan for two years. Her tenacious style and ability to get her hands on the ball wherever and whenever she wanted is going to translate well to the collegiate level, especially since she won’t be double- or triple-teamed every play.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the Orfordville Parkview boys basketball team. The Vikings won the Rock Valley South title despite the lowest enrollment in the conference and a schedule that oftentimes had the team playing against Division 2 and Division 3 schools.
Parkview won its first conference boys basketball title since the 1966 team, coached by Dale Barry and featuring sharpshooter Paul Johnson, won the Stateline League title. Johnson still ranks in the top 20 all-time in the state in scoring.