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Vote: Who should be SBLive’s Nebraska high school athlete of the week (1/22/2024)?

Here are the candidates for SBLive’s Nebraska high school athlete of the week for Jan. 15-21

Here are the candidates for SBLive’s Nebraska high school athlete of the week for Jan. 15-21. Read through the nominees and cast your vote. Voting will conclude Sunday at 11:59 p.m. If you would like to make a nomination in a future week, email

Editor’s Note: Our Athlete of the Week feature and corresponding poll are intended to be fun, and we do not set limits on how many times a fan can vote during the competition. However, we do not allow votes that are generated by script, macro or other automated means. Athletes who receive votes generated by script, macro or other automated means will be disqualified. 

Aleziah Anderson – Lincoln Northeast Girls Basketball

Anderson is averaging just under seven points per game, and like the rest of her teammates, lives in the shadows of 6-foot senior Doneelah Washington. Washington was good again during a Jan. 16 win over Millard North, but it was Anderson who played the starring role by scoring a career-high 21 points. She needed just 10 shots to get to that total thanks to hitting 4 of 6 from three-point range and going 7 of 10 from the free throw line.

Madison Davis – West Holt Girls Wrestling

Davis started her career as the only West Holt girl on the roster. It was a difficult situation to try and get the program going on her own but she’s now enjoying year three as a varsity wrestler, has teammates and looks like she’s on her way to the 100-win mark before her career concludes. Davis improved to 29-1 at Neligh-Oakdale and won her eighth tournament of the season. She pinned all three opponents and is up to 26 pins on the season.

Rease Murtaugh – Papillion-La Vista Girls Basketball

Murtaugh keeps getting better and Papio keeps reaping the rewards from her progression. As a freshman, Murtaugh began to earn playing time for a Monarchs squad that won seven games. She capitalized on that experience as a sophomore and began contributing nearly 14 points per game and helped lead Papio to near .500 at 11-12. Now in her junior year, the Monarchs are 9-3 and Murtaugh is averaging nearly 19 points per game. She scored 28 in a Jan. 19 win over Platteview and went 10 of 15 shooting with four threes and eight rebounds.

Abby Negley – Gothenburg Girls Wrestling

Negley is in the midst of a historic season for Gothenburg that includes 29 wins and no losses. Most impressive of all is that Negley is a freshman who has only been taken the distance to a full six-minute match four times in those 29 matches. One of those was Friday in Lexington when she won the John Higgins Invite with a major decision, technical fall and two pins. Negley earned her sixth tournament title of the year with the win.

Natalie Rasmussen – Pleasanton Girls Basketball

Rasmussen had a busy week that included three games but was effective in all three and helped the Bulldogs get back to .500. The Pleasanton senior scored a total of 47 points, hit eight three-pointers, grabbed 14 rebounds, swiped away eight steals and handed out five assists. Her best performance of the three was a season-high 22 points in a Jan. 16 win that included 8 of 15 shooting, 5 of 8 from three, six steals and five rebounds.

Addi Rennerfeldt – Oakland-Craig Girls Basketball

Rennerfeldt almost couldn’t miss on Jan. 16 when she scored 22 points for the third time this season. The Oakland-Craig junior tied her second-best scoring night of the season by hitting on 11 of 14. That’s been the story for Rennerfeldt all season. Through 13 games she’s shooting 52% and has shot better than 60% six times.

Sidney Smart – Wahoo Girls Basketball

Smart has played over 70 games in her Wahoo career and has had a few nice scoring nights in that time. Her biggest was Jan 20 when she scored a career-high 26 during a win over Blair. Smart had one other game this season with more than 20 points and has five games with double digits, but the 26 was her most ever in a single game.

Payton Thiele – Louisville Girls Wrestling

Thiele might have had the highest win total of any girl in Nebraska last year when she accumulated 52 total victories on her way to a bronze medal at state. She lost one match all year, and that came in the state quarterfinals. Otherwise, she earned 12 tournament titles and amassed 34 pinfalls. She’s back at dominating again this winter in her sophomore year, posting a 35-1 record so far while winning eight tournaments. Her most recent gold came on Saturday when she was a perfect 4-0 in Weeping Water and pinned three opponents in the first period before taking the 105-pound title in a 4-0 decision over an opponent that has 26 wins on the year.

Abriya Watkins – Omaha Northwest Girls Basketball

It’s been a tough season overall for Watkins and the Huskies, but she’s been a bright spot through many struggles. Watkins is averaging more than 15 points per game and has five performances with 20 or more points. One of those was Jan. 19 in a win over Buena Vista that gave Northwest its second victory of the year. Watkins scored a career-high 26 in that one while shooting 9 of 14 and making 8 of 11 from the free throw line.

Stella Williams – Omaha Westview Girls Basketball

Williams brought her sharpshooter skills to the gym on Jan. 20 when she scored 21 and helped Westview win back-to-back games for the first time this year. The Wolverine sophomore was 7 of 12 shooting overall but especially deadly from beyond the arc where she went 6 of 9. Through 13 games, Williams has 23 threes and is hitting at 44% from the perimeter.

Sam Andres – Lincoln Pius X Boys Wrestling

Andres is a three-time state qualifier, two-time medalist who looks like he’ll be challenging for a gold medal in a few weeks. The Pius X senior currently sits at 24-0 and captured his sixth tournament title of the season on Saturday when he went 3-0 and won the 190-pound championship at Burke. Andres pinned all three opponents and spent a total of just 1 minute, 21 seconds on the mat.

Quinn Bailey – Chadron Boys Wrestling

Bailey has been untouchable this season and remained one of the few unbeaten wrestlers left in the state when he won his fifth tournament title of the year in his home gym on Saturday. The Chadron junior pinned all four of his opponents and increased his pin total to 20 while also improving his record to 29-0. All of those wins were earned on the mat - he hasn’t accepted a forfeit all season.

Brayden Kasten – Potter-Dix Boys Basketball

Kasten had scored double digits in every game this season until back-to-back losses on Jan. 9 and Jan. 12 saw him manage just 16 total. Not surprisingly, Potter-Dix lost both of those. Kasten got back on track Jan. 13 in a big way when he scored over 30 for the second time this season, had 31 and led the Coyotes to a victory. Kasten shot 13 of 19, hit three shots from beyond the and, maybe most impressive of all, swiped away 13 steals.

Jakob Kavan – Aquinas Catholic Wrestling

Kavan, a three-time state runner-up achieved a mark few wrestles, state champs included, ever reach when he won his 150th match on Saturday at the Centennial Conference Tournament. The Aquinas senior is 27-1 this season, took the 144-pound championship and won his third Centennial crown in four tries. Kavan took the title with two pins and then a 13-4 major decision over an opponent who came into the day 24-2.

Carson Lindau – Axtell Boys Basketball

Lindau has had big nights before for Axtell; none bigger than on Jan. 16 when he scored a career-high 26 points, made 10 of 16 shots and hit four from the perimeter. He’s had a few games with 20 or more points every season of his career but none like that Tuesday night when he shot 63% and also grabbed seven rebounds. Most importantly, Axtell had lost back-to-back games when Lindau stepped up and ended the mini-skid.

Wyatt Olberding – Falls City Boys Wrestling

Olberding put his perfect record on the line at the Plattsmouth Varsity Invite and walked away still unscathed by claiming his fourth tournament title of the season. The Falls City senior is 24-0 and has also won championships at Omaha North, Platteview and Auburn. Overall, Olberding has 22 wins by pinfall and has only been forced into a full six-minute match once, and that was in this weekend’s 150-pound title match. Olberding won 9-2 over a Class A wrestler who started the day 22-3.

Terance Pittman – Parkview Christian Boys Basketball

Pittman was back on this list on Dec. 4 after scoring 53 points in the first game of the season. He hasn’t gone over the half-century mark since then but he’s had five other performances of more than 40 points. One of those was Jan. 16 when he posted 30 points, had seven rebounds, seven steals and three assists. Pittman is averaging a little more than 28 points per game.

Brock Rahl – Papillion-La Vista Boys Basketball

Rahl has been a solid contributor for Papio each of the past two years, but rarely has he been relied on to be the top scorer. However, that doesn’t mean Rahl isn’t without an excellent scoring touch. He showed that on Jan. 18 when he scored a career-high 28 points and was money from distance. Rahl hit 8 of 11 from three-point range.

Ashton Simmons – Shelton Boys Basketball

Simmons is no stranger to this list. He averaged about 21 points per game last year and is scoring better than 25 this year. Simmons will almost certainly go over 1,500 career points this year, surpass 300 career rebounds and maybe even 200 assists. But he’s rarely been better than on Jan. 16 when he scored 36, shot 50% and hit seven three-pointers. It was the second time this year he’s scored 36 points.

Kane Wetovick – Fullerton Boys Basketball

Wetovick is establishing himself as one of the best young talents in Nebraska. The Fullerton freshman is scoring 16 points per game and averaging a double-double thanks to also averaging a little more than 10 rebounds per game. He’s had five double-doubles and had a high of 28 points and 18 rebounds on Dec. 16. This past week in a home win over St. Edward he had the second-highest scoring game of his career with 25, three threes, eight rebounds and four steals.

--Nathan Charles I @SBLiveNeb