Male Winter Athlete of the Year: Top 20 Watch List

Wahpeton Daily News proudly presents our “Top 20 Watch List” for Male Winter Athlete of the Year. Some of these players enter 2022 tasked with righting the ship for their respective squads, while others chase title aspirations at the individual and team levels. One thing is for certain, this list is loaded with potential. 

Khari Broadway (NDSCS Basketball) - So.

Broadway, a NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention, has helped mold the North Dakota State College of Science men’s basketball team into its current form at 14-1. The sophomore point guard from Park Center, Minnesota, averages 16.4 points (54.4 FG%), 3.7 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. Broadway is straight money in the mid range and highly effective at finishing on both sides of the rim.

Micah Swallow (NDSCS Basketball) - Fr.

Swallow earned Mon-Dak Preseason Tournament MVP honors and hasn’t looked back, averaging 11.4 points (54.7 FG%), 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The freshman plays above the rim, giving NDSCS fans something to rave about with his highlight-reel alley oops. Swallow averages less than one turnover per contest.

Connor Hollenbeck (NDSCS Basketball) - So.

Hollenbeck, who reigns from Rapid City, South Dakota, along with his teammate, Swallow, is a 6’7” force for the Wildcats. The sophomore averages 13.3 points (56.4 FG%), 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and one steal per game. Hollenbeck has the versatility to play the three, four and five spots on both sides of the basketball, packing a punch with a full toolbag of moves in the paint on offense.

Logan Jedwabny (NDSCS Basketball) - So.

Jedwabny is a lights out shooter, making 2.4 threes per game at a 48 percent clip. The NDSCS sophomore averages 10.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Jedwabny began the season as a spot-up shooter, before evolving into a threat to attack the basket and step into long two-pointers from anywhere on the court.

RaShaun Parker (NDSCS Basketball) - So.

Parker is unconscious from deep. When he shoots the three, it's a good bet to swoosh the net — 2.8 times per game to be exact. The sophomore guard averages 10.1 points (45.7 3PT%), 1.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Parker boasts a 4.0 assist to turnover ratio, catching and shooting as a star in his role.

Aidan Ruddy (B-W Wrestling) - Sr.

After an all-conference cross country season, Ruddy returns to the mat and currently leads Breckenridge-Wahpeton with 16 wins, some coming vs. the state’s top grapplers in the 152-pound division. Ruddy has already eclipsed 100 career wins and 50 career pins, showing no signs of slowing down as a top threat for the Storm in its inaugural season as a cooperative.

Jackson Burchill (B-W Wrestling) - Sr.

Burchill is the big dog of the Storm wrestlers, coming in at 15-2 in the 220-pound division. Breckenridge-Wahpeton is holding its own at 2-3 in the Eastern Dakota Conference and Burchill tossing his opponents around the mat is a key reason to believe the team can finish in the top half of the EDC field.

Wyatt Differding (B-W Wrestling) - Sr.

Following a runner-up season in football as a dominant defensive lineman, Differding weighs in at 195 pounds with a 10-10 record. Differding is one of just four Storm seniors, making his contributions even more important as he leads by example.

Hunter Owens (B-W Wrestling) - Sr.

Owens is another footballer who checks in on this list as a standout wrestler. The 160-pound senior holds an 11-7 record, filling an important weight class and forming a one-two punch with Ruddy as quick-footed, technical wrestlers. Owens serves as a great example for younger teammates such as eighth grader David Erlandson. He works hard and provides excellent mentorship.

Weston Jensen (B-W Wrestling) - So.

Jensen is 10-9 in the 138-pound division and has posted similar results to his fellow sophomore teammates Colman Barth (7-10) and Grant Davis (7-9). Jensen cracks the watch list this season, but you can expect to see all three names frequently as they master their craft coming out of the holiday break.

Ethan Manock (WAHP Basketball) - Jr.

Manock is a nightmare at the block for opposing scorers, using his premium hops to lead the Twin Towns with 2.2 blocks per game. The junior combo forward also leads all area hoopers with 8.5 rebounds per game and scores 8.3 points per contest for the Wahpeton Huskies.

Caden Hockert (WAHP Basketball) - Jr.

Hockert has little room to shoot on an 0-7 Wahpeton team, but finds ways to lead the Huskies in scoring night after night at 10.2 points per game, pulling down an average of 5.8 boards in the process from his shooting guard position.

Caden Kappes (WAHP Basketball) - Jr.

Kappes is a calming presence in what can often be chaotic EDC matchups. The junior point guard averages 7.0 points and 7.1 rebounds, sprinkling in a steal per game. Kappes has 11 offensive rebounds as a pillar of effort on the glass for Wahpeton.

Alex Sanchez (BRECK Basketball) - Jr.

Sanchez rose from relative obscurity to become the clear-cut scoring leader for Breckenridge. The lanky junior added some noticeable bulk, helping him post averages of 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Sanchez scored 22 points vs. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, marking his season-high output thus far.

Gavin Snyder (BRECK Basketball) - Sr.

Snyder is another late bloomer who enters this list on the strength of a clutch performance in which he dropped 19 points on Battle Lake, Minnesota. Breckenridge outlasted the Battlers in 2OT by a score of 67-66, as Snyder scored seven points in the overtime sessions. Snyder averages 7.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

Jack Johnson (BRECK Basketball) - Sr.

Johnson is a physical 5’8” point guard who presses the tempo on offense and frustrates opposing floor generals. The senior has blocked shots, won tie-ups with the big boys, and lifted his scoring average to 8.3 points per game with 41 over the last three contests. Johnson also contributes 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game.

Collin Roberts (BRECK Basketball) - Sr.

Roberts has stepped into the power forward/center role for Breckenridge, as the Cowboys have been decimated down low by injuries. Roberts takes nearly two charges per contest, sacrificing his body for the team and fighting his way to 5.1 rebounds per game. Roberts scores 5.3 points per game, focusing mainly on defense for the 1-6 Cowboys.

Trey Vogelbacher (B-W Hockey) - Fr.

The Breckenridge-Wahpeton Blades hockey team is 0-7, but Vogelbacher gives fans something to admire. The freshman forward has two points this season and is described by Head Coach Adam Wiertzema as a cerebral player with lots of potential.

Breckin Spinks (B-W Hockey) - Jr.

Spinks has three shots on goal this season, two of them beating the goalie. Spinks’ top highlight this season is a breakaway goal at Park Rapids, Minnesota, a game in which he scored twice to keep his team away from shutout territory.

Jace Johanson (B-W Hockey) - So.

Johanson, a sophomore defenseman, has one assist on the season, coming on a power play. Johanson also has one goal under his belt. Coach Wiertzema emphasized Johanson’s importance on the defensive end, expressing confidence that his hard work will translate to the box score very soon.

Daily News is actively looking for advertising sponsors to support our continued coverage of this award. Benefits include naming rights to the award, ad placement on digital and print coverage, including video highlights and photo content. Interested parties can contact Sports Editor Robert Wanek Jr. 

Load comments