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Vote: Who should be SBLive's Minnesota Athlete of the Week? (9/5/23)

Read through the candidates and cast your vote

Here are the candidates for the Minnesota High School Athlete of the Week for Aug. 24 - Sept. 2 as nominated by coaches, fans and readers.

Read through the nominees and cast your vote. Voting will conclude Sunday at 11:59 p.m. and the winner will be announced Monday.

If you would like to make a nomination in a future week, please email with “MHSAW Nomination” in the subject line.

Editor’s Note: Our Athlete of the Week feature and corresponding poll is 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 that receive votes generated by script, macro or other automated means will be disqualified.


Moo Gay, Marshall (Boys)

The junior forward had 12 goals in four games (three victories) – the most in Minnesota. He had six goals and two assists in a 13-0 rout at Windom/St. James on Aug. 28. Two days prior he scored all three of his team’s goals in a shutout of Waseca. 

He had two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win over Worthington, Aug. 31, and his team’s only goal in a 4-1 loss to New Prague, Aug. 25. Speaking of New Prauge…

Alex Quast, New Prague (Boys)

The senior forward had 10 goals and two game-winners on the week. He had a hat trick in that 4-1 win at Marshall, another hat trick in a win on Aug. 31, and four goals and an assist in a 6-0 shutout at Mankato West. 

He’s second in the state in goals scored and first in game-winners.

Kyan Rieder, Sartell (Boys)

The goalkeeper made 32 saves on 35 shots faced in four games (all victories) last week. He had 15 saves on 16 shots in a 2-1 win at Bemidji, Aug. 25, and nine saves on 10 shots in a 3-1 win over St. Cloud Apollo, Aug. 29. 

His .914 save percentage is second highest amongst Minnesota goalkeepers with at least 30 shots faced.

Maddyn Greenway, Providence Academy (Girls)

The sophomore forward had two games with six goals, both 6-3 home wins. She also had two goals and an assist in a 9-0 shutout at Mounds Park Academy on Aug. 29. She leads the state in goals scored with 14.

Elle Bettcher, Detroit Lakes (Girls)

The senior faced more than twice as many shots as any other goaltender in the state (128). She made 112 saves, albeit in four shutout losses. She made 22 saves on 23 shots in a 1-0 loss at Little Falls to open the season, Aug. 24, and stopped 29 of 32 shots at St. Cloud Cathedral, Aug. 29.


Maddy Benka, Minnehaha Academy

The outside hitter had 126 kills over five victories to open the year. She logged over 20 kills in three of those victories, and leads the state in kills and attempts (238). 

Her kills per set ratio of 6.3 is tied for second-best in Minnesota (minimum 100 attempts).

Kailani Schroeder, Byron

The setter had 215 assists over four wins and a loss last week. She had 40 assists in a 3-1 win at Stewartville to open the season on Aug. 31. 

She had 24 assists in a 2-1 win over Esko on Sept. 2. She leads the state in assists.

Tayler Helgemoe, Rushford-Peterson

The senior middle hitter has 12 blocks to lead all of Minnesota, and she logged them all in one match, a 3-1 win against Dover-Eyota, Aug. 29. 

She also had 16 kills in the match.

Ava Ball, Nova Classical Academy

The junior outside hitter had 63 kills and 37 digs in two wins and a loss to start the season. She had 29 kills and 16 digs in a 3-1 win over Cretin-Derham Hall, Aug. 29. 

She’s fifth in the state in kills and fourth in kill percentage amongst those with at least 100 attempts.

Alaina Panagiotopoulos, South St. Paul

The junior outside hitter had 20 kills, 11 digs and four aces in a draw at Ellsworth on Aug. 31. She paced the Packers to victories over St. Agnes and St. Paul Academy on consecutive days. 

In a 3-1 road win at St. Paul Academy, she had 19 kills, 10 digs and five aces, and in a 3-0 home win over St. Agnes, she had 18 kills, eight digs and five assists. She’s sixth in the state in kills with 57.


Spencer Ackerman, Sauk Rapids-Rice

The sophomore quarterback completed 23 of 31 pass attempts for 365 yards and three touchdowns in a 22-19 win over Irondale, Sept. 1. He leads all Minnesota quarterbacks in passing yards.

Zachary Bengtson, Becker

The senior quarterback tossed five touchdown passes and completed two-thirds of his passes for 250 yards in a 40-14 win at Hill-Murray on Aug. 31.

Mason Delzer, New London-Spicer

The senior running back averaged 13.8 yards per rush, running for 235 yards and four touchdowns in a 48-20 win at Albany, Aug. 31. He leads the state in yards per carry for those with at least 10 carries.

Alex Lea, Blooming Prairie

The junior recorded 20 tackles in a 43-8 win over Rushford-Peterson on Sept. 1. That leads all of Minnesota. He also had four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Maurice Brown, St. Cloud Apollo

The junior caught eight passes for 171 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-38 loss at Chisago Lakes. He also recorded eight tackles. His four receiving touchdowns are tied for the most in the state.

Seth Newbern, Robbinsdale Armstrong

The senior wide receiver caught four of his six receptions in the end zone in a 42-18 win at St. Francis, Aug. 31. He averaged 27.3 yards per catch, going for 164 yards in the air and another 10 on the ground.

Daxton Bush, Chanhassen

The senior wideout had three catches and took two of them to the house, recording 95 yards after the catch to lead the state. He finished with 134 receiving yards in a 34-28 win at Elk River on Aug. 31.

Quentin Cobb-Butler, Woodbury

The wide receiver caught one touchdown pass and had two other receptions for a total of 56 yards and took two kickoffs to the house, average 92.5 yards per return in a 55-14 win at Roseville, Aug. 31.

Ethan Lenz, Hutchinson

The senior outside linebacker had three sacks and two tackles in a 46-8 win over Glencoe-Silver Lake on Aug. 31. His three sacks are tied for the most in Minnesota.

Nakiye Mercado, St. Peter

The senior ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a 52-0 rout at Albert Lea, Sept. 1. 

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