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Vote: CSM Fall Athletes of the Week, Oct. 23-30 2023

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

With every IHSA fall sport except girls swim and dive in the sectional round of the postseason or further, the cream of the crop has become apparent. Each of our nominees for our CSM Fall Athletes of the Week, presented by Jake Weston State Farm helped their respective teams reach that mark with important playoff victories.

Big offensive and defensive performances that led to playoff wins in football, stars from regional volleyball champions, plus multiple cross country and boys soccer teams from around the area qualifying for state headlined the preps action for the final full week of October.

The following athletes are our nominees for CSM Fall Athletes of the Week, presented by Jake Weston State Farm, with information on their standout performances. There are polls for Boys Athlete of the Week and Girls Athlete of the Week.

Update: Jayne Hermann of Washington girls cross country and Ben Mullens of Peoria Notre Dame football won voting in their respective polls and are our CSM Fall Athletes of the Week. Stay tuned for a story about our winners!

Girls Athlete of the Week nominees:

Reanne Cupples, Normal West volleyball

The senior setter for the Wildcats put up gaudy numbers in a pair of wins for Normal West in the Class 4A Minooka Sectional as the team now stands at 34-4 ahead of a sectional title match against Belleville West on Wednesday. Cupples had 42 assists, along with 10 digs and two blocks in a three-set win over Bradley-Bourbonnais for the regional crown on Thursday and added 25 assists with two digs and a pair of aces in their sweep over East Moline United in the regional semifinals.

Jayne Hermann, Washington girls cross country

Hermann came across the finish line fourth overall and first among Panthers runners at the Class 2A Geneseo Sectional last weekend in 19:02.60. Herrman was one of five Washington runners to finish in the top 25 in the race. Hermann’s Panthers won the meet handily and will be a strong state title contender at Detweiller Park in Peoria on Saturday.

Izzy Weir, Dee-Mack volleyball

Weir played a large role in helping Dee-Mack win its first regional championship in volleyball since 2019, where the Chiefs beat Clinton and Prairie Central before upsetting Heart of Illinois Conference rival Tri-Valley in the Class 2A Clinton Regional championship. Weir led the Chiefs with 16 assists in their regional championship win while also contributing five digs, two blocks and two aces. She matched that assist number in the regional semifinals against Prairie Central and put up her most amount of helpers in a 21-assists, five-dig performance against Clinton in the quarterfinals.

Caroline Wettstein, El Paso-Gridley girls cross country

Wettstein finished sixth at the Class 1A Elmwood Sectional meet with a 18:39.71 time. The sophomore’s effort was instrumental in helping the Titans nab the fifth out of sixth team qualifying spots for the Class 1A state meet on Saturday.

Ellie Rink, Normal West volleyball

Cupples set up dozens of Normal West attacks last week and Rink was the one to finish a lot of them. The junior outside hitter led the Wildcats with a double-double of 16 kills and 15 digs in their three-set thriller against Bradley-Bourbonnais to win the regional championship and added 10 kills and four digs in Normal West’s regional semifinal win against East Moline United.

Boys Athlete of the Week nominees

Ben Mullens, Peoria Notre Dame football

The Irish ground attack is always leaves the question of who will lead the backfield on any given day. On Friday night, it was Mullens, who ran for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help the 14-seeded Irish take down 3-seed Kewanee 28-13 on the road. Mullens’ performance helped PND win its first playoff game since 2017.

Caden Schmidgall, Peoria Christian boys soccer

Schmidgall was undoubtedly the hero for the Chargers in their Class 1A sectional title win over Quincy Notre Dame last Wednesday, scoring a hat trick in a 5-2 win for Peoria Christian. The senior scored in the 15th minute to tie tha game at 2-2, then struck for two insurance goals in the second half to seal a trip to super-sectionals, where the Chargers beat Johnsburg 4-1. Peoria Christian will face Winnetka North Shore Country Day in the state semifinals on Thursday night in suburban Chicago.

Andrew Perry, Eureka boys cross country

Perry ran a personal-best 15:23.01 to take fourth at the Class 1A Elmwood Sectional on Saturday and help the Hornets punch their ticket to state. Perry’s finish allowed Eureka to narrowly win the meet by three points over Elmwood.

Garrett Cox, Washington football

The defensive end/tight end Cox was all over the place for the Panthers in a 59-14 romp against Danville in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. Cox had a sack and recovered a fumble that he returned for a touchdown on defense and added multiple big catches, including a 30-yard touchdown reception from Tyler Humphrey on offense.

Brady Plattner, Normal U-High boys soccer

Plattner was one of three different goal scorers for the Pioneers in their 3-0 win over Herscher in the Class 1A super-sectionals on Saturday, but his in the first half was all that Normal U-High needed. The Pioneers will take on Columbia in the state semifinals on Thursday night.

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