Freeburg High School’s Avery Hesseldenz is the winner of the latest Belleville News-Democrat Player of the Week high school poll, selected by readers.

Hesseldenz, a junior outside hitter, recently compiled 57 kills and 41 digs to help the Midgets claim 6 wins and the Mascoutah Tournament championship.

Hesseldenz – who got 43% of the vote – leads the Metro-East in kills per game with almost 5 per set.

Freeburg High School’s Avery Hesseldenz is the winner of the latest Belleville News-Democrat Player of the Week high school poll, selected by readers. Provided

Here are the other candidates for week 3:

  • Jahkori Adams, Belleville West High School, junior, running back/defensive back. Adams carried the ball 17 times for 122 yards in a 48-0 loss to DeKalb.

  • Exavier Zeilman, Belleville West High School, junior, wide receiver/linebacker. Zeilman caught 7 passes for 105 yards in the loss to DeKalb.

  • Darron Millender Jr., Belleville East High School, junior, quarterback/linebacker. Millender had 14 of 21 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown without an interception in a 52-19 win at Metea Valley.

  • Evan Davis, Waterloo High School, senior running back. Davis rushed for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns on 30 carries in a 35-14 win over Carbondale.

  • Luke Gundlach, Althoff Catholic High School, senior, middle linebacker. Gundlach had 8 solo tackles, 2 assists and 2 sacks in a 13-7 win over Mater Dei.

  • Brent Wuebbels, Highland High School, senior, quarterback/free safety. Wuebbels completed 16 of 21 passes for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 55-14 win over Marion. He also ran for 54 yards on 8 carries.

  • Travis Porter, Highland High School, senior running back/linebacker. Porter carried the ball 19 times for 126 yards and 4 touchdowns against Marion.

  • Brendon Gelly, Highland High School, senior, tight end/linebacker. Gelly had 3 receptions, 2 touchdowns and a 2-point conversion grab against the Wildcats. He also had 10 tackles.

  • Colt Michael, O’Fallon High School, senior, quarterback. Michael completed 14 of 20 passes for 244 yards and 6 touchdowns in a 40-0 win over Waubonsie Valley.

  • Jalen Smith, O’Fallon High School, senior, wide receiver. Smith caught 6 passes for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns against Waubonsie Valley.

  • Ethan Bagwell, Collinsville High School, junior, quarterback/linebacker. Bagwell completed 15 of 22 passes for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 47-0 win over Alton. Bagwell also carried the ball 8 times for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns.

  • Darren Pennell, Collinsville High School, junior, wide receiver/cornerback. Pennell caught 4 passes for 84 yards, returned a kickoff 61 yards, and recorded 2 tackles and 1 interception against the Redbirds.

  • Rollin Armes, Collinsville High School, junior, linebacker/running back. Armes had 7 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 1 interception against Alton. He also rushed for a touchdown.

  • The entire defense of Collinsville. The Kahoks gave up just 92 yards to Alton, while grabbing 2 interceptions and recording 2 sacks.
  • Carmello Taylor, Alton High School, senior, linebacker/safety. Taylor had 10 solo tackles, assisted on 5 tackles and posted 1 sack against the Kahoks.

The poll ended Friday at 10 a.m.

To be clear, this poll is not scientific. In fact, we invite you to vote as many times as you wish. This is for fun, BND readers.

The next Player of the Week poll will appear on the BND website – – at 5am Tuesday. Please send applications by email to

Previous Survey Winners: Travis Porter from Highland High School and Cole Stuart from Freeburg High School.

Did your favorite player win? Watch next week’s poll for another chance to vote. Coming soon. Provided

This story was originally published September 17, 2022 7:00 a.m.