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Conference MVP Rybacki credits team for her success

Somerset senior Anna Rybacki (5) had one of the most prolific seasons in Spartan history, finishing 2018 with 33 goals. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

The last time we saw Anna Rybacki, she was taking a selfie from the stage of the Somerset High School graduation, as part of her salutatorian speech.

Since then, Rybacki has been named Most Valuable Player for the 2018 Middle Border Conference girls soccer season. And her basketball team from last winter won the award from the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association for having the highest team grade point average, a 3.99 team average.

It's been quite a senior year for Rybacki, who was All-MBC in volleyball, basketball and soccer. Despite all this success, Rybacki is humble, crediting her teammates as the main reason for the success. Rybacki said she gave no thought to being the conference MVP until she was told she'd won the honor.

Rybacki ends her career as one of the top scorers in Somerset girls soccer history, with 79 career goals, including 32 this season and 25 as a junior. Rybacki was able to score her goals this season despite seeing extra defensive attention in nearly every game, getting double-teamed by some opponents while other teams had a girls shadow her all over the field.

"It drives me to do better, knowing they're trying to stop me," Rybacki said. She said the extra attention also opened up more chances for her to pass the ball to teammates and she finished the season with 17 assists. "One of the best things about our team is our passing. That's why I'm able to score so much."

Each season held different challenges for Rybacki this year. In basketball, she was the only returning player from the 2016-17 run to the sectional final after reaching the sectional semifinal the year before.

"I'm so grateful for the two years we had together," Rybacki said of those teams.

This year, Rybacki naturally became the veteran leader of the basketball team. She said the freshmen were welcomed to the team and by feeling welcome, they were able to grow in confidence more quickly. Which helped the Spartans put together a thriving second half to the season. That was topped by a 91-58 victory at Prescott.

In soccer, Rybacki was among familiar faces, as one of 10 seniors on the Spartan squad. Rybacki said she debated about joining track in her freshman season, but is now glad she stayed with soccer.

"As the years went by, my team made the game fun. The more I loved the game, the harder I worked to get better," she said.

Rybacki has impressive plans for her future. She plans to attend North Dakota State University, with a five-year plan to get her master's degree in architecture. Rybacki said she'd eventually like to start her own business. She said she's interested in building things like homeless shelters, churches and schools. By owning her own business, she sees the chance to choose building projects that meet her interests in helping people.

"I give all the glory to God. I'm excited to see where college takes me," Rybacki said.

Somerset girls basketball coach Cory Lindenberg summed up Rybacki this way:

"To be top two in her class and be a conference MVP; she is the smartest and best athlete in her class."

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

(715) 426-1051
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