Local teams eager to compete in revamped CWC-East

Leader file photo Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Kody Szews prepares to go up for a shot against Northland Pines last year. Szews is one of just three returning Chargers players with significant varsity experience.

Following the graduation of nine of last year’s 16 all-conference selections, the Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division will have plenty of new faces on the court this winter.

While Bonduel graduated a senior from the second team all-conference, it also has plenty of reason for optimism heading into the season with several other experienced players returning to the fold.

“We have a lot of confidence going into this season with the returning players we do have,” said senior Parker Bohm, an honorable mention pick last year. “The guys we have love to compete.”

Bohm, along with senior Jared Wondra and junior Cole Letter, all started for the Bears last year, when the team went 4-8 to place fifth in conference, and again figure to serve big roles this winter.

Seniors Isaac Garside and Canaan Szoszorek also should see plenty of time on the court while seniors Brooks Dehn, Aaron Margelofsky and Colin Ewing also have some varsity experience.


Packer players to sign autographs for donations this holiday season

Green Bay Packers players will again support the Salvation Army this holiday season by signing autographs for fans in exchange for monetary donations.

This year, the players will be signing autographs for visitors to the Lambeau Field Atrium on Monday evenings during the holiday season. To help the Salvation Army reach its donation goals for 2018, fans are asked to donate a minimum of $20.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has pledged to match each donation made during the autograph signings up to $50.000. This pledge doubles the amount the Salvation Army receives during the five signing events.

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign is an important holiday tradition in the Green Bay community, as many of the organization’s programs operate only because of the money received through Red Kettle donations. All proceeds raised go towards aiding needy families, seniors and the homeless in Green Bay.


Young Hawks roster gearing up for opener

Leader file photo Shawano’s Nick Grignon drives to the basket in a game against Xavier last season. Grignon hopes to provide senior leadership to a young Hawks roster.

The Shawano Community High School boys basketball team enters the 2018-19 season knowing it has a young roster with a limited amount of varsity experience on it, but that doesn’t mean the Hawks lack any confidence.

After posting a 4-10 record in the rugged Bay Conference a season ago, Shawano dropped a hard-fought game against Medford in the opening round of the postseason. This year, the Hawks are hoping to not only improve their conference standing, but also go deeper in the postseason.

“A big goal for this year is to be a competitive playoff team. We are going into the season having a young crew with very few varsity players from last year — everyone is going to have their role and have to work hard in practice everyday,” said junior Carter Weisnicht, the only returning starter from last year’s team.

Senior Nick Grignon and junior Nick Sherman are the only other returning letter-winners for the Hawks, as the team graduated several talented seniors.


Buck Fever Night gets hunters amped for gun opener

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Terry Moede, of Shawano, converses with workers at the Witt’s Sausage Haus booth at Buck Fever Night on Tuesday.

With the opening day of Wisconsin’s gun deer season closing in fast, area hunters got fired up for Saturday by attending the annual Buck Fever Night at the Shawano County Highway Department on Tuesday.

Hunters worked their way around the building, checking out the various booths on display. They conversed with others about past hunting adventures and shared what they expected to happen come Saturday morning.

Over the course of the night, the talk of being out in the woods again certainly made hunters eager for Saturday’s opener.

“Oh yes, definitely. It gets the heart pumping,” said Bruce Galleske, of Shawano.

“It certainly doesn’t hurt. I bet it revved up the engine more so when I was younger, but yes,” said Terry Moede, also of Shawano.

Among the booths on display were J. Hoffman Knives, Witt’s Sausage Haus, Krueger’s Taxidermy, Yoder’s Bakery, the Crafty Boutique Gift Shop and artwork from Marie Wawrzyn.


Marion/Tigerton football honors top players

Contributed photo Marion/Tigerton football players honored at the team’s recognition night included, from left, Cayden Schoen (all-conference honorable mention), Allen Jobe (all-conference honorable mention), Austin Hoffmann (MVP-offense), Charles Schweitzer (most dedicated), Jared Krueger (MVP-defense, all-conference second team), Alex Zimmerman (most improved).

Six players received special recognition as the Marion/Tigerton co-op football team held its recognition night on Oct. 29 at North Winds Banquet Hall in Marion.

At the annual event, players were honored for their play on the field this fall. Varsity players received their letters while others were handed team awards and all-conference awards.

Junior Austin Hoffmann was named the offense’s most valuable player. He started the year playing quarterback and safety, calling plays for the offense and defense. An injury forced Hoffmann to play wide receiver the last few games.

Junior Jared Krueger was named the team’s defensive most valuable player. He opened the year as a defensive end and then transitioned to middle linebacker after injuries hit the Thundercatz. Krueger led the team in tackles and tackles for loss.


Budenholzer partners with Feeding Wisconsin

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer has partnered with Feeding Wisconsin to raise awareness and tackle hunger across the state.

This season, Budenholzer will donate $15 to Feeding Wisconsin for every assist the Bucks tally during the 2018-19 season, with a minimum commitment of $25,000. Should the donation reach $25,000 before the season ends, Budenholzer will continue to donate $15 for every assist the Bucks record until the season concludes.

“Each of us can play a role in eradicating hunger in our communities, and together with Feeding Wisconsin, we look forward to raising awareness and having a positive impact on the work to help this important cause,” Budenholzer said. “Playing unselfish basketball is a core component of our basketball culture and high assist totals are a great indicator that we are playing the right way. With the Assists for Hunger program, they will take on an even more significant meaning this season.”


DePerry signs letter of intent to play basketball

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Tori DePerry, middle, signs her letter of intent on Wednesday with her dad, Jeff DePerry, left, and mom, Tanya Miller, looking on. DePerry will play basketball at Saginaw Valley State University next year.

Shawano senior Tori DePerry fulfilled a goal of hers on Wednesday afternoon, signing a letter of intent to play women’s basketball at Division II Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Michigan.

DePerry signed her letter of intent in front of family, friends and coaches in the Shawano Community High School library.

“It feels awesome. All of my hard work and dedication has finally paid off in this sport,” said DePerry, who started playing back in first grade. “It’s been crazy because first off I wouldn’t ever dream of playing college basketball, especially on a full ride. In AAU season, I knew I really wanted to work hard to get it (the scholarship) and now the pressure is off so I can go out this season and not have to worry about it.”

After an introduction from athletic director Joel Wondra, Shawano girls basketball coach Ryan Koenig said a few words about DePerry.


Be mindful of CWD this season

You can do your part to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease this season by having your deer tested, particularly if it has shown signs of the disease.

Use this link to find a registration station in your hunting area:

All the testing stations in Shawano, Oconto and Waupaca counties are self-service kiosks. You must have completed your electronic registration of your deer prior to bringing in your samples (carcass or head that includes a hand-width length of neck). If you are having your buck’s head mounted, there are still ways to have the animal tested. Heads can be brought in up to five days after harvest, if kept cool (longer if frozen).

This page offers more details:

Tami Ryan, the Wisconsin DNR’s Wildlife Health Section Chief, and Erin Larson, DNR’s Wildlife Health Data Coordinator, offered additional information:


No time to celebrate: Packers’ second game in five days is another must-win

As famously described by the winning coach in Super Bowl IV, the learned behavior of winning in the NFL can be a simple matter of matriculating the ball down the field.

The late Hank Stram caught a lot of stick for that English language flub, but no one ever laughed when he said you cannot win if you cannot run the ball.

In a related vein, quarterback Aaron Rodgers noted last week that the Green Bay Packers had yet to learn how to win. In response, the Packers played their most complete game of the year, executing the fundamentals and mixing a healthy dose of running game with the pass. The Packers schooled Miami from wire to wire and broke a two-game losing streak.

Then came the cramming for the tougher test of winning away from home, a subject in which the Pack have thus far put up failing marks. A brief two days after beating the Dolphins, the Packers hit the road for tonight’s game at Seattle.


Optimism abound for local CWC-North teams

Leader file photo Gresham’s Makayla Belongia (4) goes up for a rebounds in a game against Suring last year. Belongia is one of three returning starters for the Wildcats.

A year after claiming the Central Wisconsin Conference-North Division title, the Bowler High School girls basketball team will have a new look this upcoming season.

Bowler, which finished 11-1 to edge Northland Lutheran in the division standings, will be under the direction of a new coach and without the standout play of Reanne Kietlinski, last year’s player of the year.

Even with the changes, new coach Tonia Pagryzinski believes the team can still succeed.

“I am very excited about this year; we are a young team and kind of rebuilding with the loss of some key core players,” Pagryzinski said. “The challenge for our girls is dealing with losing those core players but also having a new coach and learning a new system and style of basketball. Overall, with the returning players we have and some new ones coming in, we are going to have a strong team and are looking forward to this season.”


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