Sports

Thu
16
Aug

Clintonville looking to improve under new coach


Leader photo by Morgan Rode Clintonville players go through drills during Wednesday’s practice in preparation for Thursday’s season opener.

When any team brings in a new coach, most people expect ups and downs in the first year as the coach often needs time to implement their scheme.

Tom Burkhalter, who enters his first season as the Clintonville football head coach, has the luxury of having a bevy of experienced players at his disposal. The Truckers return 11 starters from last year’s team that should make Burkhalter’s transition into his coaching role a little bit easier.

“It means everything (having so many experienced players back),” Burkhalter said. “We don’t have to start from scratch. We got guys that understand the game of football which is invaluable.”

While the defense will return less starters than the offense, Burkhalter has a pair of returning all-conference players to work with.

Seniors Hunter Lohrengel made the second team as an inside linebacker while Riley Jaensch was an honorable mention pick as a defensive back.

Thu
16
Aug

Bowler/Gresham eight-man varsity season canceled

While most football teams were gearing up for the start of the regular season, the Bowler/Gresham co-op was scrambling to find enough players to roster an eight-man team.

The team’s recruiting efforts came up short, forcing the co-op to cancel its varsity season.

“One of the biggest factors besides the low numbers was that about half of the players on the team either were freshman or hadn’t played football last season. So there was a lot of youth and inexperience,” coach Eric Peebles said.

The Bowler/Gresham co-op made the switch from 11-man to eight-man football back in 2013. After winning five games that season and four in 2014, the Cats have earned just one win since.

While this year’s varsity season was canceled, Peebles is still hopeful to find a couple of junior varsity games for the players to take part in.

Thu
16
Aug

Menominee Indian hoping for bounce back season

Last season was a one-man show for the Menominee Indian football team.

Meshaen Waukau, who was named to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-State Team and was co-offensive player of the year in the MONLPC, rushed for 1,963 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, the Eagles finished with a 1-8 record.

Waukau graduated, and the rest of the young Menominee Indian players from a season ago matured on the field. Coach Chris Clache, entering his 17th year, is expecting a better season.

“We were better than that last year, and we underachieved in a lot of games we played,” Clache said. “I don’t think that will be a problem this year.”

Menominee Indian, which plays eight-man football, returns four starters on offense. The entire line is back with center Hunter Connavichnah and guards James Peters and Cole Pecore.

Thu
16
Aug

R-E-L-A-X? Not at practice, not this year

Already full of mid-season pith and vinegar, Aaron Rodgers served notice that he will not suffer lightly the indifference of unmotivated teammates this time around.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback held nothing back in his view of the effort put forth by some of the practice squad wide receivers last week.

“One of the worst carded sessions we’ve had,” he said of the offending scout team slough-offs.

Rodgers would clarify those admonitions a bit later on, but his early calling-out was a rousing start to a Packers journey that they hope will culminate on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.

The bells and whistles of this 2018 season include new rules on how not to tackle, new rules on how not to be tackled, and new rules on where to stand and where to sit.

In the first exhibition game, there were mostly whistles.

Wed
15
Aug

Trio of local teams ready to make splash

High school girls swimming teams around the state dove into the pool for the first time on Aug. 7 for the first practice of the new season. Starting today, those teams could compete in their first meets and invites.

For Clintonville and Wittenberg-Birnamwood, winning those meets and invites might prove difficult with such low roster numbers, but that won’t stop individual swimmers on those two teams from giving it their all this season.

The Shawano/Bonduel co-op, on the other hand, returns plenty of experienced swimmers and is focused on improving its team standing.

Shawano/Bonduel

Despite losing 10 seniors to graduation, the Shawano/Bonduel co-op returns a multitude of experienced swimmers from last year’s team.

The co-op roster for the upcoming season will be led by six seniors, Jenne Dreyer, Jordyn Pingel, Kelsey Kallies, Madi Hanson, Skye Bohm and Tatiana Kunschke. Coach Sharon Hanson said Bohm and Kunschke will serve as the team’s leaders.

Wed
15
Aug

Marion/Tigerton trying to build culture under new coach

Marion/Tigerton co-op football coach Lance Litchfield will face a unique challenge during the upcoming season.

Not only will the season mark the first year Litchfield will be the team’s head coach, but also the final year the co-op competes as an 11-man team. Next year, the team will make the transition to eight-man football.

Don’t expect the Thundercatz to be looking forward to next year though.

“With this being our last year of 11-man, we will attempt to prove we can still be competitive playing 11-man,” Jared Krueger said. “This will show us promise towards a successful eight-man season next year.”

Since the first day of practice on Aug. 1, Litchfield and the Marion/Tigerton coaching staff has been preaching a new culture.

“It does not matter if a player is from Marion or a player is from Tigerton. We all wear the same colored jersey and have to come together as a team,” Litchfield said.

Wed
15
Aug

High School Highlights

GIRLS TENNIS

Shawano opens year at Battle on the Fox

Shawano sent 12 players into action over the two-day Battle on the Fox Invite at Bay Port High School.

The format of the invite was a team match tournament, with each team playing four matches within their division and one extra match against a team outside their division.

Shawano dropped tight matches to St. Mary Springs Academy (4-3) and Howard Grove (4-3) on Monday before topping Green Bay East (5-2) and falling to Marinette (4-3) and De Pere (7-0) on Tuesday.

Elise Pyatskowit did not drop any of her four matches while Anna Cuenca earned three wins. Lydia Dobberstein, Isabella Buettner, Rylie Anderson and Sarah Carlson were all part of two wins.

GIRLS GOLF

Shawano, Bonduel perform well in Bay opener

Shawano and Bonduel were both in action Tuesday, playing nine holes at Vernon Hills Golf Course in Peshtigo for the first stop on the Bay Conference Tour.

Wed
15
Aug

Naeyaert wins a doozy, Cornelius scores first at Shawano

Sometimes it all just comes together. Racing fans were treated to top-notch, on-track action Saturday at Shawano Speedway.

Dan Michonski brought home his third feature win to obtain the $1,000 payday before a stout field of IMCA Stock Car competitors. Tom Naeyaert outdueled Chris Engels for his first feature win in two seasons. Lance Arneson advanced 10 spots for his second win of the year.

In the IMCA Sport Mod feature, Lucas Lamberies scored his sixth win, holding off double duty driver Kyle Raddant, who also ran his first Late Model race. Jason Cornelius won his first career Shawano Speedway feature in Mighty Four action.

Naeyaert grabbed the lead on the opening lap of the Late Model feature as Derek Janke chased him. Engels made an outside pass on Janke for second on lap seven, while Nick Anvelink made an inside pass on Brett Swedberg for fourth on the same lap.

Sat
11
Aug

Shawano, Clintonville eager to hit courts

As the 2018 girls tennis season gets underway, both the Shawano and Clintonville teams will be striving for improvement.

Neither team had a player advance through subsectionals last year, but both teams return plenty of experience to the courts this year.

Among Shawano’s returning players are juniors Isabella Buettner and Lydia Dobberstein, who have plenty of varsity experience. Karelyn Malliet is the team’s lone senior with any varsity experience.

Juniors Alana Krolow, Chloe Krueger, Annalyse Wilber and Haley Williams along with sophomores Anna Cuenca and Grace Licausi will also be among the Shawano players filling out the roster.

While coach Matthew Zoll has yet to determine the flights the athletes will be placed in, he knows regardless of where they compete, each of the players will put in the time to improve.

Sat
11
Aug

Chargers seeking 2nd straight playoff berth


Leader photo by Morgan Rode Wittenberg-Birnamwood is coming off a 6-4 season and fourth place finish in the CWC-Large.

The Wittenberg-Birnamwood football team is coming off one of its best seasons in recent memory.

The Chargers posted a 6-4 record, including a fourth place finish in the tough Central Wisconsin Conference-Large Division. The 4-3 record within the division helped Wittenberg-Birnamwood snag its first postseason berth since 2006. The Chargers could not hang with top-seeded Stanley-Boyd in a 42-0 first level playoff loss.

Despite the team’s breakthrough season, the Chargers have plenty of questions to answer heading into the 2018 season as the team lost seven players to graduation that made an all-conference team last year. Witt-Birn has just four total starters back from last year’s team.

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