Shawano girls soccer team eager to get ball rolling

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode The Shawano girls soccer team scrimmage indoors at Hillcrest Primary School on Monday in preparation for its first games of the season this week. The Hawks are scheduled to host Lakeland Union on Thursday.

The Shawano Community High School girls soccer team believes it’s ready to take a step forward on the field as the spring season starts up.

The Hawks lost several seniors from last year’s team that went 3-10 overall and 2-6 in the Bay Conference, but it also returns several experienced players. Coach Bob Croschere also hopes to have a few others step up and help the team finish near the top of the conference standings.

Defender Emily Watters and midfielder Lindsey Roloff offer the team a pair of senior leaders to turn to for leadership.

“I plan to tell my teammates the truth about how they’re doing. Like if they ask me if what they did was good, not sugarcoat it. I have to be that person that tells them the truth about what they’re doing,” Watters said. “Just give everyone as many pointers as possible and keep pushing them to do their best.”


Witt-Birn baseball team turning to new faces on diamond

Photo by Tina Bacon Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School’s Kody Szews delivers a pitch during the team’s playoff game against Amherst last year. Szews will fill a leadership role this year as a senior and play shortstop when he’s not on the mound.

The Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School baseball team enters the season looking for players to step up after several starters graduated from last year’s 13-9 team.

“After losing several starters to graduation, the Chargers will be relying on inexperience and young talent to help earn victories,” Witt-Birn coach Dan Kapitz said. “We are looking forward to competing at a high level and showing how our combination of players, with and without much varsity experience, perform.”

Senior Kody Szews is the only all-conference performer returning for Witt-Birn, which went 8-6 in the tough Central Wisconsin Conference-East.

When not toeing the rubber, Szews will primarily play shortstop.


Young Witt-Birn softball team gearing up for action

Photo by Tina Bacon Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School’s Olivia Zoromski, left, leads off first base during a playoff game against Amherst last year. The senior will play center field for the Chargers this spring.

Coming off an 8-10 season and 6-6 run through the Central Wisconsin Conference-East, a young Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School softball team is hoping to take the next step this year.

“Our team is very young, with limited varsity experience,” Witt-Birn coach Charity Fraaza said. “I feel our seniors have strong leadership skills, so I am hoping they can help the girls pick up the intensity and gel as a whole. It would be unrealistic of me to say we will win every game, but our team expects a victory every time we step onto the field.”

Junior Megan Konkol and sophomores Emma Herb and Abi Fraaza all made an all-conference team last spring. Fraaza is the Chargers’ starting shortstop. Herb plays third, and Konkol figures to play first base.

Sophomore McKenna Metropulos played second last year but likely will do most of the catching this year.


Track and field: Shawano girls distance runners excel in loaded meet

The Shawano Community High School track and field team went through a big early season test Saturday, competing in the Ripon College Showcase Meet at Ripon College.

The Shawano girls came in 10th in the 15-team large division, while the boys took 15th.

Alice Hoffmann led the girls team with a first-place finish in the 3,200-meter run, posting a time of 13 minutes, 16.23 seconds.

Odessa Arce placed third in the 800 (2:30.39), while Claire Guenther was third in the 3,200 (13:23.06).

Grace Beyer, Lydia Beyer, Hoffmann and Arce formed the third-place 4x800 relay (10:43.14).

Lydia Beyer rounded out a strong effort from the Hawks distance runners by taking fifth in the 1,600 (5:51.13).

Parker Pues led the boys with a fifth-place finish in the long jump (20 feet, 9.25 inches). Crede Timm placed eighth in the high jump (5-06).


Athlete of the Week: Michael Klement

Leader file photo Shawano junior Michael Klement got his junior season off to a strong start with a pair of first-place finishes in the team’s first invite of the year.

Athlete: Michael Klement

Sport: Boys track and field

School: Shawano Community High School

Year: Junior

Every athlete dreams of performing at a high level for an entire season. Shawano junior Michael Klement is hoping to achieve just that, especially after a strong first track and field meet.

Klement earned two first-place finishes at the indoor Wausau West Early Bird Invite on March 16. He won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.66 seconds and then went on to clear a height of 12 feet, 6 inches to win the pole vault and set a new personal record in the process.

Klement and the Hawks return to action Saturday for an invitational at Ripon College.

Q: When did your interest in track and field begin?

A: My first interest in track began in middle school around sixth grade. I joined the Shawano middle school track and field (team) — I had a natural speed that pushed me into running.


Speed is key for Shawano softball team this season

Leader file photo Shawano’s Kendra Kristof attempts to lay down a bunt during the team’s playoff game against Luxemburg-Casco last season. Kristof will play in the outfield for the Hawks this spring.

With a change in approach, the Shawano Community High School softball team is hoping to have another strong season on the diamond.

After graduating all-conference first-team selections Brianna Zook and Brandi Gueths and second-teamer Kristina Wynos, the Hawks lost a good deal of power. So instead of relying on a few players to knock in runs, the team hopes its speed can lead to success.

“We lost a lot of thump in the lineup but we are faster than we have been in a long time,” coach Brian Johnson said. “We are going to have to use our speed on the bases.”

Shawano finished 10-9 overall a season ago, posting an 8-6 in Bay Conference play. The Hawks advanced to the regional finals before falling to West De Pere.

The team’s lone returning all-conference selection is junior Gracyn Habeck, who made the second team as an infielder.

Habeck will serve as Shawano’s starting first baseman and be a source of production where ever she bats in the lineup.


Stone paces Witt-Birn girls at track and field meet

The Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School girls track and field team placed fourth at the Northland Pines Indoor Meet behind a strong night of action from Jenna Stone on Thursday.

Stone won the 1,600 with a time of 6:09.77 and the 3,200 in 13:17.17.

Lauren Dombeck finished second in the 200 hurdles (36.01). Placing third for the Chargers was Chloe King in the 400 (1:08.63) and long jump (14-04) and Jalynn Horacek in the 200 hurdles (36.78).

Ruby Nowinski finished fifth for W-B in the 1,600 (6:49.67) while Dombeck was fifth in the 55 hurdles (11.07) and Emma Herb placed fifth in the shot put (34-01).

Menominee Indian had its girls and boys team in action, with the girls placing 10th and boys ninth.

Pasen Waupoose led the boys team with a second-place finish in the shot put (40-04). Mimi Beaulieu-Morgan finished third in the 800 (2:52.91) for the girls.


Clintonville Youth Baseball League moving out of city

Unable to come to an agreement over user fees, the Clintonville Youth Baseball League and the city of Clintonville will part ways.

In a letter to the city, the Clintonville Youth Baseball League, or CYL, stated that its pony and Babe Ruth players ages 13-15 will continue to play baseball at Bucholtz Park this summer, as in years past. Those players will also pay the 2019 park and recreation fees of $20 for city residents and $32.50 for non-residents.

However, the league’s younger players, those in T-ball through age 12, will be taking their games out of Clintonville to Bear Creek and Embarrass this summer. Next year, all league games will be played outside the city.

“We will be playing in Embarrass, Marion and Bear Creek,” said Chris Schley, the league’s vice president and treasurer, in a phone interview.


Leftover turkey licenses now on sale

If you forgot to apply for your spring turkey license, or just want an extra one, today is the day that all remaining licenses go on sale.

Earlier this week, zone-specific licenses went on sale, one zone per day (leftover licenses for Zone 3, which includes most of Shawano County and all of Waupaca County, went on sale Wednesday). Now “tags” in all seven zones are on sale, and you can purchase them at the rate of one per day until they are gone. “Bonus turkey harvest authorizations” are $10 each for residents, $15 for non-residents.

A total of 109,771 are available. You can purchase them at any license vendor or at GoWild.WI.Gov. Go to this site to see what seasons and zones are remaining:

Seasons A (April 17-23), B (April 24-30) and C (May 1-7) are full for all seven zones already.


College Highlights

Zook enjoying strong start to season

While the Bryant & Stratton College (Wauwatosa) softball team is just 4-12 on the season, Shawano graduate and Bobcats freshman Brianna Zook has enjoyed a strong start at the plate.

Through 15 games played, Zook owns a .350 batting average. She has collected 14 hits in 40 at-bats and has scored nine runs.

Zook has doubled four times and driven in a team-leading nine runs. She also leads the team with eight walks and a .458 on-base percentage.

Bonduel grad playing for St. Scholastica

Bonduel graduate Kailee Pedersen is playing her freshman collegiate softball season with St. Scholastica (Duluth, Minnesota).

Pedersen has played in four of the team’s 16 games so far this season.

In four at-bats, she has collected a hit, walked and scored two runs. She’s also stolen three bases.


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