Bears lose back-and-forth battle 37-35

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Bonduel High School senior Brynn Reinke drives towards the basket during Friday’s home opener loss against Manitowoc-Roncalli.

In a game that started with just 16 points scored at the half, Bonduel and Manitowoc-Roncalli turned up the heat with 3-pointers and the Jets escaped with a 37-35 win in the final minute on Friday.

The Bears kicked off their home opener with with an easy two points from a putback by Grace Petcka off a Brynn Reinke layup attempt in the first minute.

A weak starting offense for the Jets kept them off the board until eight minutes into the game when Abby Stelzer drained a 3-pointer. Another jumper gave the Jets a three point edge midway through the half.

Bonduel (0-2) found its last two points of the half after Petcka drew a foul and shot 2 of 2 at the line. Roncalli added seven points in the final three minutes to lead 12-4 at the half.

“It was an odd first half,” Bonduel head coach Jerry Reinke said. “The girls just weren’t able to make plays and really do anything with the ball.”


Last-minute changes may confuse deer hunters

Most gun-deer season openers are pretty straightforward when it comes to rules and regulations, but the 2017 opener today is probably going down in history as one of the most confusing.

A week ago today in a Waupaca church, I was helping teach 115 hunter safety students who wanted to get their certificates so they could get their deer licenses in time for the firearms season. Most of them passed.

While two instructors told students about deer tagging requirements, I politely told the same group that no, tagging deer (as well as turkeys and geese) was no longer legally required. Who could blame my fellow instructors? The regulations had just changed a few weeks ago by legislative action and not everyone had heard the news. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website was updated but all printed regulations booklets were wrong.


Hawks hungry for another shot

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School senior Atty Wagner, left, is one of eight seniors for the Hawks this year. After losing in the first round of playoffs last year at home, the seniors are hungry for a chance to advance farther in their final season.

A seasoned Shawano boys basketball team is eager for redemption after feeling the pang of loss on their home court in the first round of Division 2 playoffs last year.

Not only is the team returning eight seniors and several more varsity players, they also have an edge in the Bay Conference in terms of size.

A 6-foot-5 Dakota Maltbey, 6-foot-7 Carter Weisnicht and 6-foot-4 Brad Bartz are among Shawano’s weapons on the court this season.

“Any time you have any kind of length like that, it’s a huge advantage,” Hawks head coach David Ambrosius said. “But on top of that, they’re not just big, they can move, too. So you take that size and make it mobile, and it really causes defenses a lot of problems.”

Maltbey averaged 6.8 points per game last season and is the team’s leading returning rebounder with 66.


With the monkey off their backs, Packers gird for another must-win

The Green Bay Packers have shown they can win a game with Brett Hundley at quarterback.

But now the Orange and Navy Blue Cross is out of the picture, unavailable to provide further assistance this season.

Faint hopes for a playoff run were revived Sunday when the Packers whacked their favorite piñata, the Chicago Bears, to win that season series, snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 5-4.

Fatalists predicting a free-fall plummet to the NFC North basement after quarterback Aaron Rodgers went out with an injury got it wrong. The Packers aren’t going to finish 4-12.

Where they might be sitting by the time a decision on Rodgers’ return is taken is relevant again.


Hawks clinch season opener over Clippers

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School senior Brandi Gueths breaks past defenders in the first half of Tuesday’s season opening 60-26 win over Sturgeon Bay. Gueths recorded 10 points and was 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.

Junior Tori DePerry posted 15 points to lead Shawano to a 60-26 victory against Sturgeon Bay in the Hawks’ nonconference season opener on Tuesday.

The Clippers struggled with shooting, and Shawano was able to press early to keep Sturgeon Bay to just five points until midway through the first half. The Hawks’ energy started to fade defensively as the half went on, but a weak Sturgeon Bay offense gave the Hawks some leeway.

“It’s the start of the year, it’s the first game, so of course we’re a little slow,” head coach Steve Koenig said. “You can tell we tired ourselves out quickly in the first half after pressing well in the beginning. We just aren’t in game shape yet, but I thought they fought hard.”

Brandi Gueths shot an easy layup to get the Hawks on the board early at Shawano Community High School, and a 3-pointer from Hailey Buschman brought the Hawks to a 5-0 lead before the Clippers found the basket.



Miranda Washinawatok, a graduate of Shawano Community High School, was named the American Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Volleyball Freshman of the Year. She was also selected to the all-ACAA first team.

The freshman is an outside hitter for the University of Maine-Presque Isle. She also earned the ACAA’s player of the week award at the start of the season.

“These honors are the best surprise I’ve gotten to date in regards to my volleyball career,” Washinawatok said. “I’ll cherish the accomplishments I’ve made this season forever.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coach, the support system I have back in Wisconsin, and the friends I’ve gained here.”

Washinawatok played every set for the Owls this season and averaged 2.39 kills and 2.44 digs per set.


Witt-Birn senior to continue running at Winona

Photo by Tina Bacon Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School senior Maddy Pietz signed her letter of intent to run track and field at Winona State University next year. The photo includes, from left, father Brian Pietz, Maddy Pietz, mother Heidi Pietz and sister Halle Pietz.

Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School senior Maddy Pietz will continue her track and field career at Winona State University next year.

The reigning WIAA Division 2 state champion in the 400-meter dash signed a letter of intent with the Minnesota university Nov. 1.

“I got letters from a lot of schools,” Pietz said. “A lot of Big Ten colleges contacted me after freshman year, and I started to believe it was something I could do.

“My mom told me to keep my options open, and so I found Winona. I went and visited and everything was just amazing. The coach was great. The school, the atmosphere — it all just aligned with the type of person I am.”

Pietz has a history of success as a Charger.

“Freshman year, I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” she said. “I knew I was fast but didn’t know if I’d be fast enough to be good at the sport.”

She found out that she was fast enough — and then some.


“1,000-milers” to speak at Shawano Pathways

Dale and Penny Bernard Schaber will be guest speakers at the Shawano Pathways annual social Nov. 14 after completing a 1,000-mile trek across Wisconsin.

The Appleton couple hiked the Ice Age Trail, which follows the southernmost reach of the glacial ice that once covered Wisconsin before it retreated, carving and sculpting a distinctive look that separates the two parts of the state.

An only-in-Wisconsin experience, the Ice Age Trail is one of 11 trails in the United States to receive the National Scenic Designation from Congress because of its unique features and geological significance.

Although it’s not completed and some places are tricky to follow, more than a million people have have followed the yellow blazes that mark the the trail to hike, backpack, snowshoe and enjoy retreating to nature.


Shawano recognizes fall athletes

Shawano Community High School athletes, coaches and family packed The Gathering on Tuesday to honor members of the school’s fall sports.

Coaches reflected upon their seasons and presented awards to varsity athletes, voted on by the players and coaches.


The Hawks ended their season 4-5 and were one win short of making the WIAA playoffs. Seven players earned spots on the Bay Conference first and second teams, along with honorable mention.

Head coach Alan Tomow commended his players for reaching their defensive goal of improving the run defense. The team finished in the middle of the rankings after starting the season at the bottom of the conference.

Senior linebacker Seth Sousek aided in that achievement and earned the top defensive award, most valuable defensive player, along with the overall most valuable player. Sousek also clinched a spot on the all-conference first team.


Rodgers’ return a moot point for teetering Packers

Aaron Rodgers can’t stand watching the Green Bay Packers on television. Packer fans are beginning to relate.

Rodgers’ aversion to the Pack on the tube is more benign than that of his admirers, some of whom today are considering the merits of snow tubing or ice fishing as an alternative to watching their team get thrashed on a weekly basis.

The Packers’ quarterback was referring to his frustration as an injured player, and the difficulty of watching the offense sputter while he’s unable to do anything about it.

The question of Rodgers coming back this season from the broken collarbone he suffered in Minnesota may have been answered Monday night – indirectly, but assuredly – in the disappointing 30-17 loss to Detroit.

“If (I’m) healthy and it makes sense to come back,” Rodgers said of his possible return in Week 15, “I’m going to come back.”


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