Late comeback effort falls short for Patriots

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Legion second baseman Alex Hoffman catches Iola’s Caleb Loken attempting to steal second base early in Shawano’s 8-7 home loss Monday in the final game of the regular season. Shawano opens Class AA regional play on Wednesday in Rhinelander.

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Legion third baseman Bryce Gagnow attacks a ground ball during the first inning of Monday’s home loss. After trailing by seven runs, the Patriots lost 8-7.

Using Monday’s regular-season finale as a pitching exhibition for this week’s regional, Shawano Legion head coach Ryan Koenig wanted to get five players on the mound.

The Patriots held Iola to one run over the final three innings and mounted a comeback that fell just short in an 8-7 loss at Memorial Park.

“They never give up. They don’t. They want to win. They’re competitors, which is what you want,” Koenig said. “It’s really refreshing to see that this year, and just the maturity from last year to this year.”

Jacob Lacy sparked the Patriots’ offense with four RBIs. He hit a two-RBI single in the fifth inning, and then, after Alex Hoffman walked with the bases loaded in the sixth, Lacy followed it up with his third and fourth RBIs of the game to pull Shawano within two.


Shawano Red romps to 12U tourney title

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano 12U baseball player Joryn Koelbl fakes a bunt attempt during the team’s opening round victory over Seymour on Friday night. Shawano dominated the tournament, including a 10-0 championship victory on Sunday.

The Shawano Red 12U boys baseball team put up impressive numbers throughout the Shawano Youth League tournament last weekend in Shawano, so it was not too surprising when the squad claimed the championship Sunday with a 10-0, four-inning win over Seymour.

Shawano pitcher Will Bieber recorded five strikeouts and allowed only one walk through three innings. He helped out his team offensively by hitting two triples and batting in five runs.

“Bieber always steps up,” head coach Clint Sumnicht said. “He stands out and is a great ball player.”

Shawano had 10 hits and no strikeouts. Aiden Preston and Mikey Metcalf-Grassman also had extra-base hits.

Although Seymour didn’t put up any runs, it got extra-base hits from Lucas Leisgang and Cole Tetzloff. Tetzloff and Nathaniel Krull shared mound time for Seymour and issued six walks.


Rohloff becomes a three-division Shawano feature winner

Photo by A&H Photos Brad Rohloff picked up a feature victory in his third different division and was a wire-to-wire leader in the IMCA Stock Car feature Saturday at the Shawano Speedway.

Photo by A&H Photos Brandon Goeser earned his first victory in Shawano by winning the exciting Mighty Fours feature on Saturday at the Shawano Speedway.

There is an old saying about playing the hand you’re dealt. Saturday night Mother Nature dealt another unfavorable hand as a rain shower hit the Shawano Speedway halfway through the heat races, but thanks to the hard work of track prep guru Bob Reiter and the considerable efforts of the racers on hand, the track was fast and smooth after the rain.

Brad Rohloff won his first IMCA Stock car feature to go with past wins in the IMCA Modified and Late Model divisions. Late Model racer Nick Anvelink won his second feature of the year. IMCA Modified pilot Konnor Wilinski bested his dad to win his second consecutive feature, and Andy Kleczka (IMCA Sport Mods) and Branden Goeser (Mighty Fours) notched their first wins at Shawano also.

Late Models


Wittenberg tops Birnamwood for Little League title

The small towns of Wittenberg and Birnamwood are used to playing alongside each other, but only one team could win the Western Shawano County Little League championship July 13 in Bowler. Wittenberg took the title, 13-2, to finish the season with a perfect 18-0 record.

Wittenberg started out strong on defense. After giving up a single to Birnamwood’s leadoff hitter, Logan Thiex recorded two strikeouts, and the combination of catcher Ethin Hintz and shortstop David Gauderman caught Mason Meverden attempting to steal second.

“Once you get momentum, it carries into the next inning,” Wittenberg coach Duane Potrykus said. “As soon as there is a good play made, all of a sudden, the bats come alive.”

The momentum did carry on for Wittenberg, which scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Birnamwood, which finished the season 15-5, was able to respond on defense with a clean inning in the bottom of the second.


West sweeps Little League all-star games

Contributed Photo The East Division all-stars for the Western Shawano County Little League were, from left, front row, Max Kersten, Reed Quade, Quintin Sippl, Landon Zinda and John Stewart; and back row, Austin Worzalla, Bryce Zoromski, Larken Betry, Logan Thiex, Ben Wesolowski and Jacob Zemke.

Contributed Photo The West Division all-stars for the Western Shawano County Little League included, from left, front row, David Gauderman, Mark LaBarge, Pierson Potrykus, Carter Herb, Mason Skortz and Eli Trzinski; and back row, Ian Salverson, Gavin Esker, Austin Worzalla, Larken Betry, Jack Fraaza and Isaac Szews.

The annual Western Shawano County Little League all-star games were played July 7 in Wittenberg.

The West Division consisted of players from Wittenberg, Birnamwood, Eland, Pike Lake and Rosholt. The East Division players were from Neopit, Stockbridge, Tigerton, Bowler and Marion.

Taking advantage of some shaky fielding by the West, the East jumped out to a 10-3 lead, including a six-run fourth inning, in the first game.

The West began its comeback with four runs in the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, Logan Thiex hit a walk-off home run to secure a 12-11 win. Thiex finished the night with three hits.

Larken Betry also had a home run in his three hits. Ben Wesolowski chipped in three hits. Thiex, Ben Wesolowski, Quintin Sippl and Betry all pitched in the game.


BABA Roundup



WP — Dave Jueds; LP — Zack Schutt

Marion: Jake Westphal went 4 for 6. Ryan Mortenson was 3 for 5, including a grand slam.

Gresham: Joe Ejnik was 4 for 5. Ryan James and Brent Berkholz each went 3 for 6. James had two doubles.


WP — Jake Madson; LP — Anthony Leaman

Clintonville: Parker Mindel, Turner Doornick, Jared Westphal, Jeremy Schoenike and Aaron Everts all had two hits.

Neopit: Mike Pecore had two hits. Aaron Waukau hit a home run.


WP — Bobbie Brunker; LP — Lowell Chevelier

Shawano: Kenny Casper Jr. went 3 for 5. Bobby Brunker, Dan Buettner and Wesley Carlson each had two hits.



WP — Paul Sellner; LP — Paul Murphy

Tigerton: Conner Harris went 3 for 3 with a home run.


2nd Youth League tournament weekend begins

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano 11U baseball player Dylan Hodkiewicz dives beneath the tag of the Mosinee first baseman on a pickoff attempt Friday at Memorial Park. Shawano 11U and 12U baseball teams, along with 8U softball teams, will be playing all weekend as part of the Shawano Youth League tournament.

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano 11U baseball player West Bieber rounds first base after his single drove in a run in the second inning of Friday’s game against Mosinee. There are 28 teams involved in the weekend tournaments, which continue Saturday and Sunday at Memorial Park.

For the second consecutive weekend, plenty of baseball and softball will be played at Memorial Park as part of the annual Shawano Youth League tournaments.

This weekend, the 11U and 12U baseball teams, along with the 8U softball teams, will take the field. Play began Friday night and will continue all day Saturday and into the afternoon Sunday.

The tournaments, which include 28 teams, traveling from as far away as Rudolph and Oak Creek, are the main fundraiser for the league and can raise between $10,000 and $20,000 on a given weekend.

“We use it for equipment next season, for uniforms and to get in other tournaments we are going to send our kids to, field upgrades,” Shawano Youth League President Dustin Beyer said.


4 drivers make memorable returns to Shawano Speedway

For a moment, it felt like a vintage 1998 IMCA Modifieds battle, Craig Bartz and Mike Wedelstadt racing hard for position.

The two drivers had some fantastic battles through the years. In fact, I remember quite well how Bartz outdueled Wedelstadt for his first career Shawano Speedway feature win. Yes, I did say Craig Bartz.

Bartz, Cody Hudson, Scott Blanke and Mitch Stankowski formed a quadrumvirate of drivers making a return to the historic half-mile Saturday.

Bartz, who has spent the majority of his time in recent years helping his daughter become one of the top IMCA Sport Mod drivers in the area, made a return to the track in the IMCA Modifieds division.

Cody Hudson, the 2013 Sport Mod track champion, also made his return to racing last week in the IMCA Modifieds division. The popular driver known by the moniker “The Hudson Hornet” is racing a former Adam Clark chassis.


Iola pounces on Diamondcats for 10-2 victory

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Clintonville Legion catcher Kyle Finger looks a runner back during the fourth inning of Thursday’s 10-2 home loss to Iola.

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Clintonville Legion first baseman Nathan Krueger grabs a line drive to end the third inning of Thursday’s 10-2 loss to Iola at home.

The Clintonville Legion baseball team was held to just five hits and could not produce the defensive stops necessary in Thursday’s 10-2 home loss to Iola.

The Diamondcats pulled within four runs in the fifth inning, 6-2, on RBI hits from Jordan Koeppen and Nathan Krueger, but Iola pitcher Nate Korb worked his way out of the inning without further damage.

Korb pitched a complete game for Iola, giving up five hits and two earned runs. He struck out 11 and walked two.

Iola was hot from the start, when Korb led off the first inning with a single. After an error pushed runners to second and third, Cameron Grunwald and Seth Korb each drove in runs.

In the third inning, after an error, Connor Kurki singled to left to make it a 3-0 game. Iola got two more runs in the fourth to push the lead to five.


New conference provides more foes for 8-man teams

As part of a major conference realignment in Northeastern Wisconsin, the Gresham/Bowler and Menominee Indian football teams will each have two new foes this fall.

The Marinette & Oconto, Northern Lakes and Packerland conferences have been combined and then divided into MONLPC-Large, Small and eight-man conferences for football only.

“I think it’s a real good idea, and I think it will work out really well,” Menominee Indian head coach Chris Clache said.

Gresham/Bowler and Menominee Indian, which were previously in the Great-8 North Conference, will face many of the same eight-man teams as last year, including Sevastopol, NEW Lutheran, Gibraltar, Lena/STAA and Oneida Nation. The new additions to the group are Gillett and Wausaukee, which are converting to the eight-man game this fall.


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