Sports

Thu
04
Jan

Missed playoffs spelled big changes for Packers

You can’t shoo away the memories of a lousy season with a swipe of the hand.

Assistant coaches and front office staff, however, are not quite a protected species.

Embroiled in a crisis of mediocrity after their worst season in nine years, the Green Bay Packers addressed their troubles the old-fashioned way. They fired people.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ firing was sure to sit well with the gaggle of fans who’d been calling for his ouster for the past several years. The Packers haven’t had a top 10 defense since their Super Bowl-winning 2010 season, a stretch during which their unavailing pass rush has been an Achilles heel.

Capers may or may not have changed his approach from that which he used seven years ago, when he was hailed as the man with the plan on the other side of the ball. For certain, though, the players aren’t the same ones.

Wed
03
Jan

Crandon boys beat Eagles in Gresham tourney final

Menominee Indian varsity boys defeated Oneida Nation 68-65 in the first round to advance to the championship game, but Crandon took the varsity boys title with a 84-82 victory over the Eagles.

Crandon advanced to the championship after defeating Gresham 69-66 in the first round on Friday. The Wildcats faced Oneida Nation in the consolation matchup and took the third-place title with a 58-43 win.

Gresham and Menominee Indian were the two local schools that participated in the Gresham Holiday Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Three Wildcats scored double figurs in the consolation game. Todd Otradovec led with 16 points, including 6 of 6 at the free-throw line. Justice Paiser followed with 14 points and Drew Haffner added 13.

Justin Hill led Oneida Nation with 12 points.

The varsity girls champions were Oneida Nation with wins over Gresham, 74-12, and Menominee Indian, 54-39. Menominee Indian defeated Gresham 51-41 in the first round.

Wed
03
Jan

Shawano dominates Xavier at home dual


Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School freshman Jerald Raeder pinned Xavier’s Drew Malone in 1 minute, 18 seconds during a home dual on Tuesday. Shawano won 69-12.

Shawano wrestling coach Mike Homan saw his wrestlers take a huge step forward in a dominating 69-12 win over Xavier during Tuesday’s home dual.

“Everybody took the changes we’ve made and really turned it up a notch tonight,” Homan said. “It’s good to see the kids finish their matches off. That’s kind of what we’ve been lacking, but they did it tonight. We have definitely shown flashes where we can come out and wrestle well, but we can’t quite finish those matches off, and I think tonight we did that.”

Homan attributes the improvement to intensifying practices over the holiday break.

“We had an excellent couple days of preparation,” Homan said. “We’ve seen a huge improvement in how we prepare for matches, and it shows. The thing we’ve been preaching the last couple weeks after two really close dual losses is paying more attention to the details.

Sat
30
Dec

Shawano drops 2nd game in Sundrop Shootout


Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School senior Kaden Richards attempts to shoot over Notre Dame’s Jackson Strohmeyer during the Hawks’ 77-64 loss at the Sundrop Shootout on Friday. Richards scored a team-high 23 points and four 3-pointers.

Shawano lost its second game at the Sundrop Shootout 77-64 to Notre Dame on Friday, but the team saw big improvement from their Wednesday loss to Mount Horeb.

“From the way we played Wednesday to now was definitely way better,” senior Kaden Richards said, “so I feel better about that. As a team we feel better about that. So even though we lost, we’re feeling pretty good about the way we played today.”

The Hawks dropped their first game to Mount Horeb 64-37. The main difference, according to the team, was aggression.

“We just went out and competed,” Richards said. “On Wednesday, the coaching staff kind of got on us and just told us that it looked like we didn’t care, and we took that personally. So we came out with fire under us today because we wanted to prove to ourselves and to the coaches that that’s not the team we are.”

Sat
30
Dec

Athlete of the Week: Jake Hoffman


Contributed photo Jake Hoffman led Gresham to a 53-50 victory over NEW Lutheran during the Sundrop Shootout on Wednesday. The freshman scored a team-high 13 points during the game.

Athlete: Jake Hoffman

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard

School: Gresham Community School

Year: Freshman

Just a freshman, Jake Hoffman led the Wildcats to victory with a team-high 13 points to top NEW Lutheran 53-50 on Wednesday at the Sundrop Shootout at the Kress Center in Green Bay. Hoffman averages 6.3 points and nearly four rebounds per game.

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Q Where did your interest in playing basketball begin?

A It began with my brother, James. He got me into basketball. He never took it easy on me and always pushed me to my limits. Without my brother, I wouldn’t be playing basketball.

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Q What have you done in the offseason to establish yourself as a varsity player?

A I’ve been practicing with my brother, trying to go to every open gym, and to learn from my mistakes to get better as a player.

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Q What’s your favorite part about playing the game?

Sat
30
Dec

Improve your outdoors approach and abilities in 2018

A new year arrives Monday and it’s time to count our blessings and make improvements on our lives.

If you read my columns, you’ve probably figured out that I’m pretty conservative and happy with the last change in the White House. Of course, I don’t agree with President Trump on every issue and realize that he was not always conservative. In fact, there are times he is not very conservative at all.

I don’t see eye-to-eye with anyone on every issue, including my wife. Yet I live with her, deal with her and make the best of it. Most of the time, I enjoy her company and come to appreciate her unique point of view, which is formed by her upbringing, her personality (she’s an engineer; I’m a writer and creative thinker) and her femininity.

Fri
29
Dec

Hawks dominate Oconto Falls at Sundrop Shootout


Photo by Jody Ward Shawano Community High School junior Hailey Buschman scored 11 points, including six of seven free throws, for the Hawks during a 64-27 victory over Oconto Falls at the Sundrop Shootout on Wednesday.

With three players in double figures, the Shawano girls basketball team cruised to a 64-27 victory over Oconto Falls in the Sundrop Shootout on Wednesday, the first girls game to ever be played in the annual tournament.

Shawano went on a 22-2 run to begin the game and never trailed throughout the game. The Hawks were particularly deadly from the free-throw line. They were 18 for 22 from the charity stripe, which accounted for a large part of the commanding lead.

“In the past we have been a second-half team, so we really wanted to focus this year in getting out to better starts in games,” Shawano head coach Ryan Koenig said. “I really challenged them in here. I told them, ‘It’s our shootout, it’s the first girls game ever and we’re the hosts, so let’s go out and be ready to go right away,’ and the girls really responded to that.”

Thu
28
Dec

College football still peddling fractional “tournament”

The road to a college football championship makes for a busy December. Some are busy playing games; others are busy talking.

Officials from the NCAA’s Division I playoff selection committee spent a good part of this month on the latter, assuring the sports world that the right teams have advanced to the Final Four.

In Division I, “advancing” to the Final Four involves doing absolutely nothing, apart from celebrating when the invitation arrives. Under the present playoff system that Division I tries to pass off as legit, a group of people acting as ad hoc scoreboards makes all the decisions about who’s better than whom.

Those who questioned the flighty nature of this system surely had their fears quelled by playoff committee chair Kirby Hocutt.

“Our charge,’’ he said going in, “is very simple: to come in and select the four very best teams for selection into the semifinals for the playoff, and that’s what we’ll do.”

Thu
28
Dec

Gresham opens Sundrop Shootout with win


Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Gresham Community School senior Todd Otradovec drives past Green Bay NEW Lutheran’s Luke Bukowski during a 53-50 win at the Sun Drop Shootout on Wednesday. Otradovec scored 11 points for the Wildcats.

Gresham had four shooters score double digits as it defeated Green Bay NEW Lutheran 53-50 at the Sundrop Shootout on Wednesday.

The Wildcats opened the three-day, ninth annual tournament at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Kress Events Center.

In Gresham’s second year participating in the shootout, head coach Jeff Zobeck said it gives the players experience in the case of a championship run.

“It’s an awesome experience,” he said. “Last year we decided to do it because we felt like we had a team that could advance and have to play in a facility like this, so we wanted to give them that opportunity. This year, we’re playing really well right now, so it’s kind of the same scenario.

“It’s a fun event for the kids and the families that come to support, and again this year, it’s good that we can play in an environment like this in case we end up having to again down the road this season.”

Sat
23
Dec

Athlete of the Week: Bryce Weier


Contributed photo Bryce Weier scored a team-high 26 points in Monday’s win over Clintonville. The senior was 4 for 4 at the free-throw line and drained four 3-pointers during the game. Weier leads Bonduel with an average of 16.7 points per game and is 81 percent at the line.

Athlete: Bryce Weier

Sport: Basketball

Position: Shooting guard

School: Bonduel High School

Year: Senior

Bryce Weier scored a team-high 26 points, including four 3-pointers and 4-for-4 free throws, in Monday’s 73-60 victory over Clintonville. Weier leads the Bears this season with an average of 16.7 points per game and is nearly 81 percent from the free-throw line. The senior has also drained a team-high 14 3-point shots this season.

Q Where did your interest in playing basketball begin?

A Sports in general is a popular thing in my family, so basketball runs in the family. Along with that, seeing my sister play throughout middle school and high school gave me more interest.

Q What’s your favorite part about playing the game?

A Basketball has always given me adrenaline and it’s always been my outlet when I need to relieve stress.

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