Shawano baseball team searching for new playmakers

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano baseball players warm up prior to Tuesday’s indoor practice at Shawano Community High School. The Hawks must replace several starters from last year’s team.

Varsity experience may be low, but the Shawano Community High School baseball team still believes it can be a force in the Bay Conference this spring.

A season ago, Shawano finished 8-7 overall and 7-5 in conference play to take third. The Hawks lost several seniors to graduation that helped form that team.

“Even though we don’t have a lot of returning starters from last year’s senior full team, I feel this year’s group can surprise some people in the Bay Conference this season,” Shawano coach Rob Wolff said. “We should be sound defensively and offensively. We just don’t have a lot of experience coming back pitching wise but I feel the team will step up to the challenge.”

While experience is low, with only four guys that have any varsity experience at all, the roster will include several seniors that will be looking to fill some of the voids.


High School Highlights


Shawano 4

Waupaca 0

The Shawano soccer team got its season off to a strong start with a nonconference win over the Comets on Tuesday.

Lindsey Roloff led the charge for the Hawks, netting a hat trick. She scored goals in the 45th, 55th and 63rd minutes.

Roloff assisted on the team’s other goal, when Kyra Klement scored in the 58th minute.

Shawano goalie Peyton Buerman stopped 16 shots to preserve the shutout. Isabel Colon recorded on assist.


Schairer’s 2nd place finish leads Witt-Birn boys

Cole Schairer placed second in the 800-meter run for the top Wittenberg-Birnamwood boys finish at the Bluejay Invite at Merrill High School on Tuesday.

Deakyn Suess came in fifth in the 400 for the Chargers, while Simon Schairer placed sixth in the 800.

Team scores (boys): 1. Edgar 196.5; 2. Waupaca 140.5; 3. Rib Lake 111.5; 4. Merrill 101; 5. Prentice 40; 6. Wittenberg-Birnamwood 19.


Sports Briefs

Leader file photo Brad Eder was recently inducted into the arm wrestling hall of fame.

Eder joins arm wrestling hall of fame

Brad Eder, of Bonduel, was inducted into the arm wrestling hall of fame in Stevens Point on March 9.

Eder, 59, has worked many years to earn the honor. After countless hours lifting weights and exercising, he achieved a lifelong goal of his.

Behind the support of his family and wife, Bonny, Eder has been a state champion twice along with taking second in the world twice and placing third once.

When Eder took a break from arm wrestling, he instead competed as a powerlifter. He won four world titles and had a record of 96-1 record.

He returned to arm wrestling three years ago before winning a title at 58. Eder will arm wrestle at a tournament at Longhorn Saloon on April 27.

Vosters named WIAC wrestler of year


Bonduel baseball team ready to defend CWC-East title

Leader file photo Bonduel’s Isaac Boldt delivers a pitch during a game against Iola-Scandinavia last spring. Boldt will try and help fortify the Bears pitching rotation this season.

Leader file photo Clintonville’s Matthew Morse prepares to swing during the team’s regional title win over Seymour last spring. Morse is one of just a few remaining players from last year’s team that made a deep postseason run.

Despite losing a handful of players from last year’s Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division title-winning team, the Bonduel High School baseball team is confident it can contend for the crown again this spring.

Bonduel, which is coached by Donnie Gruenewald, finished 16-6 a season ago, going 10-2 in conference play to edge Amherst for first place.

The Bears must replace six seniors that played big roles last year. Of the team’s eight all-conference selections, four return.

Junior Cole Letter, a second team pick, will serve as the team’s catcher.

“We have high goals and expectations for each other and the team as a whole,” Letter said. “We are a talented group that has played together since 10U (10-and-under) and we have very tight chemistry which plays a huge factor. We believe we can compete for another conference championship and we have the mindset that we won’t settle for anything less.”


Opening day to be free of snowball fights, rainouts

Hank Aaron hit the last 22 of his major league home runs as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, but one of the most memorable of his 755 career jacks came on an opening day.

Aaron tied Babe Ruth’s iconic mark of 714 home runs on his first cut of the Atlanta Braves’ 1974 season with a three-run shot over the left-center field fence in Cincinnati.

The proverbial charm of baseball’s opening day lies mainly in the fact that it has arrived. With the debut of spring, the return of fair weather and the wide-eyed hope that a 0-0 clean slate brings, it is the classic fresh start.

But while the promise of new life is the focal point on most opening days, the beginning of the six-month season has produced some notable fireworks on the field, too. Bob Feller threw a no-hitter in Cleveland’s 1940 season opener. Last year, Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs hit the first pitch of the season over the right field fence in Miami.


Clintonville’s Wittman, Polzin earn conference honors

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Clintonville’s Sam Wittman dribbles the ball in a NEC road game against Oconto Falls on Nov. 30. Wittman capped his high school basketball career by earning a spot on the all-conference honorable mention team.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Clintonville’s Aiden Polzin, left, looks for a teammate to pass to in a NEC road game against Oconto Falls on Nov. 30. Polzin was named to the honorable mention team after a strong junior season.

Clintonville High School boys basketball players Sam Wittman and Aiden Polzin were each named to the North Eastern Conference honorable mention team for their play on the court this winter.

“Being on an all conference team my senior year means a lot to me as an athlete,” Wittman said. “It means that the hours in the gym and all the commitment has not gone unnoticed.”

“It’s always nice to be recognized for all the time I put into basketball,” said Polzin, a junior.

Polzin landed on the honorable mention team after averaging 15.2 points per NEC game. He connected on 40 3-pointers over 17 conference game and shot just under 75 percent from the free throw line.

Polzin also averaged 5.4 rebounds per game while recording 19 steals in NEC play.

Heading into his senior year of basketball, Polzin has high goals for himself and the team.


Clintonville’s Arndt, Viergutz earn NEC honors

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Clintonville’s Elly Arndt puts up a shot in a nonconference game against Shawano on Dec. 8. Arndt was recently named to the NEC honorable mention team.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Clintonville’s Erin Viergutz, front, reaches for an errant pass during a NEC game at Oconto Falls on Jan. 10. Viergutz was recently placed on the all-conference honorable mention team.

Clintonville High School girls basketball players Elly Arndt and Erin Viergutz were each named to the North Eastern Conference honorable mention team after strong junior seasons on the court.

“Being named to an all-conference team shows me that I am better then I think I am and that I have improved a lot from last year to this year,” Viergutz said.

“I feel that it means that all the work I’ve put in over the summer has started to pay off,” Arndt said.

Arndt finished the 18-game NEC portion of the schedule averaging 10.2 points per game. She shot over 50 percent from the floor and grabbed an average of 4.9 rebounds per game.

Arndt also totaled 21 assists, 40 steals and 11 blocks in conference action.

“(It) Gives me confidence knowing what I am capable of, so that’s gonna push me to do just as well if not better next year,” said Arndt on how the honor will motivate her going into next year.


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.


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