Top 5 Performers

Here is a look at some of the top performances in the area over the past week:

Waylon Welch — Gresham boys basketball

The junior turned in a pair of strong games to help the Wildcats take second at the Gresham Holiday Tournament this past weekend. Welch scored 17 points, hitting a trio of 3-pointers along the way, to help Gresham to a 77-63 win over Bowler on Friday. He then scored a team-high nine points in a loss to Bonduel in the championship game.

MacKenzie Moore — Bonduel girls basketball

The Bonduel senior helped her team win the Gresham Holiday Tournament, landing on the all-tournament team for her strong showings. Moore paced the Bears with 14 points in a 20-point win over Wabeno/Laona on Friday. She then tallied six points and added some strong defensive play in the team’s title game win over Gresham on Saturday.

Olivia Curley — Wittenberg-Birnamwood girls basketball


Packers intensify coach search seeking brighter future

As the ball dropped over Times Square ushering in the new year, the memories of 2018 couldn’t be swept away fast enough for the Green Bay Packers, whose thumbnail retrospective of the past year is also a dropped ball.

After completing their second consecutive losing season — the first such repeat since 1990-91 — the wind of change is howling through Lombardi Avenue, and a major cleaning of house is on tap.

In a normal year in Green Bay, the “next man up” in January is the player on the depth chart replacing an injured starter in the playoff game. Today, it refers to the procession of candidates applying for the chance to take the reins and turn the Packer ship around — or shoulder the blame if things don’t work out.

Once the Packers find their permanent replacement for fired coach Mike McCarthy, then the other personnel blocks will fall and the picture for 2019 will become a little more in focus.


Nier replaces Bacon as Witt-Birn athletic director

Christine Nier

For the first time in 17 years, Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School has a new athletic director.

Tina Bacon recently resigned from the position, and Christine Nier was hired as the new athletic director.

“My overall goal is to ensure that things run smoothly in terms of athletics,” Nier said of her plans moving forward. “I have had a ton to learn and still have much more. So for right now, my plans are to learn the position of athletic director and do my very best at keeping things organized and running like they should.

“The biggest issue facing athletics is the lack of coaches and refs. It is extremely difficult to find both and neither get the credit they deserve for the huge amount of time and effort they put into it.”

Nier has been involved with Witt-Birn athletics dating back to 1997, when she coached the volleyball C-team. In 2005, she made the transition to the varsity volleyball coach and held the position until 2016.


Bonduel’s Giese takes second in Oshkosh

Bonduel’s Jacob Giese continued his strong senior season, posting a 4-1 record to take second in the 220-pound wrestling weight class at the Lourdes On the Water Classic at the Kolf Sports Center in Oshkosh on Friday and Saturday.

Giese had three wins by pin and a decision victory before dropping a 5-4 decision in the first-place match.

Bonduel finished 29th as a team after earning 109.5 points. Coleman won the tournament with 365.5 points.

Bonduel’s Isaac Banker took fifth in the 195 class, posting a 4-2 record. Banker won three decisions and pinned one opponent.

Luis Lagunes came in ninth in the 113 class with a 5-2 mark. Lagunes’ first three wins were by major decision before ending the classic with a pin and decision win.

Tristan Tomashek (160) posted a 3-2 mark, while Jayson Toellner (120) went 2-2 for the Bears.


Packers season ends with a dud

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers tight end Jimmy Graham, left, is hit by Lions defensive back Quandre Diggs during Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field.

In a season full of disappointment and letdowns, the Green Bay Packers somehow still managed to reach a new low.

The Packers suffered arguably their worst loss of their 100th season — yes, even worse than the loss to the Arizona Cardinals that got Mike McCarthy fired — falling to the Detroit Lions 31-0 at Lambeau Field on Sunday. It was the first shutout loss to the Lions in Green Bay since 1970.

“Obviously have to give a lot of credit to the Lions, to coach (Matt) Patricia, his staff, their players,” Packers’ interim coach Joe Philbin said. “Certainly, they were the better coached team today, the better prepared team. They played better, they coached better, and that’s I think why the scoreboard reads like it did today… .”

Fans who were only tuning in to see if receiver Davante Adams could break a pair of franchise records were disappointed to see the Pro Bowl wideout inactive with a knee injury.


Bonduel grad Reinke named NACC athlete of week

Photo courtesy of Jeff Wilson Bonduel graduate Lexi Reinke was named the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week after a pair of strong games.

Wisconsin Lutheran College and Bonduel High School graduate Lexi Reinke was named the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Dec. 17-23, as selected by the league’s sports information directors.

This is the first conference weekly award for the Warriors’ senior guard.

Reinke averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 58.8 percent (10-of-13) from the floor as the Warriors remained unbeaten (9-0) with wins over a pair of recent NCAA Tournament qualifiers.

She scored a career-high 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds in a 58-47 win over Montclair St. Dec. 19, then backed it up with 11 points and seven boards in WLC’s 58-49 win over FDU-Florham Dec. 20.

It was the first time in Reinke’s career that she reached double figure scoring in consecutive games.


High School Highlights


Wabeno/Laona 84

Bowler 45

The Panthers trailed by 26 points at halftime of an eventual loss to the Wabeno/Laona co-op in the Gresham Holiday Tournament consolation game on Saturday.

Bowler’s Landan Kroening was named to the all-tournament team. The loss dropped the Panthers’ record to 3-7 overall.

Bonduel 65

Wabeno/Laona 53

The Bears outscored the Wabeno/Laona co-op 37-23 in the first half to claim a Gresham Holiday Tournament clash on Friday.

Bonduel hit nine 3-pointers in the contest, five of which came from Isaac Boldt, who led the team with 15 points. Parker Bohm added 14 points, including a 6-of-7 mark from the free throw line.

Canaan Szoszorek made 7-of-12 free throws to finish with nine points while Isaac Garside and Cole Letter chipped in eight and seven points, respectively.

Gresham 77

Bowler 63


Fired-up Bears win Gresham Holiday Tournament

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Gresham’s Justice Paiser, middle, looks to pass the ball as Bonduel’s Canaan Szoszorek, left, Jared Wondra, back, and Isaac Boldt, right, defend during Saturday’s Gresham Holiday Tournament boys title game at Gresham Community High School.

In front of a packed Gresham Community High School gym, the Bonduel boys basketball flexed their muscles and turned in their most impressive performance of the season.

Bonduel turned up its defensive pressure and used fast starts in each half to pick up a convincing 80-35 victory over Gresham in the title game of the Gresham Holiday Tournament on Saturday.

“We just played really hard. We ran, we were making shots — this is how we want to play,” Bonduel coach Duke Copp said. “We haven’t played like this until today and it was really fun, fun for the kids.”

Bonduel (6-4) was fired up from the opening tip, quickly working out to a double-digit lead behind seniors Parker Bohm and Canaan Szoszorek and junior Cole Letter.

Even when Copp turned to his bench, the production continued, with juniors Dylan Springborn, Isaac Boldt and Justin Bahr providing the team lockdown defense and strong shooting.


Bonduel fends off Gresham in tournament title game

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Gresham’s Valarie Cerveny, top, goes up for a shot as Bonduel’s Kylie Hoffman, left, Allaina Robaidek (2) and Erin Timler, right, defend during Saturday’s Gresham Holiday Tournament girls title game at Gresham Community High School.

Through the first eight minutes of Saturday’s Gresham Holiday Tournament girls championship game, it looked as if the hosts were going to be able to hang with Bonduel, especially after senior Jessie LaBerge went down with an injury for the Bears.

Bonduel started up its full-court pressure, however, to pull away from a feisty Gresham squad and claim a 62-35 victory at Gresham Community High School.

“We haven’t really had to press a lot but I just thought we weren’t giving that much energy on defense. We were giving up the baseline. So I thought if we went to a little more full-court (pressure) we could get some easier looks at the hoop, which we really weren’t getting either,” Bonduel coach Jerry Reinke said.

Gresham did not trail for the first eight-plus minutes of the half, with senior Tiana Ferguson and freshman Valarie Cerveny leading the charge for the Wildcats.


Firearms, the ultimate American Christmas gift

I was pondering a holiday column topic when an item on Facebook caught my eye. It was an item by, shared by an Iowa Gun Owners group that showed a collection of happy Americans with their guns at Christmas.

Some were Christmas gifts, which to me and millions of other shooters symbolize the ultimate holiday gift. As Ted Nugent often says, “You can’t do that in France!” BB guns, pellet guns, .22 rifles, shotguns, handguns — all will delight new or avid shooters with the promise of plinking adventures on a Saturday afternoon or hunting with a parent or grandparent.

I eagerly clicked on the article after sharing it and realized that the article from the British tabloid was anything but a complimentary and flattering article about gun owners.


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