Sports

Wed
18
Apr

Oconto County sportsmen oppose shortened crossbow season

Sportsmen in Oconto County and around the state soundly rejected a plan to shorten the crossbow season for deer, but Oconto County Conservation Congress alternate chairman Ralph Fritsch thinks the plan’s author will continue to pursue it at the state level.

“I think Greg (Kasmierski) will follow through with it and push for it and the board (Natural Resources Board) will support him,” Fritsch said after the April 9 Conservation Congress and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spring hearings, which included non-binding votes on a variety of proposed hunting, fishing and trapping rules changes.

Wed
18
Apr

Jake Morrissey wraps up Purdue wrestling career


Purdue University wrestler Jake Morrissey, an Oconto Falls graduate, takes on a Michigan State opponent during his final season. Morrissey clinched three state titles during his time at Oconto Falls and advanced to the NCAA Division 1 Championships two times while at Purdue. (Photo by Purdue Athletics Communications)

Jake Morrissey left Oconto Falls with three state titles under his belt. He was one of the most dominant wrestlers in his era in Wisconsin.

When Morrissey went off to Purdue University, he had one goal in mind: win a national championship.

During his four-year career competing for the Boilermakers, Morrissey qualified for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships twice but came up shy of his main objective. However, he had a strong career that ended in mid-March.

“After the match is over, it hits you and you kind of realize, that’s it,” said Morrissey, a 2013 Oconto Falls graduate. “I’ve been wrestling for 18 years and it’s time to move on. It’s almost bittersweet a little bit because, on one hand, I’m disappointed that I’m done wrestling, and I didn’t quite accomplish what I set out to do, but at the same I’m excited to start a career and a family and move on to other things.”

Wed
11
Apr

High school track: Oconto Falls girls hopeful with old and new talent

Following a season with five sectional and two state qualifiers, plus the addition of new talent, the Oconto Falls girls track team is hopeful this season.

The team brings back one state qualifier, sophomore Ericka Havemeier, and three other sectional qualifiers, senior Kennedy Kratz, junior Breanna Sadowski and senior Ricki Ludwig.

The four contributed to the team finishing first or second in half of its meets last season. The team is on pace for a similar year after placing first in five of nine events during its indoor meet on March 27, good for first place overall. The team also secured first at its first meet March 20.

Wed
11
Apr

Taylor Yonker, Ryan Mahoney selected to WBCA All-Star Game


Suring High School senior Ryan Mahoney was selected to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game on the Division 5 North team. (Times Herald file photo)

Area athletes will be represented in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game June 15-16 in Wisconsin Dells.

Suring senior Ryan Mahoney was selected to the Division 5 North boys roster, and Gillett senior Taylor Yonker will play with the girls Division 5 North team.

Mahoney led Suring last season with 23.2 points per game and well surpassed the 1,000-point milestone with 1,539 high school career points over four seasons.

Others on the D5 North boys team are: Alec VandeCastle, Wild Rose; Alex VanCrete, Green Lake High School; Connor Sorenson, South Shore High School; Drew Severson, Eleva Strum Central; Drew Haffner, Gresham Community High School; Hayden Baughman, McDonell Central; Ian Gibbs, Port Edwards; Joe Grundhoffer, Assumption; Jonah Kahl, Turtle Lake; and Nicholas Malovrh, Columbus Catholic.

Yonker scored a team-high 14.8 points per game for the Tigers and helped lead the team to the WIAA Division 5 sectional final.

Wed
04
Apr

Oconto Falls baseball has deep pitching staff


Oconto Falls High School senior Mason Sefcik, who is in his third season on the mound, will serve as the team’s ace again this spring. (Times Herald file photo)

With just three seniors on last year’s Oconto Falls baseball team, coach Charlie Rochon was forced to play younger players.

By the end of the season, he had a freshman, Mitchell Manns, and a sophomore, Dylan Nelson, in his everyday lineup.

The Panthers took their lumps, finishing 7-16, but the young players gained plenty of time on the diamond. This year, the players and the team will reap the benefits.

Oconto Falls — which lost Michael Vervelde, Michael Leveille and Dalton Curl to graduation — returns the majority of its starting lineup and all its pitchers. That formula could translate into the program’s third winning season in the last four years.

“We will be stronger than we were last year,” Rochon said. “Last year, we were young and we didn’t have a lot of seniors.”

The heart of the team could be pitching. It’s an all-senior staff that will work by committee to get the job done.

Wed
04
Apr

Outdoors column: ‘Deer wars’ won’t be averted by shorter crossbow season

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board member who authored a spring hearing questionnaire question suggesting a shortened crossbow archery deer season said he’s trying to be proactive to prevent “a further breakdown of Wisconsin’s deer hunting traditions.”

Greg Kasmierski, a Natural Resources Board member and owner of Buck Rub Outfitters archery shop in Pewaukee, said crossbow deer hunters now have an unfair advantage in technology that is giving their users a nearly 50 percent greater chance of harvesting a buck over compound bow or even gun hunters.

“The crossbow bill was never vetted by the public,” he said. He has fielded complaints, although I’ve personally never heard anyone complain about crossbow use until reading his question on the non-binding ballot. Kasmierski claims he is trying to head off “deer wars” between the various hunting factions by being proactive.

Wed
28
Mar

Oconto Falls softball team is young but experienced

A youth movement is in full swing for the Oconto Falls High School softball team.

The Panthers have a young roster this season, but it’s an experienced group of players.

“It’s a young group when you look at it on paper. But they’re all going to step up, and they’ve all had some varsity experience,” coach Cory Albrecht said. “They might not have been our starters. But even though they’re young, they’re probably going to be improved from last year.

“Everything is looking really good. Our chemistry is right where we want it.”

The players are feeling confident this season they can improve off a 9-15 record a year ago.

“We’re ready – our practices have been super enthusiastic,” senior Stephanie Peitersen said. “We kind of have a younger team, with only three seniors. But we have six juniors, and everyone shows so much enthusiasm and leadership. Everyone’s really stepped it up this year. We’re ready to really go far.”

Wed
28
Mar

Former Panthers team up at UW-Whitewater


Michael Manns, who graduated from Oconto Falls in 2016, is in his freshman season catching at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. (Photo by UW-Whitewater Athletics)

It was a moment Evan Sigmund and Michael Manns will remember for the rest of their lives.

With the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team leading Grinnell 16-0, the Warhawks coaches inserted Sigmund to pitch the seventh inning and Manns to catch in their March 25 game in Auburndale, Florida.

The two longtime friends and former Oconto Falls teammates got to experience their first college baseball game together. The freshmen battery mates were on the big stage.

“I felt so comfortable back there with him and just knowing what his movement was, knowing everything,” Manns said. “It’s just so nice catching someone you’re so familiar with.”

“It’s pretty cool to have somebody like that that you’re used to for 10-plus years. Whether it’s little league, middle school, high school, he was just always my catcher,” Sigmund said. “It’s nice having that familiar face for sure. That really helps a lot for both of our success.”

Wed
21
Mar

Former Panther qualifies for NCAA D2 wrestling championships


Nate Trepanier, a freshman wrestling at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, placed fourth at 149 pounds at the NCAA Division 2 Wrestling Super 3 Regional tournament at St. Cloud University on Feb. 24 to advance to the championships. The 149-pound top-six regional finishers include, from left, Joseph Schumacher, fifth; Damian Penichet, third; James Pleski, first; Isaiah Kemper, second; Nate Trepanier, fourth; and Kyle Rathman, sixth. (contributed photo)

Lindenwood University freshman Nate Trepanier finished his first college wrestling season with a championship run.

Trepanier, who graduated from Oconto Falls High School in 2017 and received a wrestling scholarship to the Missouri college, advanced to the NCAA Division 2 Championships after placing fourth at the regional tournament held Feb. 23-24 at St. Cloud University.

Trepanier also received the Freshman of the Year Award at the regional tournament. He was the sole freshman at the tourney to advance to the championships. Trepanier is also the second wrestler at Lindenwood University to qualify for the championship tourney as a true freshman.

Trepanier defeated Joseph Schumacher, of Minnesota State University Moorhead, in the 149-pound fourth-place regional match to secure his championship spot, as the top four wrestlers advanced to the tournament.

Wed
14
Mar

Bloom set to continue baseball career in college


Oconto Falls High School senior Kamdan Bloom will continue his baseball career at Edgewood College, in Madison, as a catcher in the fall.

Oconto Falls senior Kamdan Bloom will get to continue his catching career at Edgewood College next year.

The Madison school recruited Bloom to the Division 3 baseball team, giving him the opportunity to keep playing the sport he started at just 4 years old.

“My mom signed me up for tee-ball around that age,” Bloom said, “and it just became the sport I stuck with since then.”

Bloom also credits his old coach, the late Cliff Yuma Sr., for his continued dedication to the sport.

“(Yuma) was a mentor to me throughout my whole little league career,” Bloom said. “He’s the reason I’m the player I am today. We’d play in little league tournaments and get our butts kicked and he always taught us to never give up, and it’s something I’ve held onto as I’ve grown in baseball.

“He sadly passed away from cancer my seventh-grade year, so since eighth grade I’ve been playing baseball to honor him. I know he’s been watching.”

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