Sports

Wed
17
Oct

Local runners shine at M&O cross-country meet


Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen, left, and Derek Hanson each placed first at the first-ever Marinette & Oconto Conference meet Oct. 11 in Pembine. (Contributed photo)

Marinette & Oconto Conference runners made history Thursday, competing in the first-ever conference meet on the grounds of Lake Lundgren Bible Camp.

The Gillett sophomore duo of Derek Hanson and Sylvia Hansen became the first conference champions in dominating fashion. Hanson won the boys race in 16 minutes, 53.2 seconds, more than 40 seconds faster than the next finisher. Hansen posted a time of 19:11.4, almost two full minutes ahead of the second-place runner.

With sectionals looming, Hanson and Hansen were each pleased with their tune-up runs.

“Getting the gold at conference certainly put me in a good spot mentally,” said Hanson. “I think the mentality I had at conference is one I should keep for sectionals. I was focused and hungry for the gold medal, and that day I dug deep to get it.”

Wed
17
Oct

Athlete of the Week: Kaitlyn St. Louis


Kaitlyn St. Louis has been one of Oconto Falls’ top hitters in her senior season. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Athlete: Kaitlyn St. Louis

Sport: Volleyball

School: Oconto Falls High School

Year: Senior

Down the stretch run of the season, each volleyball match seems to get more important. With the added pressure, some teams can succumb to the moment if they do not have enough experience on the roster. The Oconto Falls volleyball team had plenty of seniors to lean on over the past few weeks of the season, and Kaitlyn St. Louis is one of the seniors who is leading the way.

St. Louis has served as one of the Panthers’ top hitters this season, totaling 141 attack kills heading into postseason play. She also is third on the team with 36 serving aces while also contributing 119 digs.

Q: When did your interest in volleyball begin?

Wed
10
Oct

Athlete of the Week: Crystal Zempel


Gillett’s Crystal Zempel has battled through two ACL tears but has remained positive and hopes to help the team make a playoff run. (Contributed photo)

Athlete: Crystal Zempel

Sport: Volleyball

School: Gillett High School

Year: Senior

In today’s sports world, a torn ACL seems to be about as frequent an injury as any. Gillett senior Crystal Zempel has endured the unfortunate luck of going through the injury twice but has persevered and now sees the court plenty for the Tigers.

As the postseason nears, Zempel can help provide a veteran voice for a team that will be looking to make a surprise playoff run. In the team’s last Marinette & Oconto Conference match, she helped the Tigers rally from a set down to top Lena on the road.

Q: When did your interest in volleyball begin?

A: My interest began when I was little. My aunt, Tricia, played, and she got me started passing.

Q: What’s your favorite part about a volleyball match or the volleyball season?

Wed
10
Oct

High school football: Teams hoping to cap seasons with wins


Bo Krueger (5) and the Gillett football team are hoping to end the year with a win over Oneida Nation. (Times Herald file photo)

Local football teams enjoyed the eighth week of the season and are now hoping to cap their seasons with another victory in the final week of the regular season.

Oconto Falls picked up its first win of the season last week in a convincing win over Clintonville. While the team cannot make the playoffs, one final win against Luxemburg-Casco this Friday could be extremely special for the Panthers.

“It would give the seniors one last gift and give our underclassmen the taste of victory going into the offseason,” Oconto Falls coach Nick Bohl said. “I hope that by winning Friday, our underclassmen use that as a building block for the offseason. If they want to cherish those moments, that they have to work harder in the offseason. You are only guaranteed nine games in a season so winning a football game is a precious memory.”

Wed
03
Oct

High school football: Local teams look to reverse fortunes


One team will earn its first win of the season Friday in Oconto Falls as Clintonville visits for a North Eastern Conference matchup. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Week 7 was not kind to the four area football teams.

Oconto Falls, Suring and Gillett each scored once in their losses while the Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy co-op was shutout.

With the playoffs no longer on the minds of the four teams, each roster will look to enjoy the final two weeks the regular season has to offer.

Oconto Falls, which is 0-7 overall and 0-6 in the North Eastern Conference, will host its final game Friday against winless Clintonville. The team will look to give its seniors a victory on senior night.

Wed
03
Oct

Athlete of the Week: Autumn Canavera


Autumn Canavera has been the top Oconto Falls girls runner this fall. (Times Herald file photo)

Athlete: Autumn Canavera

Sport: Cross-Country

School: Oconto Falls High School

Year: Junior

Autumn Canavera has served as the top runner for the Oconto Falls girls cross-country team for much of the fall season. The junior is hoping to keep piling up the top finishes as the season winds down and eventually qualify for state.

Canavera most recently took part in the Panther Invite on Thursday, posting a time of 21 minutes, 23.02 seconds to finish third as an individual and helping the team take seventh. A week before that, Canavera took ninth at the Jim Bremser Invitational with a time of 20:34.56.

Q: When did your interest in cross-country begin?

A: It began when I started to run with my parents when I was little.

Q: What’s your favorite part about a cross-country meet?

A: My favorite part in a cross-country meet is right before the finish line, when I give it my all knowing that I’m almost done.

Wed
26
Sep

High school football: Teams hit stretch run

With just three weeks remaining in the high school football regular season, local teams are headed in various directions.

Suring and Gillett are in the playoff hunt while Oconto Falls and the Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy are hoping to build towards the future and continue to build a program identity.

After playing in an exhibition game last week, Gillett will return to the gridiron facing a tough Wausaukee team. The Tigers have not picked up a win since Aug. 30 but would likely need a victory this week to be in the playoff conversation.

“It’s a big game for us, I’m not going to lie, its a big game for them. One with playoffs in mind.” Gillett coach Jesse Witcraft said. “If we want a chance to make the playoffs in the end, we will have to win this football game.”

Wed
26
Sep

Athlete of the Week: Emma Huberty

Athlete: Emma Huberty

Sport: Volleyball

School: Oconto Falls High School

Year: Senior

The Oconto Falls volleyball team is loaded with upperclassmen hoping to turn their experience into a deep postseason run. Setter Emma Huberty, one of seven seniors on the roster, is one of the Panthers’ best weapons on the court, setting up the team’s hitters with perfect passes and occasional tips over the net to catch opposing teams off guard.

Following last Thursday’s loss to Luxemburg-Casco, Huberty had recorded 538 of the Panthers’ 602 assists on the year. The senior also has totaled 122 digs and 32 service aces.

Q: When did your interest in volleyball begin?

A: I didn’t really play volleyball until middle school. I found out about it in sixth grade when we had intramurals. I fell in love with it then.

Q: What’s your favorite part about a volleyball match or the volleyball season?

Wed
19
Sep

Athlete of the Week: Wylee Van Bellinger


Wylee Van Bellinger (10) was a second team all-conference selection in the Marinette & Oconto Conference last season. (Contributed photo)

Athlete: Wylee Van Bellinger

Sport: Volleyball

School: Suring High School

Year: Senior

Growing up in a family that has achieved plenty of athletic success can be a tough standard to live up to for some of the younger members of the family. That isn’t the case for Suring senior volleyball player Wylee Van Bellinger, who has enjoyed a strong career on the volleyball court and is hoping to make her final season her best yet. At a triangular on Sept. 6, Van Bellinger led Suring with 25 digs, 15 attack kills and eight aces across two matches. In a loss to Crivitz this past Tuesday, she tallied five attack kills, and in a victory over Gillett on Thursday, she totaled eight digs and seven attack kills. Van Bellinger was a second team all-conference selection in the Marinette & Oconto Conference a season ago.

Q: When did your interest in volleyball begin?

A: In elementary school when I started watching my older sisters play.

Wed
19
Sep

High school football: Teams seeking answers after lopsided losses


Oconto Falls will look to hand Wrightstown its first loss of the season Friday night, which also serves as the Panthers’ homecoming game. (Times Herald file photo)

Slowing down the opposing offense was an issue for the three local football teams that hit the gridiron Friday. Oconto Falls and Suring were each shutout in lopsided losses, while Gillett was unable to keep pace with Gibraltar.

Cleaning up play on the defensive side of the ball could go a long way in helping all three teams bounce back during their week six matchups.

Oconto Falls will celebrate homecoming as North Eastern Conference foe Wrightstown visits.

The Panthers currently hold an 0-4 mark in the NEC, but coach Nick Bohl thinks the team will be ready to go on Friday.

“Wrightstown is very similar to us. They are a run-heavy offense that is similar to ours and will try to grind you down over the course of the game,” he said. “They are physical up front, quick off the ball and have backs who can score anywhere on the field.”

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