Athlete of the Week: Sam Lemens

Gillett/Suring senior Sam Lemens will end his high school wrestling career competing in the 76th annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament.

Athlete: Sam Lemens

Sport: Wrestling

School: Gillett High School

Year: Senior

Reaching state in any sport is typically a feat that can only be accomplished with years upon years of hard work and dedication. For Sam Lemens, who attends Gillett High School and wrestles for the Gillett/Suring co-op, that was certainly the case.

Lemens biggest goal was to reach state, and after a standout senior season on the mat, he achieved that feat by placing third at the Division 3 Bonduel Sectional on Saturday. Sporting a 35-7 season record, Lemens will now try to cap his high school career by reaching the state podium.

Q: When did your interest in wrestling begin?

A: My interest in wrestling started in fifth grade.

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


High school basketball: Oconto Falls boys nab No. 10 seed

With the recent string of inclement weather, boys basketball teams around the state have been scrambling to try to squeeze as many games as possible into the final weeks of the regular season.

With just one week of the regular season remaining, boys teams learned their postseason fates when the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association released tournament brackets on Sunday, Feb. 17.

With a 3-16 record and 1-15 mark in the North Eastern Conference at the time of the bracket release, Oconto Falls was handed a No. 10 seed in Division 3.

The Panthers will open the postseason on the road facing seventh-seeded Brillion (8-12, 4-8 Eastern Wisconsin Conference) next Tuesday, Feb. 26. The winner will take on second-seeded Xavier (15-4, 11-1 Bay Conference) on March 1 in a regional semifinal.


Wrestling: Gillett/Suring's Sam Lemens qualifies for state

Gillett/Suring’s Sam Lemens, top, holds down Shiocton’s Jared Jahnke during the 138-pound weight class third place match at the Division 3 Bonduel Sectional Shawano Community High School on Saturday. Lemens went on to win a 7-5 decision to earn a trip to state. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Oconto Falls wrestlers Clayton Whiting, left, and Tyler Budz will end their seasons competing at the 76th Annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament. (Contributed photo)

With the likes of Coleman, Stratford, Weyauwega-Fremont and Bonduel having several individual wrestlers at the Division 3 Bonduel Sectional, which was hosted by Shawano Community High School on Saturday, the competition was stiff.

Placing in the top three within a weight class to earn a trip to state appeared to be a rather daunting task for the few individuals representing the small co-ops of Gillett/Suring and Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy.

Just as he has all season, Gillett/Suring senior Sam Lemens rose to the occasion, posting a 3-2 record to place third in the 138-pound weight class and earn a spot at the 76th Annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament.

“It means that all the extra work that I’ve put in — like I’ve been wrestling almost every day for the past two months, Saturdays and Sundays when I don’t have tournaments — it means all that hard work paid off and made it all worth it,” Lemens said of making it to state.


High school sports highlights: Feb. 10-16


Niagara 43, Gillett 39

The Tigers were outscored by five in the second half of a Marinette & Oconto Conference loss to the Badgers on Feb. 16.

Aubrey DeBauch recorded 15 points, 12 rebounds and three steals for Gillett. Macy Franti pulled down six rebounds, while Brianna DeBauch had three assists.

Sydney Young scored nine points for the Tigers, while Karissa Schaal had eight points and four steals.

Luxemburg-Casco 72, Oconto Falls 57

The Panthers dropped a North Eastern Conference clash to the Spartans on Feb. 15 after a slow start. Oconto Falls trailed 42-24 at halftime.

Kari Albrecht scored 13 points to lead Oconto Falls, while Emma Huberty tallied 10.

Kaelyn Allen tallied nine points, while Natalie Brauer scored eight for the Panthers.

Oneida Nation 70, Suring 41

The Eagles came up short as the Thunderhawks won the M&O title with the win on Feb. 15.


Basketball: DeBauch, Schaal duo leads Gillett girls on court

Gillett’s Aubrey DeBauch, right, goes up for a layup in a nonconference game against Bonduel back on Jan. 4. DeBauch is averaging 18.6 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game this season. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Gillett’s Karissa Schaal, front, dribbles the ball during a Marinette & Oconto Conference matchup against Suring on Dec. 14. Schaal is averaging 14.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.7 steals per game this season. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

It’s no secret that Aubrey DeBauch and Karissa Schaal are a strong duo on the court for the Gillett High School girls basketball team.

The sophomores love for the game is something that has been passed down through each of the two families.

For DeBauch, who remembers playing basketball as early as second grade, her parents, Michele and Chad DeBauch, played a big role in her basketball journey, even coaching her tournament team starting in third grade.

“Throughout everything, my parents have always had my back and helped motivate me to improve,” said Aubrey DeBauch, who also mentioned the role Jesse DeBauch (her brother) and Laney DeBauch (her sister) had on her basketball career. “There have been so many times my parents were there to help rebound, or play defense against me at open gyms or even just shooting around at home.”


Athlete of the Week: Caleb Lally

Athlete: Caleb Lally

Sport: Boys basketball

School: Suring High School

Year: Senior

Winners of nine of the last 11 games, the Suring boys basketball team seems to be trending in the right direction as the postseason nears. A big reason behind the Eagles recent success has been the play of senior Caleb Lally.

Lally is averaging 16.5 points per game this season and has scored in double figures in all but two games this season. Lally has scored over 20 points four times, with a season-high of 27 points coming against St. Thomas Aquinas Academy on Feb. 1.

Q: When did your interest in basketball begin?

A: I started playing basketball when I was in kindergarten at Saturday morning basketball practices.

Q: What’s your favorite part about a basketball game or the basketball season?

A: My favorite part of the basketball season is spending time with my friends and being able to compete every night.


Girls basketball: Oconto Falls earns No. 6 seed

After months of practices and games, girls basketball teams around the state finally learned their playoff fates when the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association released tournament brackets Sunday afternoon.

Sitting with a 9-9 overall record and 6-8 North Eastern Conference mark at the time the brackets were released, Oconto Falls was awarded a No. 6 seed in Division 3. The Panthers will open the postseason hosting 11th-seeded Tomahawk (2-16, 1-9 Great Northern Conference) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The winner of the Oconto Falls, Tomahawk regional matchup will travel to take on third-seeded Wrightstown (14-4, 12-2 NEC) at 7 p.m. Feb. 22.

Sporting a 12-8 overall record and 9-5 mark in the Marinette & Oconto Conference, Gillett was given a No. 4 seed in Division 5. The Tigers will host M&O foe St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (2-18, 0-15 M&O), a No. 13 seed, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.


Wrestling: Panthers advance 5 to sectionals

Behind a first-place finish from Clayton Whiting, the Oconto Falls wrestling team placed second as a team at the Division 2 Marinette Regional at Marinette High School on Saturday.

Freedom won the regional with 283 points, earning a spot at team sectionals.

Whiting was one of five Panthers to punch their tickets to sectionals after placing in the top two. Collin Schindel, Tyler Budz, Aidan Stary and Elijah Zielinski all placed second for Oconto Falls.

After receiving a bye to open the day, Whiting eased to a 26-11 technical fall victory before pinning Freedom’s Jon Verhasselt in 1 minute, 9 seconds in the 152-pound weight class first-place match.

After a bye, Schindel opened his day in the 120 weight class with a pin of Marinette’s Brayden Zuraski in 4:57. Schindel dropped a match by technical fall next, but was awarded second by rule over Zuarski.


Wrestling: Gillett/Suring’s Lemens, VanDenElzen advance

Despite having a limited number of wrestlers, both the Gillett/Suring and Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy co-ops each advanced two individuals on to sectionals after they placed in the top two of the Division 3 Coleman Sectional at Coleman High School on Saturday.

Gillett/Suring’s Sam Lemens (138) and Mike VanDenElzen (170) qualified for sectionals as the co-op placed fifth after scoring 62 points. Lena/STAA’s Alex Decoursin (132) and Richard Fieck (285) also qualified for sectionals while leading the team to fourth place after scoring 86 points.

The four sectional-qualifying wrestling will compete in the Bonduel Sectional, which will be held at Shawano Community High School on Saturday.

Coleman won the sectional, scoring 337 points to qualify for team sectionals.

Lemens finished first after earning a 6-1 decision win over Coleman’s Jakob Horton in his lone match of the day. Lemens earned a double bye.


High school sports highlights: Feb. 3-9


Gillett 70, Coleman 48

The Tigers overpowered the Cougars to snag a Marinette & Oconto Conference win Saturday.

Aubrey DeBauch scored 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had seven steals to lead Gillett, which led 32-17 at halftime. Sydney Young added 20 points and three steals, while Karissa Schaal had 12 points, seven boards and six steals.

Brianna DeBauch compiled six points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Tigers.

Wausaukee 54, Suring 29

The Eagles had a hard time keeping pace with the Rangers in a M&O battle Saturday.

Paige Krueger was the only Suring player to score over four points, tallying 19.

The Eagles scored just 10 first half points.

Marinette 65, Oconto Falls 62

The Panthers dropped a tight North Eastern Conference clash to the Marines on Friday.


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