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.


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.”


High school football: Local teams looking to regroup

Gillett is hoping to bounce back this week against Gibraltar after suffering its first loss last week to Newman Catholic. (Times Herald file photo)

After suffering its first loss of the year, the Gillett High School football team has another stiff test to overcome this week if it hopes to get back to its winning ways.

The Tigers will travel to take on an undefeated and ranked Gibraltar team coming off a 50-14 win over Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy. Gibraltar has outscored its three opponents 138-20 on the year.

Like Gillett, Gibraltar is also undefeated in MONLPC-8 play, so the Tigers know they will need to learn from their loss in a hurry and then turn in a strong game in order to come out on top.

“This week we will prepare and Friday go play sound, solid football,” said Gillett coach Jesse Witcraft. “Our team will be hungry. They have a good team; we have a good team.”

Last year, Gillett picked up a thrilling double-overtime win over Gibraltar on the strength of a monster game from running back Bo Krueger, who should again be a workhorse for the Tigers this time around.


Athlete of the Week: Brody Schindel

Brody Schindel has been the Oconto Falls boys top runner this season. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Athlete: Brody Schindel

Sport: Cross-Country

School: Oconto Falls High School

Year: Senior

Brody Schindel has served as the top runner for the Oconto Falls boys cross-country team this season. He opened the fall by placing first at the Green Bay East Triangular with a time of 18 minutes, 47 seconds on Aug. 23. He trimmed his time down to 18:18.45 to place 25th at the loaded Irish Cross Country Invitational on Aug. 31. At the Shawano Invitational on Saturday, Schindel posted a time of 17:53.49 to take eighth among Division 2 boys runners. The senior is hoping to make it to state for a third straight year.

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

A: It was about two days before the first practice my freshman year.

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


Cross-country: Hansen, Hanson lead Gillett at Shawano Invitational

Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen, left, runs stride-for-stride with Kaukauna’s Anna Fauske at the Shawano Invitational on Saturday. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

For the second consecutive meet, the Oconto Falls and Gillett cross-country teams competed in an invite filled with strong team and individual talent. The added competition helped fuel local runners from both schools to strong finishes at the Shawano Invitational on Saturday.

Gillett sophomores Sylvia Hansen and Derek Hanson led the way, placing first and second among the girls and boys Division 3 runners, respectively. Hansen earned a time of 19 minutes, 0.69 seconds, just a couple of ticks behind Kaukauna’s Anna Fauske (18:58.13), the top girls overall finisher.

“I was excited because I was close to being under 19 (minutes) and this was probably one of the biggest PRs (personal records) I’ve ever had,” Hansen said. “I definitely ran my first mile a lot better than my last race,” which was the Irish Cross Country Invitational at Freedom on Aug. 31. “I learned to use my energy at different times of the race.”


Athlete of the Week: Bo Krueger

Bo Krueger (5) has helped Gillett to a 3-0 start this season. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Athlete: Bo Krueger

Sport: Football

Positions: Running back, linebacker

School: Gillett High School

Year: Junior

It is no secret that Gillett junior running back Bo Krueger is the focal point of the team’s offense. That doesn’t mean he is easy to stop though. The Tigers are 3-0 to open the year, and in those three games, Krueger has accumulated 813 yards and 16 touchdowns on just 56 rushing attempts for an average of about 14.5 yards per tote. He also hauled in a receiving touchdown during an eight-touchdown performance against Menominee Indian in week two. Krueger also serves as a linebacker for a defense that’s allowed a total of 40 points this year.

Q: When did your interest in football begin?

A: When I was in fourth grade.

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

A: Having a fun time with friends.


Football: Big matchups loom for area teams in week 4

Oconto Falls will be seeking its first win of the season when hosting Freedom on Friday. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

After strong showings in week three, the Gillett, Suring and Oconto Falls football teams are hoping to keep up that effort during critical week four matchups.

Gillett will play host to Newman Catholic at the eight-man level. Both teams are ranked and carry undefeated records into the showdown.

Gillett will be led by standout running back Bo Krueger, who has scored at least four rushing touchdowns in each of the first three games. Newman Catholic features a lethal passing attack, led by quarterback Ben Bates.

In such a big matchup, it’s easy for teams to get away from what they do best. Coach Jesse Witcraft and the coaching staff is keeping things the same at practice and hopes the team can build upon its strong start to the year.


Cross-country: Oconto Falls, Gillett go through early season test

Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen took second overall in the girls varsity race at the Irish Cross Country Invitational on Friday, Aug. 31. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

The early portion of the cross-country season is a time when coaches learn about their teams and when runners try different things in an effort to trim down their times.

Oconto Falls and Gillett each got an early idea of what they could expect this season after taking part in the 11th annual Irish Cross Country Invitational at Irish Water Golf Club in Freedom on Friday. A total of 36 teams participated at the invitational, with varsity runners competing against each other and then being placed amongst a division based on enrollment size.

Gillett sophomore Sylvia Hansen finished second overall in the girls varsity race and earned the top time of the small school runners. Hansen finished the course in 19 minutes, 39.58 seconds, just behind Kaukauna’s Anna Fauske (19:36.80).

Most runners would be thrilled with a second place finish, but the finish left Hansen desiring more.


Krueger’s monster game powers Gillett to win

Bo Krueger, right, waits for Tyler Lockstein (18) to execute a block during Gillett’s rout of Menominee Indian on Aug. 23 in Keshena. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Stopping Gillett junior running back Bo Krueger is no easy feat for opposing defenses. Menominee Indian was the latest team to learn that lesson.
Krueger recorded over 300 total yards and scored eight touchdowns to lift Gillett to a 70-12 win over Menominee Indian on Thursday.
Gillett received the opening kickoff, and in just over a minute, scored its first touchdown when Anthony Carroll broke free for a 61-yard rushing score.
Following a thrilling week one overtime win, the Tigers knew getting on the scoreboard first was key to keeping the momentum rolling.
“We came into that game ready to win, we had our game plan set and knew just what to do.” Carroll said. “Our offensive line did an amazing job creating holes and sealing the edges of the Menominee defensive line and really played like a team.”


Cross-country: Several Panthers turn in strong performances

The Oconto Falls boys cross country runners kept coming in one after another in a rapid pace.
When it was all said and done, seven of the top 10 boys finishers were from Oconto Falls. The Panthers tallied a team score of just 21 points – 15 is perfect score – en route to beating Green Bay Southwest (53) and Green Bay East (64) at the annual East Triangular at Colburn Park on Thursday, Aug. 23.
“That’s pretty good for the first meet,” Oconto Falls coach Lon Ludemann said. “I didn’t know what to expect, honestly. We got two freshmen in the top five, that’s good.”
Joe Adams, in his first cross country meet ever, finished fourth overall (19 minutes, 52 seconds). Fellow freshman Isaac Raddatz was eighth (20:19).
It was the Panthers’ Brody Schindel and Evan Roberts who paced the field. Schindel placed first (18:47), beating second-place finisher Roberts by 26 seconds.


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