Oconto Falls sends 4 wrestlers to sectionals

Four Oconto Falls wrestlers will compete at their home sectional on Saturday after finishing in the top-two at the WIAA Division 2 regional last weekend.

Dan Ausloos (30-2) took the heavyweight championship and was the sole Panther to take first. Ausloos pinned Freedom’s Hayden VanCamp in 54 seconds in the semifinal before pinning New London’s Travis Kuhnke (3:03) in the championship match.

Jager Eisch (106 pounds), Collin Schindel (120) and Noah Stary (152) were runners-up.

Eisch (26-11) defeated Damian Polanco, of New London, in the quarterfinal and Blake Linsmeyer, of Seymour, by decision in the semifinal. He dropped a 5-0 decision to Carsten McHugh, of Freedom, in the first-place match.


Ryan Mahoney breaks 1,500 career points as Suring defeats Gillett

Suring High School senior Ryan Mahoney attempts a dunk during a victory over Gillett on Friday. (Times Herald photo by Jacy Zollar)

Suring High School senior Ryan Mahoney broke 1,500 high school career points after a 16-point game in Suring’s 57-21 victory over Gillett on Friday.

The senior broke the previous school record set in 2011 by Chad Strehlow (1,487 points) during a Feb. 6 win over Wausaukee. He ended Friday’s game with 1,505 total career points to become the school’s all-time leading scorer.

“I didn’t know I broke the record when I did,” Mahoney said. “I knew I was getting close, but was trying to keep my mind off it, but coach took a timeout after my layup and people were cheering pretty loud and that’s when I realized I must have hit it. I felt overjoyed after that moment. There are so many good players that are up on the 1,000-point banner, and it’s an honor to be up there with them.”

“He’s a great kid and honor roll student,” Suring head coach Jim Keeffe said. “He’s one of our captains and respected by his teammates. He’s an all-around great basketball player.


Tigers’ seniority steps up in victory over Eagles

Gillett High School senior Taylor Yonker drives up the court during a Marinette & Oconto Conference win against Suring on Friday. (Times Herald photo by Jacy Zollar)

A lot can be said for a team with four senior starters.

The Gillett girls basketball team showed rival Suring, which doesn’t have a senior on its roster, that experience trumps youth.

The four Tigers senior starters combined for 47 points to erase a slow start as host Gillett beat Suring 69-42 in a Marinette & Oconto Conference game on Friday.

“After a slow start, I thought our senior leadership really took hold — they didn’t panic,” Gillett coach Justin Daul said. “In a rivalry game like that, you can see a young team that really panics. We answered, and you could tell their youth was taking over compared to our veteran leadership.”

Gillett (13-5, 9-4 conference) was up 11-10 six minutes into the game before the offense got going.

“I think we came out a little overhyped and I think once we settled down a little bit and got into our defense we started to pull away a little bit,” Gillett senior Taylor Yonker said.


Lena grad and college basketball player brings AAU program to area

Connor Heise, a Lena High School graduate and freshman at Viterbo University in La Crosse, is starting an AAU basketball program in Oconto and Marinette counties for ages 12, 14, 16 and 17. (Photo by Nate Beier)

Connor Heise attributes his youth years playing basketball on an Amateur Athletic Union team for helping craft him into a college-level athlete. The Lena High School graduate is bringing the program back to Marinette and Oconto counties to extend that opportunity to other youth hopefuls.

“I can’t say enough about what AAU did for me when I was younger,” said Heise, who graduated from Lena in 2017. “It allowed me to really zone in on my skills and perform at a higher level, which helped me play at the top of my team in high school and then in college.”


Panthers struggle to find energy in loss to Irish

A combination of nine games in the last 25 days and several players trying to fight off sickness hurt the Oconto Falls boys basketball team.

The Panthers trailed by just one point to Freedom at halftime, but the Irish wore down the visitors with a 25-10 run to start the second half to score a 62-47 victory in North Eastern Conference play Monday.

“We had no energy whatsoever. And the way we play, we have to have energy,” Oconto Falls coach Kirk Hirst said. “We’ve been battling illness, and I don’t know what it was. Like I told them in the locker room, ‘Guys, we’ve been playing so hard for so long, we’re going to have a letdown.’ That’s what happened tonight. I thought competitively, we just were never there.”

Tough close home losses the previous week to Waupaca and Wrightstown are still lingering.

“This time of year is when the dog days of winter get to you,” Hirst said.


Outdoors: Surplus spring turkey permits go on sale March 19

Every business and every person can be improved. As companies grow larger, those workers “in the trenches” seem to get farther and farther from those supervisors and other leaders making the decisions that affect everyone.

Individuals by nature are protective of their own decisions. It’s just human nature to be defensive when family members (mostly spouses) or friends offer constructive criticism to someone who may not even see the initial flaw.

One reason we hunters, anglers, snowmobilers or other natural resources users grow a bit frustrated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is because we see the flaws, but they seem to fall on deaf ears.

Since I moved to Wisconsin in 2000, I’ve heard one common line from a few hunters every December or January: “I forgot to apply for my turkey permit.”

I heard the same line this winter.


Suring will start cross-country as a club sport

The Suring School Board unanimously voted to make cross-country a club sport for the 2018-19 school year during a special meeting on Jan. 17.

Fundraising will cover the costs of the program. The district will allow the use of track uniforms and a school van to be used for transportation to meets.

No co-op or contracts will be involved, and there is no WIAA penalty should the club be dropped after one year.


Cold weather inaction threatens outdoor enthusiasts

There’s always plenty of hard news in the outdoors world to report on, like season dates, the approach of the sturgeon spearing season, buzz on wolf regulations (there’s still no open season) and predator hunting.

Ice fishermen are slaughtering the walleyes and white bass right now, especially down Oshkosh way on Lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts and Poygan. Swedish pimples, with or without minnows, seem to be the bait of choice.

The fishing is so hot that I’m almost tempted to get out my hand-cranked Mora drill and those cute little tackle boxes of jigs for a shot at the action, but then I remember I don’t have an ice tent and I never catch much anyway (unless I go with a real ice pro).


Keeping the game in the family

Gillett High School senior Kaitlyn Schaal is one of four Schaals that are part of the Gillett girls basketball team this year. Schaal is the second-leading scorer at 10.7 points per game, and her younger sister, freshman Karissa Schaal, chips in 7.5 points per game as the fourth-leading scorer. The two are joined by their cousins, Sharon and Sammy Schaal, who serve as assistant coaches on Gillett’s varsity team. (Times Herald file photo)

Aptly enough, it would all go down on Schaal Road in Gillett.

The Schaal relatives all lived within five miles of one another and would frequently gather in the summer at their grandma’s house. The kids always ventured outside to shoot hoops on a small slab of concrete. Teams would get mixed up, some of the elementary and middle school cousins would take on some of the high schoolers. The games were intense.

“The rule at Grandma’s was always ‘no foul unless there was blood,’” Kaitlyn Schaal said.

It’s apparent, these girls didn’t mess around.

“If you went in and talked to Grandma, you were a baby,” Shannon Schaal said. “There was no point in whining to grandma.”

Games at Grandma’s provided plenty of entertainment, and was the start to something special. It’s where the Schaal kids got their first taste of sport they now love. It’s also where the cousins formed a tight bond.


Suring stays perfect in M&O

Gillett High School junior Logan Krause scored nine points in Friday’s 86-47 loss to Suring. (Times Herald file photo)

There were a lot of smiles on faces of the Suring boys basketball players and their coaches.

There’s been plenty to be happy about early in the season.

The Eagles stayed perfect in the Marinette & Oconto Conference by using a 28-5 run and smothering zone defense against host Gillett as Suring raced to an 86-47 victory on Friday.

“We’re having a blast right now,” Suring senior Ryan Mahoney said. “It’s a good feeling, everything’s clicking.”

“This group has a lot of fun,” Suring coach Jim Keeffe said. “They enjoy playing the game, you can see.”

Suring won its eighth game in a row to move to 8-2 overall and 6-0 in conference to take a 1½ game lead in the standings.

The players just keep plugging away and pulling out victories.

“We have tons of energy all the time – we’re getting passes, we’re moving real well,” Mahoney said. “Shots are falling for us also.”


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