American Legion baseball: Oconto Falls standout named to All-Star Game

Catcher Kamdan Bloom will represent Oconto Falls at the American Legion All-Star Game on August 5. (Times Herald file photo)

The Oconto Falls Legion baseball team boasts a dangerous lineup from top to bottom, and a big reason behind the team’s summer success has been because of the play of Kamdan Bloom, who serves as one of the team’s top run-producers.

Bloom also serves as the team’s primary catcher, helping guide his teammates through games and to victories.

Bloom, a recently graduated senior who will join the Edgewood College baseball team in the fall, was recently honored for his strong play with a roster spot for the American Legion All-Star Game. He will join the Stripes team, which will face the Stars roster at Miller Park on Aug. 5 following the completion of the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies regular season matchup.

The selection to the All-Star Game is a accomplishment that Bloom will not soon forget.


Legion Roundup: Errors doom Oconto Falls in loss to Denmark

Tyler Mielke delivers a pitch during Oconto Falls’ loss to Denmark. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Following a disappointing loss to Ashwaubenon on Tuesday, the Oconto Falls Legion baseball team was looking for a bounce back performance against Denmark on Wednesday evening.

That thought was foiled early in the matchup though, as the visitors took advantage of some Oconto Falls defensive miscues to earn the lead. Denmark later scored 10 runs in the fourth and cruised to a 15-3 victory in five innings.

Denmark scored a run in the top of the first inning on a Cole Paplham RBI single. Oconto Falls starting pitcher Tyler Mielke was able to limit the damage by inducing a double play groundball.

After Denmark starter Blake Derricks worked a 1-2-3 first inning, Denmark got right back to work with the bats in its half of the second.


1978 Oconto Falls baseball team recalls state title

Tim Grady always looked up to his older brother, Chuck, growing up.

So, when Chuck played a big role in helping the Oconto Falls baseball team win the state title in 1973, Tim wanted to win a championship himself five years later.

“We had won a tournament in Babe Ruth and we thought, ‘Let’s match these guys,’” said Tim Grady, who was the ace pitcher on the 1978 team. “It was definitely a driving force with that ‘73 team winning state ahead of us.”

“We watched that, we wanted to be that someday,” said Doug Ahlborg, a catcher on the 1978 squad. “We worked hard at it, we kept at it.”

The 1978 team – led by eight seniors, including Grady and Ahlborg – was a dedicated group that played consistently well all season and ended up winning the Class B state title.

It was a dream come true for the guys.


Oconto Falls placed in Clintonville Regional for Legion baseball playoffs

Sam Virtues and the Oconto Falls Legion baseball team are hoping to make a deep postseason run. (Times Herald file photo)

With just over a week remaining in the Legion baseball season regular season, teams are beginning to think ahead to regional play, which begins on July 20.

The Oconto Falls Legion baseball team has experienced an up-and-down summer season so far, holding a 3-3 record.

Regardless of a team’s record, postseason play gives each roster a new life. While winning games is certainly a feat teams strive for, many coaches and players just hope to be playing their best baseball by the time the playoffs roll around.

Oconto Falls hopes to be one of those teams playing its best baseball when it opens play in the Clintonville Class A Regional on July 20.


Gillett ends strong trap season at state tournament

Adviser Doug Quaak, second from left, teaches Gillett trap shooting members, left, Logan Block, Hunter Poffinbarger and Justin Engebretson during a shotgun reloading session. (Contributed photo)

The Gillett High School trap shooting team was one of 78 teams in Wisconsin to compete in the 2018 Spring Trap League.

Those 78 teams were assigned to one of 11 conferences based on the number of athletes the teams rostered. Gillett was a member of a conference also featuring Cambria-Friesland, Elmwood, Mondovi, Randolph and Washburn.

Gillett finished third in the conference with 1,338 points over a five-week span. Elmwood (1,695.5) took first while Mondovi (1,584) placed second. Washburn (1,119), Randolph (852) and Cambria Friesland (836.5) rounded out the conference standings.

Logan Block led Gillett with an average of 21.6 points (out of 25), the second-best mark in the conference behind only Washburn’s Blake Defoe (22). Hunter Poffinbarger (20.3), Reid Winkler (18.9), Art Poffinbarger (18.6) and Brice Winkler (18.1) all finished among the top-25 male shooters in the conference.


Oconto Falls baseball team remembers 1973 title

Fred Peterson sat back in his chair, relaxed and comfortable.

With the Milwaukee Brewers game on in the background, Peterson looked proudly at a wall in his room at an assisted living facility in Green Bay.

Hanging up are plaques commemorating his coaching achievements. The former Oconto Falls baseball coach has plenty of mementos from the great years he had on the bench.

There’s a plaque from when he was inducted into the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1984 and another one recognizing him coaching a high school all-star game at County Stadium in Milwaukee. But the awards that mean the most are from the two state championships Peterson helped guide Oconto Falls to in 1973 and 1978.

In his seventh season at the helm in 1973, Peterson coached a bunch of teenagers to the ultimate goal. Now, 45 years later, Peterson – who turned 89 in May – still relishes in one of his greatest coaching jobs of his illustrious career.


Mahoney, Yonker take part in WBCA All-Star Game

Suring’s Ryan Mahoney scores on a breakaway layup during the WBCA All-Star Game. (Contributed photo)

Suring’s Ryan Mahoney and Gillett’s Taylor Yonker each enjoyed incredible high school careers on the basketball court.

Each player led their team in points per game during their senior seasons and were each rewarded with a roster spot for the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Star Game.

Yonker was one of 10 players on the Division 5 North team that battled the Division 5 South team on June 15 at JustAgame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells. The South earned a 78-71 victory, overcoming a 16-point deficit.

Yonker, who helped lead Gillett to a Division 5 sectional final game, finished with two points after connecting on two first quarter free throws.

Despite her team not picking up the victory, Yonker still had an enjoyable time, especially with the game being for a good cause.


Oconto Falls Legion holds off Denmark

Oconto Falls got clutch hits when it needed it most.

Denmark, well, it couldn’t pick up a key hit with the game on the line.

Denmark had the tying and winning runs and third and second base, respectively, with just one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Its next two hitters were retired as the Oconto Falls Legion team hung on for a 6-5 victory on the road on June 20.

“It’s good for our confidence,” Oconto Falls coach Joe Sefcik said. “They don’t believe in themselves all the time as being younger guys. And then something like this and then finishing on top of things — it means so much next time. Hopefully they won’t make it so interesting, but it’s baby steps for these guys.”

Dylan Nelson had a big game for Oconto Falls, going 2 for 4 with a walk and four RBIs. Nelson enjoyed helping the team secure a victory.


Sobieski lumberjack Chas Haas enjoying the spotlight

Sobieski’s Chas Haas swings his axe during the standing block chop event. (Contributed photo)

Sobieski’s Chas Haas has enjoyed an immense amount of success since stepping into the world of a lumberjack in 2015.
Haas started taking part in lumberjack sports while working at the Dells Lumberjack Show three years ago. The job allowed Haas to participate in events that entertained crowds and has since earned the nickname, “The Bavarian Barbarian.”
“I had a friend who worked in the show, and after seeing everything they did, I was hooked,” Haas said. “I have German heritage, and my great-grandfather was a real-life lumberjack up in Birchwood around the early 1900s. My boss, Cassidy Scheer, coined the nickname after learning of this, and it sort of stuck after that.”
The job in the lumberjack show also allowed Haas to become familiar with the standing block chop, stock saw, underhand chop and single buck events — disciplines that are part of the Stihl Timbersports Series in which the world’s top lumberjack athletes compete.


St. Norbert College offering track and field camps

St. Norbert College is offering a pair of track and field camps during the month of July for athletes in grades 7-12 looking to improve their skills.
The first camp will take place July 9-12, from 6-8 p.m. each night, and focus on sprints, hurdles, pole vault, throws, long jump, triple jump and high jump. The goal of the four-day camp is to help athletes develop their skills, prepare for the upcoming season and take their performances to the next level.
The camp will be held at Donald J. Schneider Stadium, 1600 Lost Dauphin Road, De Pere, and the cost is $90.
The second camp will run from July 25-28 and focus on distance running. The goal of this camp is to help athletes improve their running technique, boost their performance and learn ways to remain healthy.
Space is limited for the residential, overnight camp that provides personal attention to each athlete. The cost of the camp is $325.


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