High school basketball: Experienced Oconto Falls ready for tough NEC slate

Suring’s Mitch Stegeman, right, attempts to drive past Gillett’s Anthony Carroll in a game last season. Suring hopes to compete for the Marinette & Oconto Conference crown again, while Gillett hopes to surprise teams with their experienced roster under new head coach Russ Long. (Times Herald file photo)

While some high school boys basketball conferences graduated several all-conference players from a season ago, the same cannot be said about the North Eastern Conference. Of the 24 all-conference selections, only six were seniors.

Like much of the conference, Oconto Falls High School will return much of its starting lineup to the court this winter and believes it can be competitive with some of the conference’s best.

“We are experienced and have added some depth,” Oconto Falls coach Kirk Hirst said. “We should compete again in our conference, which is very good top to bottom. We will battle and compete with every team in our conference.”

A year ago, the Panthers turned in a 5-19 record on the season and 3-15 mark in the NEC to finish second to last.


Kelly Logue returns as Pulaski soccer coach

Kelly Logue has been hired to serve as girls soccer coach at Pulaski High School, a job she held from 2000-2004. (Contributed photo)

Kelly Logue is taking over the head Pulaski High School girls soccer coaching position, a job she previously held from 2000-2004 but left to raise her family.

In the meantime, she’s taught soccer as part of her job as a physical education teacher at Pulaski Community Middle School and in local rec programs.

Logue takes over from Clete Gerhartz, who held the position five years and led the team to several trips to the WIAA state tournament.

“We are excited to have Kelly Logue take over as our head girls soccer coach at Pulaski,” said PHS athletic director Janel Batten. “She has been both a head coach and an assistant in the program in prior years and has great perspective and a clear direction to move the program forward.”

Logue, a Mayville native, was a student-athlete at Carroll University, where she played basketball one year and soccer four years while earning an education degree with an emphasis on physical education.


High school sports results


Gillett 44, Wittenberg-Birnamwood 33

Aubrey DeBauch posted her second straight double-double, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Tigers over the Chargers on Nov. 15.

Sydney Young added eight points while Camryn Long had six for Gillett, which improved to 2-0 on the young season.

The Tigers outscored the Chargers 26-14 in the second half after trailing by a point at halftime.

Suring 41, Rosholt 34

The Eagles led by 13 points at halftime before easing past the Hornets on Nov. 15.

Wylee Van Bellinger led Suring with 11 points, all in the first half. She hit all three of her team’s 3-pointers.

Kylee Stelzer chipped in 10 points, six of which came at the free-throw line. Suring made eight of 12 free throws in the contest.

Gillett 62, Weyauwega-Fremont 50

Gillett outscored Weyauwega-Fremont by 10 in the second half to claim its first win of the season Nov. 13.


Girls basketball: Panthers hoping experience translates to success

Suring’s Kylee Stelzer drives to the basket against Gresham last year. Stelzer made the Marinette & Oconto Conference second team last season. (Times Herald file photo)

Having an experienced team at any level of play can be recipe for success. The Oconto Falls High School girls basketball team is hoping their immense amount of varsity experience can propel them to a strong season in the North Eastern Conference.

A year after finishing 7-16 overall and 5-13 in conference play, the Panthers will return nine players who gained varsity experience last season.

Seniors Emma Huberty and Sammie Shallow will fill out the guard positions in the starting lineup, while juniors Kari Albrecht, Morgan Helmle and Natalie Brauer are the starting forwards.

While the lineup will be experienced, without much height, it could have trouble defending other teams’ bigs.

“We are an experienced team but have to overcome our lack of size and quickness with effort,” coach Mike Kaczmarek said.

Seniors Katelyn Albrecht and Kaelyn Albrecht and sophomores Mikaela Goebl and Amelia Rice all have experience off the bench for Oconto Falls.


Russ Long hired as Gillett boys hoops coach

Russ Long was hired as the new Gillett boys basketball coach. (Contributed photo)

The Gillett boys basketball varsity head coaching position has been a revolving door.

The Tigers will have their sixth person at the helm in the last seven seasons. Russ Long is looking to bring stability to the program.

“We’ve had quite a few coaches who have come through and done one season coaching and left,” Long said. “I know the kids. I’ve been coaching a lot of these kids since they were in youth, and I have a pretty good rapport with them. I thought I’d come on in and see what I can do.”

Long, who was the junior varsity coach for the past three years, takes over for Kelly Willson who went 10-36 during his two seasons.


Well-placed trail camera helps sports editor go viral

This screenshot from the trail camera video shows the eight-point buck watching sports editor Morgan Rode and his brother walk to their evening hunting spots. (Contributed photo)

As the video file uploaded, I texted my brother, Sawyer, “You ready to go viral, lil’ bro?”

Little did I know how true those words would become in just a matter of hours.

When I am not covering a sporting event or writing up a story, one of my favorite things to do is be out in the hunting woods.

Living over two hours away from the grounds I hunt in western Wisconsin, I’ve come to appreciate trail cameras quite a bit. Trail cameras can be vital tools in learning the behaviors and patterns of a white-tailed deer, but a week ago, I learned how heartbreaking scrolling through some of the photos and videos can be.

After spending several hours in the woods with my brother Nov. 3-4, I returned back to Shawano on the morning of Nov. 5 for the work week. After seeing a fair share of deer activity — but no bucks to my knowledge — I again pondered where to sit in order to put myself in a better position to harvest a mature buck this year.


Football: Bo Krueger earns player of year honors in MONLPC

Gillett junior Bo Krueger runs for a touchdown against Menominee Indian early in the season. Krueger made the MONLPC-8 first team as a running back and was one of four offensive players of the year. (Times Herald file photo)

While no local football teams made deep postseason runs, that didn’t mean there was a shortage of local standout players on the gridiron. Several players from the Gillett, Oconto Falls, Suring and Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy co-op football teams were recently honored for their strong play this fall with spots on all-conference teams.

Players were voted to all-conference teams by opposing conference coaches following the season.


The eight-man division of the MONLPC had plenty of strong teams in it, with Gillett battling to fourth place with a 5-3 record.

A big reason behind the Tigers’ success was the play of Bo Krueger. The junior was an all-conference first team selection as a running back and was one of four offensive players of the year in the conference. Krueger also landed on the honorable mention defense team as a linebacker.


Volleyball: Oconto Falls’ Brauer, Huberty land on all-conference teams

Oconto Falls junior (11) goes up for an attack kill after a set by senior Emma Huberty (13) against Denmark in late September. Brauer was named to the all-conference first team while Huberty was an honorable mention. (Times Herald file photo)

After months of hard work on the court, volleyball players from Oconto Falls, Gillett, Suring and Lena were recently honored with spots on all-conference teams.

The players were voted to the teams by coaches within their respective conferences following the completion of the season.

North Eastern Conference

Battling in a rugged North Eastern Conference, Oconto Falls played its way to a 4-5 record to take sixth place.

The Panthers relied more upon a finesse attack game than leaning on a powerful attacker or two. Junior Natalie Brauer led the team with 96 attack kills during the conference portion of the season and was selected to the all-conference first team for her efforts.


Cross-country: Hanson, Wagner relish first state runs

Gillett sophomore Derek Hanson (8) runs near the front of the pack at the start of the Division 3 state boys race at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

If you asked high school athletes to tell you the perfect way to end their season, most — if not all — would respond by saying competing at state.

The Gillett duo of Sylvia Hansen and Derek Hanson and Suring’s Ryann Wagner got to end their respective seasons at state Saturday, competing in the WIAA State Cross-Country Championships at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

Hansen placed 27th in the Division 3 girls race after posting a time of 20 minutes, 20.9 seconds. Wagner was not far behind, posting a time of 20:45.1 to take 41st.

In the Division 3 boys race, Hanson completed the state course in 17:28.1 to take 43rd.

“Exhausted, kind of satisfied. It wasn’t the best race of my life, but I certainly thought I did good for my first time here,” Hanson said.


Athlete of the Week: Sylvia Hansen

Gillett sophomore Sylvia Hansen runs during the WIAA State Cross-Country Championships at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids on Oct. 27. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Athlete: Sylvia Hansen

Sport: Cross-Country

School: Gillett High School

Year: Sophomore

Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen has been a predominant figure since her first high school varsity cross-country race. She has racked up numerous top finishes and just capped her sophomore season by running at state.

Hansen claimed the first-ever Marinette & Oconto Conference girls championship Oct. 11. She followed that up by taking third in the Division 3 Westfield Sectional on Oct. 20. This Saturday, Hansen placed 27th at the state cross-country championships.

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

A: My interest in cross-country began in about fourth grade when I was a part of a kids for running program that our school provided.

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


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