Sports

Wed
16
Aug

Tigers integrating more youth into starting lineup


Times Herald photo by Chris Caporale

Gillett High School senior Faith Sorlie gets low to make a pass during practice Monday. Sorlie is one of three seniors returning to the starting lineup this all and one of five seniors on the team’s roster.

Losing two of the quickest players from last year’s team will make it more difficult for the Gillett volleyball team to find success this fall.

With five returning starters, however, head coach Keri Hicks hopes the team can plug in some talented sophomores and get back on track.

“Our theme this year is one step at a time, not that we can’t set goals and or look at expectations,” Hicks said. “I always want to be in the top three; that’s not going to change.”

The Tigers were expected to much better last season than their final 9-15 record (7-8 in the Marinette & Oconto Conference).

The disappointment is fueling the five seniors who are playing their final year with the Gillett name on the jersey.

“We had really big dreams last year, and we didn’t reach them obviously,” senior Faith Sorlie said. “I hope that this year, we can at least … build a plate for them to build off of.”

Wed
16
Aug

Sprout, Peitersen to carry Panthers into 2017


Times Herald Photo by Chris Caporale

Oconto Falls High School sophomore Samantha Coron works on setting a ball during practice on Monday. Coron was the team’s No. 2 setter a season ago and will look to be more consistent this year.

Last season, the Oconto Falls volleyball team relied on a solid front row attack as Shelby Coron and Sarah Sprout combined for 737 kills.

Coron graduated, but Sprout is back for her senior year. Sprout, an outside hitter, is one of three returning players who played in every set in 2016. Middle hitter Stephanie Peitersen and setter Emma Huberty are also coming off strong seasons.

“Losing Shelby, she’s going to be tough to replace,” fourth-year head coach Rochell Otto said. “We don’t have really anybody coming in to replace her for my other middle.”

Sprout, who was first-team all-North Eastern Conference last year, was second on the team in kills with 254 and had a kill percentage of 35.2. She was also second in digs (297) and third in aces (35).

“We’ll definitely be riding with her,” Otto said. “She hits well off the right side, so I’m looking at possibly moving her so teams don’t aim up on her being on the outside.”

Wed
09
Aug

Panthers building toward stronger program


Times Herald Photo by Chris Caporale

Oconto Falls wide receiver Sam Virtues (34) works through a tackling drill with the linebackers during a practice last week. Virtues will be one of many Panthers taking on bigger roles in 2017 after the departure of a talented class of playmakers.

After two wins in Barry Derickson’s first year as the head coach of the Oconto Falls football program, his hopes are higher this season for a team that had not won multiple games since 2011.

“Everyone knows what they’re doing from last year,” Derickson said. “It will be a lot easier transition.”

The Panthers lost some of their top playmakers from a season ago, including quarterback Connor Scray, running back Mac Winkler and wide receiver Brice Delzer.

This season, Oconto Falls is looking for big things from Cliff Yuma (running back), Sam Virtues (wide receiver) and Dan Ausloos (defensive line).

Derickson also expects junior Keeshawn Katers to see some more playing time. First-year starter Camden Jackson will join the offensive line.

“Last year, I thought there was a little bit of disconnect and uncertainty because there was a new coach,” Derickson said. “But I think this year, they know what’s expected, they know how to get it done.”

Wed
09
Aug

Changes abound for Gillett this fall

The Gillett football program, coming off a winless season and transitioning to the eight-man game this fall with a new coach, has seen its fair share of change in one year.

With new head coach Jesse Witcraft, the Tigers are excited to get back on the field.

“It’s going to be better than last year,” said senior Sam Davis, who can play running back and safety. “I know that.”

Gillett went 0-9 last year in the Marinette & Oconto Conference, averaging 5.2 points per game and allowing 39. This season, Witcraft hopes to change the plan of attack offensively on a week-to-week basis to keep the athletes learning and put more pressure on opposing defenses.

“I’ll vary it week to week,” Witcraft said. “It just depends on who we’re playing and what I see in practice that week. I’ll draw up new plays week to week, so I’ll go into every game with different plays, which helps keep the competition on their toes.”

Wed
09
Aug

OFHS won state football title 20 years ago

It’s a game the Oconto Falls football players won’t soon forget.

A Thursday night in late November 1997 at Camp Randall Stadium, the WIAA Division 3 state title on the line.

Oconto Falls’ defense didn’t allow any second-half points as the Panthers broke a 14-all tie in the third quarter en route to a 28-14 victory over Slinger. It was Oconto Falls’ first and only state football title.

“Being a coach’s kid and going down to the state finals a few times, I guess playing football as a kid in Wisconsin that’s something you dream about,” star running back Nate Rogatzki said. “We always grew up as big Badgers fans, so that was pretty cool to be able to play on that field.”

The former players can’t believe it has been 20 years since the magical season.

Wed
02
Aug

Witcraft takes over as Gillett goes to 8-man

For the second time in as many years, the Gillett High School football team will have a new varsity head coach.

Jesse Witcraft, who worked his way up from the junior high program to a varsity assistant coach last year, will take over for Steve Andrastek, who resigned after accepting a new job that would interfere with the team’s practice schedule.

“I think the transition for us will be fairly easy because a lot of the kids I had in the junior high program are familiar with the offensive style that I’m going to run,” Witcraft said.

The Tigers, who went winless in 2016 with an 0-9 record, are also making the transition into the eight-man football game, joining the MONLPC-8.

Wed
02
Aug

Oconto Falls wins 14U, 2nd in 10U at Diamond Days

The Oconto Falls 10U softball team lost the Gillett Diamond Days championship game on a coin flip Sunday.

Nearly 2 inches of rain over 30 minutes Sunday at Orby Jones Sports Complex prevented the bracket play from being completed for the 10U and 12U softball divisions.

The coin flip went in favor of Seymour, as it walked away with the 10U title.

Seymour also picked up first place in the 12U division.

In the 14U competition, which wrapped up play Saturday night, Oconto Falls defeated Gillett/Suring, 12-8, for first place.

It was the second weekend of Diamond Days in Gillett, giving the softball teams a chance to play in front of larger crowds.

“It’s always great to have home-field advantage and it’s always nicer to have a bigger crowd,” Gillett Diamond Club President Dawn Nelson said.

The Gillett 10U softball team finished the tournament 0-3, as did the 12U team.

Wed
02
Aug

Wisconsin junior rifle team takes home national trophy


Contributed Photo

Members of Team Cheddar, which won The Minuteman Match at the National Trophy Rifle Matches in Ohio, are, from left, captain James Melville, coach Kaleb Hall, Brad Schoenemann, Josh Hanrahan, Jadon Selsmeyer, Bryan Melville, Vince Norling and Riley Stewart.

Six years ago Wisconsin was unable to field a six-person junior team in the National Trophy Rifle Matches at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio.

Now, Wisconsin is home to the national champion six-person junior team and two-person junior team, and placed two competitors on the Bill Deneke Trophy Team, an honor roll of the six best junior service rifle shooters in the nation.

Team Cheddar consisting of Josh Hanrahan, of Suamico, and Brad Schoenemann, of Lodi, and coach Kaleb Hall, of Oconto, took home first place in the Freedom Fire match. The duo narrowly defeated Illinois’ top team on “X” count (the bull’s-eye of the target). Team Cheddar is the first Wisconsin team to bring home the Freedom Fire trophy since it was introduced in 2009

Wed
02
Aug

Mountain Motor Madness coming on Sept. 9

Chute Pond Snowmobile Club will host a fundraiser for motor enthusiasts of all types from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Bill Lazansky Community Center in Mountain.

Mountain Motor Madness will include food and beverages, music and raffles. Proceeds will go toward local snowmobile trail maintenance, Oconto River Kids and Vets 4 Vets of Northeast Wisconsin.

Any vehicle with wheels is welcome to be displayed at no charge. There is also no admission charge for spectators.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Jake Rock Entertainment will provide music. There also will be bucket raffles and all-meat, no fillers spin wheel raffles (with four meat winners per round).

Oconto River Kids is a nonprofit group of dedicated volunteers whose mission is to assist kids with life-threatening illnesses attain their outdoor dreams through hands-on adventures. Learn more at www.ocontoriverkids.com.

Wed
02
Aug

Dogleg Open raises funds for MS

The seventh-annual Dogleg Open, a fundraiser for the Wisconsin chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, will be held Sept. 16 at Parkway Golf Club in Pound.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. The MS Wisconsin chapter serves more than 11,000 residents diagnosed with MS and those who love and care for them. Over the past six years, the Dogleg Open has raised over $42,000 for MS research and patient support.

The cost per person is $60; $55 if paid in full by Sept 6. The registration includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, prizes and a dinner. A dinner-only option is available for non-golfers.

The tournament is a scramble format.

Hole sponsorships, donations and raffle items are also being accepted. For information or registration, call Dylan Guendert at 414-627-9177 or Parkway Golf Club at 920-897-3950.

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