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.


Count me in as a believer of the Brewers

The Brewers baseball team has been based in Milwaukee since 1970. Over its existence, the team has made the postseason just four times, 1981, 1982, 2008 and 2011.
While Brewers’ fans might not be familiar with reaching the postseason, they are acquainted with the fact that the team has a knack for falling apart in the second half of seasons in recent years. Take last year for the most recent example, when the team saw its 5½-game lead at the All-Star break slip away.
Even though last year’s team was supposed to be a rebuilding one, fans were still disappointed to see Milwaukee miss the playoffs, as any fan base should be.
After just missing out on the postseason, Brewers general manager David Stearns upped the ante with a series of offseason moves that clearly stated the team was no longer looking to rebuild. Through 71 games this year, Milwaukee owns a 42-29 record, tied for the best record in the National League.


Legion Baseball: Oconto Falls rallies for win to open summer season

There’s nothing like some late-game heroics to get a season off to a grand start.

The Oconto Falls Legion baseball team trailed all game against visiting Pulaski, but Oconto Falls pushed across four runs with two outs in the sixth inning to pull off a thrilling 9-6 victory June 7.

Scoring a win in the season opener should give the Oconto Falls players plenty of confidence the rest of the way.

“We scored nine runs — I don’t think we scored that all year (during the high school season),” said first-year Oconto Falls Legion coach Joe Sefcik, who has coached the majority of the players since Little League. “They can hit, and if you believe you can hit, stay positive, stay focused. They had some pretty good pitchers. They didn’t throw a whole lot of strikes, but our guys battled the whole time. I can’t ask more than that.”


Several local athletes land on all-conference teams

Suring’s Mitch Stegeman turned in several top finishes at the Marinette & Oconto Conference meet for track. (Times Herald file photo)

The spring sports season was one that was decimated by a late snow storm. The snow eventually melted, but it forced sports seasons to be condensed into just a few short weeks.

Track and girls soccer teams seemed to be in action every other night. Baseball and softball teams were forced to play doubleheaders nearly every time on the diamond.

While most teams failed to fill out complete schedules, all teams were able to get in several conference matchups.

Here are the local athletes that landed on all-conference teams this spring:


North Eastern Conference

The North Eastern Conference season was trimmed to nine games due to the weather. Waupaca came out on top of the conference after posting an 8-1 record, a game better than Fox Valley Lutheran. Colton Schild of FVL and Luxemburg-Casco’s Austin Tlachac were named the co-players of the year after leading the conference in batting average. Tlachac hit .565 while Schild batted .517.


Sportsmen groups sponsor trout stocking

Tyler Fleming, left, and Bruce Kitzman help stock trout in the Oconto River in early May. (Contributed photo)

The Oconto River Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited partnered with the Breed Sportsman’s Club, Oconto County Sportsman’s Alliance, Suring Sportsman’s Club and Underhill Sportsman’s Club to fund trout stocking in the main Oconto River from Pulcifer to Suring in early May.

Stocking was completed by Silver Moon Hatchery with a permit granted by fisheries biologist Tammie Paoli, who works out of Peshtigo.

The permit is for stocking trout in the class 2 area of the Oconto River at public landings in Suring and continuing downstream at landings in Hintz, Underhill and Pulcifer. Approximately 600 pounds of trout, consisting of 65 percent brown trout and 35 percent rainbow trout were placed in rivers.

The browns averaged 10-12 inches and the rainbows 12-14 inches. The chapter did a similar stocking in the area in the spring of 2015. The feedback response to the project was very positive and considered a success.


HS track: Gillett freshmen shine on big stage

Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen competes in the 1,600 run on Saturday at the state meet. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

Competing in the state track meet can be an overwhelming experience for first-time state qualifiers.

Gillett freshman Sylvia Hansen was among the individuals making her first state appearance at the 2018 WIAA Track and Field Championships at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse on June 1-2. Instead of succumbing to the pressures and big moments of the meet, Hansen made her first state experience a memorable one, picking up a pair of top-five finishes.

Hansen took part in the 3,200-meter run on Friday, taking fifth with a time of 11 minutes, 34.26 seconds, a new school record. She followed that up with a second-place finish in the 1,600 on Saturday, earning a time of 5 minutes, 15.04 seconds, less than a second behind first-place finisher Marissa Ellenbecker of Edgar.

Getting to the state meet was a huge accomplishment for Hansen, so to perform so well in both of her events was a dream come true for the freshman.


High school post-season highlights


STAA/Lena 13, Niagara 5

The second-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas/Lena softball team overpowered third-seeded Niagara to claim the WIAA Division 5 regional title game over Niagara on May 25.

The co-op will take on fourth-seeded Wausaukee, which upset top-seeded Florence, in a sectional semifinal on May 29.

West De Pere 2, Oconto Falls 1

The Oconto Falls softball team came up just short of an upset win over West De Pere in a Division 2 regional semifinal on May 23.

Second-seeded West De Pere scored twice in the third inning to grab the lead. Seventh-seeded Oconto Falls cut the deficit in half with a run in the fourth, but could not push across another run the rest of the game.


How area athletes advanced to state meet

Suring’s Mitch Stegeman and Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen each qualified for the state track meet in two events while competing in the Division 3 Marathon Sectional on May 24.

Stegeman won the pole vault and finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles to qualify for state. Hansen took second in the 1,600 and 3,200.

Gillett’s Bo Krueger (discus) and Derek Hanson (1,600) each placed fourth to earn spots at state. Aubrey DeBauch won the 300 hurdles to earn her spot at state.

Havemeier qualifies for state

Oconto Falls’ Ericka Havemeier earned a second-place finish in the 200 to qualify for the state meet while competing at the Division 2 Freedom Sectional on May 24.

No other Panthers’ athletes qualified for the state meet.

Suring boys first, Gillett girls third at regional


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