Area football teams eager to get regular season started

Adam Anderson will serve as one of the top targets in the Gillett passing game this year. (Times Herald file photo)

The cooler temperatures that are often associated with football season have yet to arrive, but the high school games are just a few days away.

Most teams open the 2018 season on Friday while some play on Thursday and others Saturday. Oconto Falls and Suring are ready to do battle while Gillett and the Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy co-op are eager to open up play at the eight-man level.

Oconto Falls

After going winless last season, Oconto Falls has a new coach and attitude this year.

“I’m just excited about the team atmosphere we’ve been building,” said coach Nick Bohl. “We need everybody from sophomores to seniors to get ourselves better, whether they’re playing on Friday nights or they’re just a scout team guy.”

The offense will feature running backs Dakota Carriveau — who started at quarterback a year ago — and Kade Brabant. Mitch Manns and Jake Foster will also get carries.


Fall Preview: Cross-country, volleyball teams ready for competition

Kaitlyn St. Louis (14) and the Oconto Falls volleyball team are hoping for a deep postseason run this season. (Times Herald file photo)

Cross-country and volleyball teams across the state went through their first practices of the year on Monday. Athletes in both sports have just over a week to prepare for the upcoming seasons, which could start Tuesday.

Four local high school volleyball teams will look to improve on up-and-down seasons a year ago while some individual cross-country runners from those schools eye state titles.


Oconto Falls

Despite losing its lone all-conference selection to graduation, Oconto Falls still has high hopes.

Senior Emma Huberty, the team’s setter and captain, will lead the way. The Panthers also return seniors Josie Tolzman (back row specialist), Kaitlyn St. Louis (outside hitter) and Sam Shallow (back row specialist) along with juniors Natalie Brauer (middle hitter) and Samantha Coron (setter, back row specialist) from last year’s starting group.


New football coach brings Oconto Falls optimism

With bad weather forcing the team to stay indoors, Oconto Falls players watched tape during Monday’s practice. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

From the very first contact day new Oconto Falls football coach Nick Bohl worked with his players in the summer, he was preaching a team atmosphere.
He wants to make his players feel like one unit. A family.
Just two days into fall practice, Bohl’s philosophy is rubbing off on his players in a positive way.
“I think it kind of got lost in the past year or two,” said Bohl, who was a first-year assistant coach on last year’s team. “Just to come together as a team because we have about 30 individuals, sophomore to seniors, and if everybody’s going their own direction, we’re not going to get anything accomplished. If we can get all 30 going in the same direction, that when you truly start seeing that accomplishment and us reaching our goals that we set.”
It’s the seniors who have led the charge in the opening practices. They are motivated this year to make their final high school season a memorable one.


High school fall sports right around the corner

Gillett’s Sylvia Hansen and the rest of the area cross country runners start practice on Aug. 13.

Although the start of the 2018-19 school year is still more than a month off, high school fall sports are about ready to get started.

The first day of August marks the start of the fall’s earliest sports practices, when local football teams will step on the gridiron to prepare for the regular season. Teams will have just over two weeks to ready for the openers, which can be played on Aug. 17.

The final day for a playoff-bound team to play a regular season game is Oct. 12 before the first round of playoffs open on Oct. 19-20. The state championship games will be played on Nov. 15-16 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

Oconto Falls, which will be under the direction of new coach Nick Bohl, will try to bounce back from an 0-9 season. Suring finished 4-5 last year.


Oconto Falls falls short in regional play

Oconto Falls pitcher Mason Sefcik delivers a pitch during Friday’s game against Bonduel. (Times Herald photo by Morgan Rode)

The postseason can offer teams some of the most memorable moments of a season. The playoffs can also be heartbreaking for others.
The latter proved to be the case for the Oconto Falls Legion baseball team while playing in the Class A Clintonville Regional over the weekend.
The team opened play against Bonduel on Friday, losing a 1-0 pitcher’s duel. Needing to come through the loser’s bracket, Oconto Falls faced Omro in an elimination game Saturday, with Omro claiming a 6-5 win.
In Friday’s matchup, Oconto Falls was tasked with trying to solve Bonduel’s Wyatt Erb, something not many teams have done successfully this summer. Not to be outdone, Oconto Falls starting pitcher Mason Sefcik rose to the challenge and matched the zeros Erb put on the scoreboard.


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.


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