Sports

Tue
13
Aug

Demo derby returns for second lap

A sell-out crowd of 1,200 watched the first-ever demolition derby at last year’s Oconto County Fair, and organizers are hoping for another crowd pleaser this year.

The track area was enlarged in 2012, providing room for the demolition derby for the first time in fair history.

“People go to races to see action, and they like to see cars crash,” said race organizer Dennis Piepkorn. “In a demolition race, that’s exactly what it is.”

Piepkorn, of Suring, has been involved with racing for 30 years, but it’s his first year organizing the fair derby. His No. 1 goal is to make the experience fun for the audience.

“I want to be there for the fans. I do it because I love it,” he said.

The Oconto County Fair derby is part of a points championship event, along with derbies at Gillett’s Fourth of July celebration and Suring’s Labor Day celebration.

Tue
13
Aug

Countywide dive team proposed

A countywide dive team may debut as early as 2014, at the request of the town of Brazeau, which is looking for support of the emergency team it solely operates now.

The Law Enforcement/Judiciary Committee on Aug. 7 considered contracting with the dive team for service or taking ownership. It invited Brazeau leaders to put together a proposal for a countywide team.

The town allocates $5,000 to run the dive team, which averages three emergency calls a year. Dive team members are volunteers.

Brazeau Town Chairman Ryan Wendt said it is difficult for the town to justify the cost, when all of Oconto County benefits.

“Right now, we’re basically a countywide service. If somebody calls … we’re coming,” Wendt said.

The nearest dive teams outside of Oconto County are Marinette and Brown counties. A county-based team would supply better equipment storage space and have the potential to add more members.

Thu
08
Aug

Meeting signals the start of fall sports season

Student athletes and their parents gathered Monday in the Oconto Falls High School Performing Arts Center to hear the latest on the fall sports season.

The meeting, which is a new part of the process for Panthers athletes, covered several topics, including eligibility requirements, academic standards, health reporting and Panther Pride fundraising efforts.

Jerry Moynihan, entering his third year as Oconto Falls athletic director, felt it was time to introduce more interaction between coaches, parents and staff.

“It’s just a start of some of the changes that I think will help our communication for the whole department,” Moynihan said. “It’s important to get everyone on the same page. Sometimes there’s misinformation. It’s best sometimes to hear it straight up, this is what we expect.”

One area that Moynihan addressed was student athletes with F grades and their eligibility.

Thu
08
Aug

Oconto Falls sends 3 to all-star games

Jacob Mogged will play in the state American Legion all-star game, and teammates Colton Giese and Hunter Magnin will play in the Fox Valley American Legion all-star game.

The Wisconsin American Legion Baseball All-Star Game will be held Aug. 18 at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

Mogged, Oconto Falls’ second baseman, will be one of 27 players on the South team and 55 players overall selected to play in the game.

“You know Jacob, he’s coming back from playing college baseball,” Oconto Falls coach Chris Hillberg said. “He offers up a lot of leadership. He’s got a solid approach to the game.”

Mogged led the team in hitting and was eighth overall in Fox River Valley American Legion play with a .400 batting average.

“He’s been our No. 3 hitter the last two seasons,” Hillberg said. “He’s just very solid defensively. … Just does a real nice job on the baseball field.”

Wed
31
Jul

Oconto Falls Legion comes up short

The Oconto Falls American Legion baseball team came up one game short of making the Class AA state tournament, losing a regional semifinal 3-2 at Sturgeon Bay on Monday.

Because Kewaunee County, which is hosting the state tournament and has an automatic bid, made the regional final, the semifinal winner was guaranteed a spot in the state tournament.

Sturgeon Bay’s Lucas Stephenson ended Oconto Falls’ hopes, scoring the game-winning run on an Oconto Falls error in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie.

John Thompson brought home Colton Giese on an RBI single in the top of the third inning for Oconto Falls to start the scoring. Sturgeon Bay answered with a RBI single from David Vandreese in the bottom half of the inning.

Oconto Falls scored another run on Tyler Magnin’s single in the fifth inning.

Sturgeon Bay once again had an answer, scoring Jason Lindemann on an RBI single by Casey Giesseman in the sixth.

Wed
31
Jul

Partners in speed

A new race car business has roared to life out of Kozak’s CARQUEST in Oconto Falls, and owner Jim Kozak said he is ready to expand the business.

“It’s the challenge of trying to make it grow,” Kozak said. “It’s fun to start a business.”

Kozak started his first automotive business in 1985 with Kozak’s NAPA Auto Supply on Main Street in Oconto Falls. The business was then sold in 1998 to corporate CARQUEST, which owned it until 2009 when Kozak bought the business back and moved to the current location on East Highland Drive.

In addition to selling auto supplies, Kozak said the shop developed into a dealership for racing parts as his son Derek found an interest in racing at an early age.

“He started racing go -carts when he was 8,” Kozak said. “He won three national championships. We were competing against the top guys in the nation, and it was fast.”

Wed
24
Jul

AIM Pro Walleye fishing tourney returns to Oconto

Pro angler Gary Parsons and Chris Hansen earned the $20,000 payout at last week’s AIM Pro Walleye Series tournament in Oconto.

The boat caught a total weight of 137.13 pounds over the three-day tournament. The first-day catch of 55.31 pounds put Parsons and Hansen in the lead, but a 31.82-pound catch on Day 2 left the duo needing a big day Saturday. Saturday’s catch of 50 pounds was enough to clinch the top prize.

John Schneider and Nicholas Schertz took second place with a total weight of 134.85 pounds. Third place went to Tom Gatzke and Chad Schilling, who had a total weight 132.49 pounds. The second place payout was $8,500 and third place took home $6,300.

Other anglers in the top 25 received lesser payouts from the $120,000 total purse.

Wed
24
Jul

Legion team feeling good heading into regionals

As the Oconto Falls American Legion baseball team prepares for the Class AA regional tournament, coach Chris Hillberg is embracing the underdog role for his squad.

“I think everyone on the team knows we’re the underdog going into that tournament,” Hillberg said. “As such, I don’t think anyone is going to throw their No. 1 pitcher against us. … We’re OK with that.”

Oconto Falls (7-5) opens the tournament Friday against Sturgeon Bay (8-4) at 8 p.m. in Sturgeon Bay. Pulaski (8-4) and Kewaunee County (6-4) face each other at 5 p.m.

Wed
17
Jul

Rough start dooms Oconto Falls Legion

The Oconto Falls American Legion baseball team made a tough task more difficult with a rough start Sunday against Northern Division-leading Marinette.

Oconto Falls lost 12-2 in five innings after giving up six runs in the first inning at Memorial Field.

“We’re a team, especially when we’re playing a team as good as Marinette, we can’t afford to give up any mistakes,” Oconto Falls coach Chris Hillberg said. “We started a little slow on the mound, and then the fielding behind that followed through with it.”

Marinette (10-1) tacked on two more runs in the second inning, before Oconto Falls pulled pitcher Ethan Berth for Derek Zahn. Zahn allowed two runs before getting out of the inning.

“We need to be making plays to help our pitcher out a little bit,” Hillberg said. “I don’t think we should have given up 10 in the first two innings. But we didn’t come ready to play, apparently.”

Wed
17
Jul

Kelly Lake Triathlon winners announced

The third annual Kelly Lake Triathlon took place on July 6 with 140 participants completing in the 1/2- mile swim, 15.5-mile bike ride and 3.4-mile run.

There were five division winners: male open and overall male winner, Ryne Scopp, of Kenosha; female open and overall female winner, Elizabeth Bovin, of Fitchburg; male masters winner, Mike Jovanavich, of Neenah (repeat champion); female masters winner, Lori Wenzel, of Greenville (three-time champion); and relay winner, Team Fondy Elite (Amy and Bengie Belongia and Jamie Ludovic).

The race included more than 55 first-time triathletes, a paratriathlete and participants from 11 states, as far away as Washington and Florida, and two countries.

All proceeds benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children-Chicago, which serve families in the Green Bay and surrounding areas by providing world-leading medical care for children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

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