Three in a row for Panthers boys

Oconto Falls High School runner Mike Friedman approaches the finish line during the Bay Conference cross-country meet Thursday in Shawano. Friedman finished second and the Panthers boys team took conference title.

Make it three.

The Oconto Falls High School boys cross-country team earned its third consecutive Bay Conference title at the conference meet Thursday in Shawano.

The boys, led by second-place finisher Mike Friedman, finished with 48 points — the lowest score of the season for the Panthers — to lead the eight-team field. Shawano (65) took second and Hortonville (93) took third.

Paced by Friedman clocking in at 16 minutes, 51 seconds, all of the Oconto Falls boys finished in the top 20. Liam Spillane was sixth (17:20) and James Malcheski ninth (17:24).

“The guys behind me have a real good pack and they’ve been improving every single race this year,” Friedman said. “They’ve been working really hard. They’re just a great group of guys and they’re fun to be around.”

Friedman battled Seymour’s Justin Skinkis for most of the race. After keeping even with him through the first mile, Friedman fell behind and finished 14 seconds after Skinkis.


Panthers keep focus, sweep Shawano

Photos by Josh Thompson

Oconto Falls’ Kayla Virtues hits a ball past Shawano defenders during Thursday’s Bay Conference match in Shawano. The Panthers won 3-0.

Dawn Larsen was hoping her players’ focus was on volleyball Thursday night.

With it being homecoming week at Oconto Falls High School and all four of the seniors on the Panthers volleyball team in the homecoming court, the players’ minds might be elsewhere.

The Oconto Falls coach can breathe a little easier knowing her team took care of business, beating host Shawano Community High School, 25-16, 25-10, 25-21.

“Sometimes you just worry about matches like this because of the hype of homecoming,” Larsen said. “I just think they rose to the occasion.”


Panthers boys runners first at L-C

The Oconto Falls boys cross-country team won the 43rd annual Russ Fameree Cross Country Classic on Friday at Northbrook Country Club in Luxemburg.

The boys finished with a team score of 49, beating out Two Rivers (92) and Luxemburg-Casco (110).

The Panthers were led by Mike Friedman, who took second place and finished with a time of 16 minutes, 48 seconds. James Malcheski (17:40) and Liam Spillane (17:43) joined Friedman in the top-10, placing ninth and 10th respectively.

On the girls side, Bailey Wolf finished 10th overall, finishing in 16:17 to lead the 13th-place Oconto Falls girls team.

The Oconto Falls boys junior varsity team (20) was five points away from a perfect score to take first place.

Oconto Falls cross-country will compete for a Bay Conference title at the Bay Conference race Thursday in Shawano.




Oconto Falls loses to Luxemburg-Casco, 54-20

Photo by Josh Thompson

Oconto Falls High School quarterback Sam Konitzer tries to find some running room during Friday’s game against Luxemburg-Casco. Oconto Falls lost 54-20.

The Oconto Falls High School football team allowed 47 points before getting on the scoreboard in the first half of Friday’s Bay Conference game against Luxemburg-Casco in Oconto Falls.

The Panthers could not overcome the slow start and fell 54-20 to the Spartans (4-4, 3-4 Bay).

Oconto Falls (0-7, 0-7 Bay) got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter when Sam Konitzer found Zachary Brye for a 15-yard touchdown.

“We were able to put together a drive just before the end of the second quarter, and that gave us some confidence heading into the second half,” Oconto Falls coach Jeff Trochil said.

The Panthers took the opening drive of the second half into Spartan territory, but a Konitzer pass was intercepted by Cole Kirchman, who returned for a touchdown that put Luxemburg-Casco up 54-7.


Gillett loses to Crivitz, 48-33

The Gillett Secondary School football team lost to Crivitz 48-33 in a Marinette & Oconto Conference game Friday in Crivitz.

The Tigers (3-5, 2-4 M&O) fell behind 16-0 early in the first quarter after an interception return for a touchdown and another touchdown.

“I thought our kids battled all night and showed that they never give up,” Gillett coach Rick Kamps said. “Spotting a team like Crivitz 16 points in the first quarter put us in an uphill battle the entire night.”

Crivitz (6-2, 5-1 M&O) led 36-7 at halftime, but Gillett scored four second-half touchdowns.

In the third quarter, Alex Zeitler found Bryce Simpson for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Then Matt Peterson scored on a 1-yard run.

In the fourth, Monte Noffke punched it in from 4 yards out, and then Zeitler found Leeland Kahler for a 55-yard touchdown pass.


Prep Roundup

Suring tops Lena

The Suring High School volleyball team won 3-1 against Lena in a Marinette & Oconto Conference match Thursday in Suring.

Suring won the first game 25-9, lost the second 26-24 and then won the last two 25-15, 25-5.

Calley VanBellinger had 12 kills, 13 digs, two aces and a block. Breanna Tienor had 13 assists. Jacquelyn Lenz had six aces and seven digs.

Gillett sweeps STAA

The Gillett Secondary School volleyball team swept Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy Thursday in Marinette.

Gillett won 25-22, 25-23, 25-15.

Brianna Lemirande had 10 kills, three blocks, five digs, two aces and an assist. Jessica Anderson had 15 assists, four digs and four aces.

Suring beats Niagara in 5

The Suring High School volleyball team beat Marinette & Oconto Conference foe Niagara in five sets Oct. 8 in Niagara.


Gillett wins second straight football game

Photo by Josh Thompson

Gillett’s Dylan Roberts runs away from a Lena/STAA defender during Friday’s game in Gillett. Gillett won 35-8.

The combination of Alex Zeitler to Dylan Roberts has been almost unstoppable.

After hooking up for four touchdowns in a win the previous week, the dynamic duo from Gillett connected three times Friday night.

The Tigers rode the tails of their red hot quarterback-wide receiver tandem to a 35-8 victory over Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas in Gillett’s homecoming game.

According to Roberts, a big reason for the success of the passing game the last two weeks has been the offensive line protecting Zeitler so well.

“(Alex) came on late in the season last year and we’ve been working on it throughout the summer, and we just have that connection,” Roberts said.

“He points me off routes sometimes and he just gets the ball to me. That’s all there is to it, he gets the ball to me.”

Zeitler finished the night 11-for-12 for 146 yards. Eight of those completions went to Roberts for 138 yards.


Oconto Falls boy runners take 2nd at Waupaca

Contributed Photo

Runners take off from the starting line Thursday at the Waupaca Invitational in Waupaca.

The Oconto Falls High School cross-country teams traveled to Waupaca for a 13-team invitational and a chance to run the course that will host the WIAA Division 2 Sectional later this month.

The Panthers boys finished with a team score 63, beaten by invitational champion Little Chute (57) and finishing ahead of third-place team Colby/Abbotsford (98).

“The Panthers’ boys team continues to run in a solid pack as a large group and continue to run together,” Oconto Falls coach Lon Ludemann said. “Ten runners from Oconto Falls finished in the top fifty in a field that was 165 runners strong.”

Oconto Falls’ Mike Friedman placed second with a time of 17 minutes, 4 seconds and teammate Liam Spillane was 10th, putting both in the top-10.

James Malcheski (15th), Michael Fifield (16th) and Alex Young (20th) all crossed the finish line in the top 20.


Prep Roundup

Panthers defeated in New London

The Oconto Falls High School football team lost to New London 28-14 Friday in New London.

Tyler Kowalcyzyk scored a 12-yard touchdown to in the second quarter for Oconto Falls (0-6, 0-6 Bay) to tie the game at 7-7.

New London (1-6, 1-5 Bay) then scored 21 straight points before quarterback Alex Johnson found Zachary Brye for a 29-yard touchdown to cut New London’s lead to 28-14 in the fourth quarter.

Suring blown out by Coleman

The Suring High School football team lost to Marinette & Oconto Conference foe Coleman 58-0 Friday in Coleman.

Quarterback Creo VanBellinger was held to one completion on seven passing attempts for 10 yards and two interceptions for Suring (2-5, 1-4 M&O). Bob Mahoney had 63 yards on three carries.

Trevor Seewald had 190 yards rushing on 11 carries for Coleman (5-2, 4-1 M&O).

Gillett splits in Coleman


Coopman just misses sectionals

Elizabeth Coopman was one stroke away from qualifying for sectionals at the WIAA Division 2 regional last Wednesday at Mid Vallee Golf Course in Lawrence.

Coopman shot a round of 100 on the day, a stroke behind Little Chute’s Kaitlyn Plutz, who was the fourth and final individual sectional qualifier at the regional.

Little Chute’s Cora Wittmann (88) and Wrightstown’s Victoria Draxler (89) and Sarah La Freniere (98) were the other qualifiers, along with regional champions Marinette (339) and second-place Fox Valley Lutheran (340).

Oconto Falls took seventh as a team, finishing with a score of 422.

Brittany Russell shot 102, Julie Moore 108, Bridgett Gorman 112 and Amanda Blazer 113 to round out the scores for Oconto Falls.

Fox Valley Lutheran’s Kayla Priebe shot a 71 to medal.


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