Sports

Wed
27
Nov

Panthers lose first game


Leader Photo by Gerrard Diaz

Oconto Falls High School guard Alex Young takes a shot over a Bonduel defender during Thursday’s nonconference game in Bonduel. OFHS lost 68-52.

The Oconto Falls High School boys basketball team came up short, 68-52, in a nonconference game against Bonduel on Thursday in Bonduel.

The Panthers (0-1) fell behind early, trailing 15-2 halfway through the first quarter, as Bonduel (2-0) got 3-pointers from Zach Zernicke and Connor Rosin.

“I think they came out scared,” Oconto Falls High School coach Kirk Hirst said. “They played real scared; you could see it in their face. I think they took these guys for granted. We went and watched them at Gillett, and we thought we would walk all over them.”

Oconto Falls was limited in the first half after 6-foot-5 forward Riley Gruetzmacher went to the bench with two early fouls. The Panthers were held to just six points in the first quarter and 15 points in the first half.

“It hurts having Riley on the bench,” Hirst said. “You could tell that in the second half. He’s a big player for us.”

Wed
27
Nov

Panthers basketball team is all in


Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

Oconto Falls High School senior Carly Lemke takes a shot during basketball practice Nov.18 at OFHS.

If the upcoming girls basketball season were a poker game, Oconto Falls would be shoving in all its chips.

With two three-year starters back in McKenna Larsen and Carly Lemke, now is the ideal time for the Panthers to win the Bay Conference and make a deep playoff run.

“The younger girls and even the seniors, they look to Carly and McKenna for leadership,” Oconto Falls coach Mike Kaczmarek Jr. said. “They’re just so competitive, they don’t like to lose. … That leadership and competitiveness that they bring, it’s irreplaceable. And experience, of course.”

The Panthers, who finished 16-8 last season and placed second in the conference with a 12-4 record, will have to replace starters Jenny Spang, Erin Gilligan and role player Anna Rabe. Also, Labecca Jones started last season but decided not to play this year.

Wed
20
Nov

Panthers return with more experience


Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

Oconto Falls High School forward Bo Shroyer takes a shot during a scrimmage against Lena on Monday at Oconto Falls High School.

If everything goes as planned, Oconto Falls High School boys basketball coach Kirk Hirst will shave his head at the end of this season.

That’s his promise to the team if it wins at least eight games.

That’s a lofty goal for the second-year coach after not winning a game last season. However, Hirst is optimistic since every player returns.

“I’m hoping for 10 wins,” Hirst said.

Last season was a transition year as Hirst stepped in with a new attitude and no seniors.

“When you bring everybody back, you don’t really have to start over with a new system and all that,” Hirst said. “They understand what we were looking for last year, so it’s just another year of experience. A lot of those kids never played at the varsity level, so last year was their very first year of varsity experience.”

Wed
20
Nov

Gillett rebuilds with new coach, 1 returning starter

With a new coach and just one returning starter, it could be a transition year for the Gillett Secondary School boys basketball team.

However, coach William Greenwood II is hoping it’s a smooth change for the Tigers, 5-18 a season ago, including 5-11 and seventh place in the Marinette & Oconto Conference Conference.

“We’re just moving forward from what was and I’m going to establish things the way I want the program run,” Greenwood said. “We’re changing our offense and our defense completely.”

Greenwood has never been a head coach before, but has had assistant jobs at Freedom and Sheboygan North. He most recently was an assistant and head coach in Shawano’s youth program. He replaces Matt Polomis.

Wed
13
Nov

Bay, M&O conferences honor top players


Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

McKenna Larsen watches for a serve during the WIAA Division 2 state semifinal against East Troy Saturday at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Larsen was named the Bay Conference volleyball player of the year.

Oconto Falls High School volleyball player McKenna Larsen was named the Bay Conference player of the year to lead the all-conference award winners this year in the Bay and Marinette & Oconto conferences.

Larsen, a senior at OFHS, was named first team all-Bay Conference along with fellow senior Carly Lemke.

Senior setter Elizabeth Watzka and junior libero McKayla Johnson were honorable mentions.

• In football, Oconto Falls had six players earn honorable mentions. Running back Tyler Kowalczyk, wide receiver Zach Brye and center Ross Pumplin all earned offensive honors.

On defense, lineman James Salscheider, linebacker Jacob Yatso and defensive back Alex Johnson were honorable mentions.

Marinette & Oconto

Wed
13
Nov

‘One dream’ ends in state semis


Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

Oconto Falls middle hitter Carly Lemke sends a ball over East Troy defenders during Friday's WIAA Division 2 state semifinal match at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

The last match for the Oconto Falls High School volleyball team’s seniors and their coach rushed by as undefeated East Troy swept the Panthers 3-0 in the WIAA Division 2 state semifinal Friday at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

Dawn Larsen, who is giving up her OFHS coaching duties after the spring softball season, said she was not sad after falling to the eventual state champion.

“I’m not sad about it being my last season,” Larsen said. “I mean, where else would I want to end it than at state? I’m still proud of them.”

And as much as the loss hurt, the coach said her team accomplished its one goal this season — making it to state.

“We still said ‘One Team, One Dream’ because this was the dream and we were here,” Larsen said.

The game also wrapped up the high school volleyball careers of seniors McKenna Larsen, the coach’s daughter and Bay Conference player of the year, Carly Lemke, Elizabeth Watzka and Rachael Winter.

Wed
13
Nov

Hobbled Packers lose to Eagles


Photo by Jim Leuenberger

Packers receiver Jordy Nelson dives for the end zone during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers lost 27-13.

Another game, another injured Green Bay Packers quarterback.

Thrust into duty just a few days after being elevated from the practice squad, quarterback Scott Tolzien took over the Packers’ offense Sunday in a 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

After losing Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone on the Packers’ first drive last week, the Packers lost his replacement, Seneca Wallace, to a groin injury after the team’s first drive Sunday.

“It’s two weeks in a row,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said on the difficulty of losing a quarterback in each of the last two games. “You have a guy that goes through the week and takes all the reps. Unfortunately, he suffered the injury there in the first series.”

Wed
06
Nov

Wolf, Spillane lead Panthers’ runners at state


Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

The Oconto Falls High School boys cross-country team starts the Division 2 race at the WIAA state meet Saturday at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

Sophomore Bailey Wolf finished 55th and the Oconto Falls High School boys ran strong despite missing their top runner Saturday at the WIAA State Cross-Country Championships at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.

Michael Friedman, who led the team all season, broke his foot while placing fourth in last week’s Division 2 sectional and could not run at state.

Even without him, the team finished 11th at state. Wisconsin Lutheran took first, followed by Monroe.

“Obviously when you have a guy out who is your No. 1 guy and probably one of the top runners in the state, it’s going to affect it (the team),” Oconto Falls coach Lon Ludemann said. “But I thought our kids ran awesome.”

The team was led by Liam Spillane, who finished 65th overall with a time of 17:37.38.

Spillane, a junior, improved on his performance as a freshman on the 2011 state-qualifying team. That year he finished 104th with a time of 17:58.18.

Wed
06
Nov

Seniors lead Panthers’ charge


Times Herald Photo by Gerrard Diaz

The Oconto Falls High School volleyball team celebrates beating Waupun in the WIAA Division 2 sectional final Saturday in Seymour.

With standout performances from seniors McKenna Larsen and Carly Lemke, the Oconto Falls High School volleyball team beat Waupun 3-1 in Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 sectional final at Seymour High School to advance to the state tournament.

“I’m ecstatic,” Lemke said. “All the seniors, we said it all year, we wanted to go out with a bang and definitely making it back to state is the way to do it.”

The team’s seniors — Larsen, Lemke, Elizabeth Watzka and Rachael Winter — were all a part of the 2011 team that made it to state.

“It feels awesome to do it with this team and these girls,” Larsen said. “We’ve grown more together as a family this year. I wouldn’t want to end my high school volleyball career any other way.”

Wed
30
Oct

Suring tops Gillett for regional championship

The Suring High School volleyball team swept Gillett 3-0 to win a WIAA Division 4 regional championship Saturday in Suring.

Suring, the No. 1 seed, beat second-seeded Gillett 25-11, 26-24, 25-8.

Suring will advance to face Pembine/Goodman in the opening round of the sectionals Thursday in Gillett. No. 2 Pembine/Goodman upset No. 1 Florence on Saturday in five sets.

Suring beat No. 4 Bowler Thursday in three sets, 25-17, 25-16, 25-10.

Gillett topped No. 3 Gresham on Thursday, 19-25, 25-21, 25-14, 25-18 to advance to the regional final.

Brianna Lemirande had 16 kills and two blocks in that game. Jessica Anderson had 20 assists, four digs and three kills.

Lisa Schmidt had seven digs and nine aces.

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