Kurth’s speedy 400 highlights strong regional

When Oconto Falls senior Aaron Kurth finally got the baton in the boys 4x400 relay, he had some ground to make up to qualify for sectionals.

Kurth paced himself to stay with Little Chute’s Mack Hooyman for the opening 200 meters before unleashing his sprinting abilities to make the pass to finish in fourth place at Monday’s WIAA Division 2 regional in Clintonville.

“I basically just sat on him and used my 200 speed to catch him at the end,” Kurth said.

Freedom won the boys (195 points) and girls (157) team competitions.

Seymour (115) and Little Chute (92) finished top three for the boys; Oconto Falls (80) sat in fifth place.

For the girls, the Panthers placed fourth with 78 points. Marinette (123) and Little Chute (114) finished second and third.

The Panthers, who qualified for Thursday’s sectional meet in 18 events, finished the relay in 3 minutes, 36.32 seconds.


Panthers’ Kussow aiding young pitchers

After the first couple of Oconto Falls softball games this season, Makenna Kussow went home and cried.

She was having a tough time not being able to be on the diamond.

After three years as the starting pitcher for the Panthers, Kussow was forced to miss her senior season.

However, Kussow soon realized her new role on the team allowed her to be a valuable asset. She has spent this season as a student coach, helping out the young Oconto Falls pitching staff and assisting first-year head coach Cory Albrecht.

“At first, I was devastated that I couldn’t play, so I wanted to stay away,” Kussow said. “I didn’t think I’d be able to sit on the bench with them, but then we got a new head coach, and he didn’t want me to be just a manager, but to help with the pitchers, be involved. That made it more of a reality that I think I can do this.”


Wildcats slowed by wet Red Maple course

Times Herald Photo by Chris Caporale

Lena High School golfer Jacob Staidl watches a putt roll toward the cup on the 12th hole at Red Maple Country Club in Suring on Monday during a Marinette & Oconto Conference meet.

A wet course at Red Maple Country Club in Suring on Monday presented its challenges to the Marinette & Oconto Conference.

Lena struggled, with no player posting scores better than a 51 on the back nine, as the Tigers placed sixth with a score of 207.

Peshtigo (174) won the meet, with Coleman (192) and Wausaukee (203) rounding out the top three.

“Red Maple in Suring is a tough nine if you’re not hitting it straight,” Lena head coach John Moe said. “Add in that the course is very wet right now, that adds distance and makes it even more difficult.”

Four strokes separated Lena from a top-three finish, which is why the team is working on consistency among the top five golfers.

However, on Monday, the scores went up.

Jacob Staidl and Hunter Borchert each shot rounds of 51, while Dalton Anderson followed with a 52 and Jacob Anderley posted a 53. Colby Borchert shot a 58.


Panthers sweep Wrightstown in doubleheader

The last time the Oconto Falls baseball team swept a doubleheader was 2015.

The Panthers erased a two-year drought on Saturday by racking up 20 runs on 20 hits in a pair of North Eastern Conference victories, 10-8 and 10-6, over visiting Wrightstown.

A sweep wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for a big-time comeback in Game 1. Oconto Falls trailed 8-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning before scoring eight runs and sending 12 batters to the plate.

“It’s kind of nice for our kids,” Oconto Falls coach Charlie Rochon said about the sweep. “We battled back in the first one when that was looking kind of bleak at best. All of a sudden we started putting some hits together and got some aggressive base running and all of a sudden we’re up 10-8. It’s like, ‘What happened?’”


Stegeman named WIAA scholar athlete

Suring senior Katie Stegeman is one of 32 athletes statewide being recognized by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association for athletic and academic achievement.

The Scholar Athlete Award program winners were selected from 861 seniors nominated from across the state.

“We know this is not an award that is given out lightly or that every team gets one,” Suring basketball coach Shaun Wagner said. “This is a very big honor, and this is well-deserved.”

After this spring season, Stegeman will have 11 varsity letters to go with her perfect 4.0 grade-point average. She will graduate with four letters in track and basketball, and three in volleyball.

Heidi Gerndt, who has been Stegeman’s track coach, assistant varsity volleyball coach, athletic director and aunt, was part of the decision to keep her off the varsity volleyball team as a freshman.


Norling shoots 91 to lead Panthers in Seymour

Vince Norling posted a round of 91 as Oconto Falls finished 14th Saturday at the Seymour Invitational at Crystal Springs Golf Course.

Norling shot a 44 on the front nine and a 47 on the back nine, with his largest scores coming on back-to-back holes, No. 18 and No. 1.

“Vince’s short game was helping him on Saturday. He was able to stay away from bigger numbers by getting up and down and not three-putting,” Oconto Falls head coach Scott Schroeder said. “Vince has a great attitude and demeanor, which allows him to stay focused on the controllables.”

Oconto Falls posted a 393, with Ryan Morris (93), Clayton Rathsack (99) and Odin Halvorsen (110) rounding out the scoring.

Bay Port won the invitational with a 314, followed by Winneconne (318). De Pere’s Tyler Trupke was the medalist with a 75.


High School Highlights


Lena/STAA 4

Gillett/Suring 2

Junior pitcher Cody Smith struck out nine batters in five innings and gave up three earned runs for Gillett/Suring in Monday’s road loss.

Senior Lane Hischke had both of the hits for the Hornets (0-9, 0-5 Marinette & Oconto Conference). He scored one run.

Ethan Hischke entered the game in the sixth and threw a scoreless frame for Gillett/Suring.

Peshtigo 12

Gillett/Suring 0

Josh Reed and Eli Framnes were the only Gillett/Suring players to record hits in a five-inning road loss April 18.

Junior Cody Smith allowed nine hits and seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings for the Hornets (0-8, 0-4 Marinette & Oconto Conference).

Jeremy Missall pitched the final 2/3 of an inning without giving up a hit.


STAA/Lena 8

Gillett/Suring 0


Heise to continue basketball at D3 school

Times Herald Photo by Chris Caporale

Lena senior Connor Heise commits to playing basketball at St. Mary’s University in Minnesota during a signing ceremony Thursday at Lena High School. He is joined by his mother, Susie Gee, and father, Wes Heise.

For those who know Lena High School senior Connor Heise, it is not surprising that he will continue playing the sport he loves at the collegiate level.

For Heise, who committed on Thursday to play basketball at Division III St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, basketball is more than just a game.

“He’s almost addicted to basketball where he’s in a gym almost every single day,” Lena head coach Jeff Heimke said. “That amount of time, that amount of work is what you have to put in if you’re going to play at that level. Even since our season ended, he’s still in the gym every single morning working on his game, and the time and dedication is what led to this.”

The Wildcats’ season ended in a 79-74 overtime loss to Gresham in the sectional semifinal. Heise fouled out with two minutes left in the extra period and Lena trailing by one.


Fundamentals fail in Falls’ 14-1 home loss

With only a handful of practices recently, the Oconto Falls baseball team hasn’t been able to work much on fundamentals.

That presented a problem Monday as the Panthers committed four errors in the first two innings, and Denmark took advantage in a 14-1 victory in five innings in North Eastern Conference action at Oconto Falls.

“Fundamentally, we did a lot of things wrong early on,” Oconto Falls coach Charlie Rochon said. “They hit the ball, put the ball in play, but we didn’t come up with some plays we should have. Balls got underneath us, balls got left and right where they shouldn’t have.”

Oconto Falls struggled making some routine plays. On two occasions, Denmark reached on sacrifice bunts when the Panthers were late covering first base on the throw.

“We’re better than that, and we just didn’t get it done,” Rochon said. “For whatever reason, we were not in it.”



Taylor Yonker posted three hits and four RBIs while Faith Sorlie added three hits and four runs scored in Gillett/Suring’s 16-6, five-inning home victory over Tigerton on April 11.

First baseman Victoria Loberger recorded two hits, three RBIs and two runs, and Willow Pecha chipped in four hits, two RBIs and two runs for the Hornets (2-3, 0-1 Marinette & Oconto Conference).

After Tigerton (0-3, 0-2 Central Wisconsin Conference-10) tallied three runs in the top of the third inning to tie the game at 4-4, Gillett/Suring responded with 10 runs in the bottom of the inning .

Sydney Young struck out four batters, walked three and gave up three hits in three innings for Gillett/Suring. Willow Pecha entered in relief, striking out three and walking another three. She allowed an earned run on three hits.

The Hornets finished with 16 runs on 19 hits.


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