Oconto Falls softball team is young but experienced

A youth movement is in full swing for the Oconto Falls High School softball team.

The Panthers have a young roster this season, but it’s an experienced group of players.

“It’s a young group when you look at it on paper. But they’re all going to step up, and they’ve all had some varsity experience,” coach Cory Albrecht said. “They might not have been our starters. But even though they’re young, they’re probably going to be improved from last year.

“Everything is looking really good. Our chemistry is right where we want it.”

The players are feeling confident this season they can improve off a 9-15 record a year ago.

“We’re ready – our practices have been super enthusiastic,” senior Stephanie Peitersen said. “We kind of have a younger team, with only three seniors. But we have six juniors, and everyone shows so much enthusiasm and leadership. Everyone’s really stepped it up this year. We’re ready to really go far.”


Former Panthers team up at UW-Whitewater

Michael Manns, who graduated from Oconto Falls in 2016, is in his freshman season catching at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. (Photo by UW-Whitewater Athletics)

It was a moment Evan Sigmund and Michael Manns will remember for the rest of their lives.

With the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater baseball team leading Grinnell 16-0, the Warhawks coaches inserted Sigmund to pitch the seventh inning and Manns to catch in their March 25 game in Auburndale, Florida.

The two longtime friends and former Oconto Falls teammates got to experience their first college baseball game together. The freshmen battery mates were on the big stage.

“I felt so comfortable back there with him and just knowing what his movement was, knowing everything,” Manns said. “It’s just so nice catching someone you’re so familiar with.”

“It’s pretty cool to have somebody like that that you’re used to for 10-plus years. Whether it’s little league, middle school, high school, he was just always my catcher,” Sigmund said. “It’s nice having that familiar face for sure. That really helps a lot for both of our success.”


Former Panther qualifies for NCAA D2 wrestling championships

Nate Trepanier, a freshman wrestling at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, placed fourth at 149 pounds at the NCAA Division 2 Wrestling Super 3 Regional tournament at St. Cloud University on Feb. 24 to advance to the championships. The 149-pound top-six regional finishers include, from left, Joseph Schumacher, fifth; Damian Penichet, third; James Pleski, first; Isaiah Kemper, second; Nate Trepanier, fourth; and Kyle Rathman, sixth. (contributed photo)

Lindenwood University freshman Nate Trepanier finished his first college wrestling season with a championship run.

Trepanier, who graduated from Oconto Falls High School in 2017 and received a wrestling scholarship to the Missouri college, advanced to the NCAA Division 2 Championships after placing fourth at the regional tournament held Feb. 23-24 at St. Cloud University.

Trepanier also received the Freshman of the Year Award at the regional tournament. He was the sole freshman at the tourney to advance to the championships. Trepanier is also the second wrestler at Lindenwood University to qualify for the championship tourney as a true freshman.

Trepanier defeated Joseph Schumacher, of Minnesota State University Moorhead, in the 149-pound fourth-place regional match to secure his championship spot, as the top four wrestlers advanced to the tournament.


Bloom set to continue baseball career in college

Oconto Falls High School senior Kamdan Bloom will continue his baseball career at Edgewood College, in Madison, as a catcher in the fall.

Oconto Falls senior Kamdan Bloom will get to continue his catching career at Edgewood College next year.

The Madison school recruited Bloom to the Division 3 baseball team, giving him the opportunity to keep playing the sport he started at just 4 years old.

“My mom signed me up for tee-ball around that age,” Bloom said, “and it just became the sport I stuck with since then.”

Bloom also credits his old coach, the late Cliff Yuma Sr., for his continued dedication to the sport.

“(Yuma) was a mentor to me throughout my whole little league career,” Bloom said. “He’s the reason I’m the player I am today. We’d play in little league tournaments and get our butts kicked and he always taught us to never give up, and it’s something I’ve held onto as I’ve grown in baseball.

“He sadly passed away from cancer my seventh-grade year, so since eighth grade I’ve been playing baseball to honor him. I know he’s been watching.”


M&O all-conference teams announced

Here’s a look at the winter sports Marinette & Oconto all-conference selections.

Boys basketball

Senior Ryan Mahoney, of Suring, was selected to the all-conference first team. Mahoney joins an all-senior team with Jack Farley, of STAA; Travis Geise, of Crivitz; Jakob Voss, of Crivitz; and Cole Woulf, of Coleman.

Suring junior Mitch Stegeman was selected to the conference’s second team.

Gillett junior Cole Long was also selected to the second team.

Also representing the second team are Oneida’s Seth Charles, Wausaukee’s Matt Delfosse and Coleman’s Austin Marquardt.

Lena sophomore Colby Borchert received honorable mention. Borchert joins Shane Bauer, of Crivitz; Alex Hagerty, of Niagara; and Christian Hornick and Tyler Stuart, both of STAA.

Girls basketball


Gillett falls in sectional championship

Gillett High School senior Willow Pecha drives up the court during a WIAA Division 5 sectional semifinal against Wausaukee on Thursday. (Photo by Danyell Franti)

The Gillett High School girls basketball team fell one game shy of a state tournament appearance Saturday after a 52-40 loss to Newman Catholic in the WIAA Division 5 sectional final.

The fifth-seeded Tigers defeated four teams to advance to the sectional championship. Gillett dominated No. 12 Goodman/Pembine (72-25) and No. 4 Niagara (forfeit) before taking the regional title with a 66-65 overtime upset against No. 1 Oneida Nation.

Gillett edged Wausaukee in another 66-65 win before taking on No. 2 Newman Catholic.

The Tigers finish third in the Marinette & Oconto Conference (12-4) and were 20-7 overall.


Eagles end season after regional final loss

Suring High School junior Mitchell Stegeman drives past a Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran defender during a WIAA Division 5 regional final on Saturday. (Photo by Sophie Lally)

The Suring High School boys basketball team’s season came to an end Saturday after falling 50-47 to Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran in the WIAA Division 5 regional final.

The Eagles were led by Mitchell Stegeman with 24 points and four assists. Ryan Mahoney scored 10 points, and Cody Smith and Caleb Lally grabbed a game-high seven rebounds apiece. Dequez Sepulveda, Lally and Reece Garrigan each scored four points, and Cody Smith added one to round out the Eagles’ scoring.

Samuel Meerstein scored 16 points and Jacob Champeau 15 to lead N.E.W. Lutheran.

The Eagles, who were seeded No. 2, dominated No. 15 Elcho 71-31 in the first regional game Feb. 27.

Suring had three double-digit contributors against Elcho. Mahoney led the Eagles with 28 points, Lally added 16 and Stegeman scored 11.

Suring went on to top No. 7 Three Lakes 68-54 in the regional semifinal Friday.


Offroaders turn Lake Winnebago ice into hot winter fun

Extreme Offroaders 4-Wheel-Drive Club member Nathan Kussmann of Greenville waves the red flag to finish a race for one of 49 competitors Feb. 10 during the club’s second ice race of the season at Payne’s Point south of Neenah on Lake Winnebago. Family cars and tricked-out vehicles alike enjoy the informal events every year. (Photo by Ross Bielema)

While many thousands of Lake Winnebago anglers were concerned with big sturgeon or potential prize-winning panfish and walleyes in recent weeks, one group of enthusiasts focused their attention on the lake’s surface.

The only holes they dug were made by their spinning tires on the snow-plowed icy course created by volunteers of the Extreme Offroaders 4-Wheel Drive Club Ltd.

Opening day of the sturgeon spearing season found the lake covered with shanties of hopeful anglers, dozens of parked cars and trucks and a huge beer tent at Payne’s Point on Neenah’s southeastern edge.

There, too, were young ice racers like Cole Cerull, 19, of Appleton, who was putting the hand-studded tires on his 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit in preparation for one of eight classes of racing. He previously spent about 30 hours putting in the metal studs on his tires, and also does all his own engine work, he explained.


Ellen Lappen

Ellen Mary Marguerite Kiley Lappen, 75, watercolor artist, believed flowers are like a beautiful ballet. Great-grandmother-to-be, devoted mother, grandmother and wife of 57 years, Ellen was called home by the Holy Spirit in the early morning hours of March 2, 2018. In Appleton, she was born on June 23, 1942, to Dorothy (Van Gorp) and George W. Kiley, parents of six children. Ellen was the third-born child and only girl. She attended Catholic grammar school and graduated from Appleton West High School at the age of 17 with the class of 1960. She went on to pursue a career in nursing and worked at St. Elizabeth in obstetrics directly following graduation, later going on to attend University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.


Suring boys share M&O basketball title

Suring honored its seniors during Friday’s game, including, from left, Connor Giese, Sean Krueger, Cody Smith and Ryan Mahoney. (Photo by Sophie Lally)

The Suring boys basketball team clinched a three-way tie for the Marinette & Oconto Conference title after a 64-27 victory over Lena on Friday.

The Eagles share the title with Crivitz and Coleman, who all have M&O records of 14-2.

The WIAA boys basketball regional playoffs began Tuesday night. Suring secured a No. 2 seed and opened the tournament with a convincing 71-31 decision over 15-seed Elcho.

The Eagles host No. 7 seed Three Lakes at 7 p.m. Friday. Three Lakes advanced by defeating 10th-seeded Gillett 70-51.


Subscribe to RSS - Sports