Volleyball: Hawks end Oconto Falls’ postseason run

Oconto Falls High School seniors Olivia Steffens (8) and Stephanie Peitersen (5) move up to block Julia Klement’s attack in a loss during a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal on Thursday at Shawano. (Times Herald photo by Jacy Zollar)

Shawano ended Oconto Falls’ postseason run in three sets Thursday in a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal.

“It’s mixed emotions,” Oconto Falls head coach Rachel Otto said after the match. “It’s sad to see a season come to an end. I really enjoyed the group of girls we had this year.”

The Hawks topped the Panthers 25-6, 25-18 and 25-17 before a roaring gymnasium crowd in Shawano.

Shawano utilized its loud home court advantage to take the momentum from the start. Oconto Falls managed its points in the first set on three Sarah Sprout kills and three Hawks errors.

The Panthers improved their passing game in the final two sets to close the deficit, but it wasn’t enough to top the Hawks.


Oconto Falls honors its football greats

Contributed photo Players from the Oconto Falls High School 1997 state championship team were honored at Friday's game. Players include, from left, Chris Desterheft, Adam Zielinski, Nate Rogatzki, Scott Schroeder, Joe Porior, Nick Berg, Jason Radke, Adam Krause and Coach Jerry Moynihan.

As the teams were announced, the applause kept getting louder and louder.

The Oconto Falls community loves to honor its past successes on the gridiron.

Members of the 1967, 1982 and 1997 Oconto Falls High School football teams took part in an alumni weekend to honor the three championship teams. The teams were announced at halftime of the Oconto Falls and Luxemburg-Casco football game on Friday.

This season marks the 50-year anniversary of the 1967 team winning the North Eastern Wisconsin Conference title and finishing with an 8-1 record. They allowed just 13 points all season, but didn’t have a chance to win a state title since the WIAA didn’t introduce a playoff system until 1976.

The 1982 team went 9-3 and captured the Central Wisconsin Conference championship. The guys went on to finish state runner-up in Division 4, falling in the title game to DeForest 52-24.


Cross-country: Gillett freshman has dominating season

Gillett High School freshman Sylvia Hansen placed second overall with a time of 19 minutes, 41 seconds at the Wisconsin Rapids race on Saturday. Hansen has won three races and placed runner-up twice this season. (Photo courtesy of Emily Young)

Sylvia Hansen couldn’t have asked for a better start to her varsity cross-country career.

The Gillett freshman took first in her first race at Gibraltar on Aug. 24.

Was it a fluke? Beginner’s luck? No. Not even close.

Eight days later, Hansen hit the course at Freedom and placed second overall, first in her division.

Eight races into her career, Hansen is showing why she was such a dominant runner in middle school. She has won three races, placed second twice and finished third, fourth and seventh.

“I figured coming in she would do well,” Gillett cross-country coach Emily Young said. “You can never know what can happen and anybody can have a really good season. You can have sleepers that come in and you’re not expecting that. I expected Sylvia Hansen to have a good season. I just didn’t know if she’d be taking first at some of the meets.”

Hansen, 15, even surprised herself.


Volleyball: Gillett tops Lena in 5-match comeback

The five seniors on the Gillett volleyball team have played key roles in the program during their careers. It was apt that they were instrumental in a comeback victory on senior night on Thursday.

With Gillett trailing Lena 2-1 in sets, the Tigers regained momentum in the fourth set. From there, they dominated in the fifth set to earn a 3-2 win, 22-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-17, 15-9, in Marinette & Oconto Conference play.

“We’ve been on a not-so-good kind of a streak, so this is a big win and hopefully we get rolling off of that,” Gillett senior Willow Pecha said.

This isn’t the first time this season the Tigers have had to climb out of a hole, trailing by at least one set.

“We’ve been down two and come back and won the third and fourth and not held it in the fifth — I would say three of four matches in conference this year,” Gillett coach Keri Hicks said. “It was nice to see them do that. It was nice being on our own home court.”


Football: Wausaukee rallies to defeat Gillett

Gillett High School running back Nick Hertwig runs the ball as Bo Krueger is ready to block during Friday’s 38-26 home loss to Wausaukee. (Photo by Keri Hicks)

Trailing by 14 points in the first quarter, visiting Wausaukee rattled off 32 unanswered points to beat Gillett 38-26 in MONLPC-8 action on Friday.

“That’s adversity, and that’s what they’ve got to learn to deal with whether it’s on a football field or in life,” Gillett coach Jesse Witcraft said. “I think it’s a good learning lesson for us.”

Both teams came into the contest with identical 4-2 records, 4-1 in the conference. The winner would have the edge to advance to the 8-team Jamboree — the playoffs in 8-man football — at the end of the season.

Gillett was up 20-6 before its offense was shut down and Wausaukee got its offense clicking. Witcraft said the biggest difference in the 32 straight points by Wausaukee was lack of execution by Gillett.


Billboard honors UW grad, Oconto native

Oconto native Deral Teteak is featured on a billboard promoted by the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association. (Photo Courtesy of University of Wisconsin Athletics)

An Oconto native who played for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Green Bay Packers, and later served as a Badgers assistant coach, is featured on a “Project 72” billboard this month.

The Wisconsin Alumni Association billboards were created to celebrate individuals and businesses from each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties who have had a positive impact on UW-Madison, the state of Wisconsin and the world, said Vince Sweeney, the association’s vice president for communication.

This year’s Oconto County story features Deral Teteak.

A member of the university’s Class of 1954, Teteak was a 5-foot, 9-inch linebacker who gained the nickname “The Little Bull.” The Packers picked him in the ninth round of the 1952 NFL draft, and he played five seasons for Green Bay, including a Pro Bowl season his rookie year.


Oconto Falls continues strong volleyball season with sweep

Oconto Falls senior Stephanie Peitersen posts a hit over Freedom's blockers in the Sept. 21 sweep. (Times Herald photo by Jacy Zollar)

Oconto Falls posted long rallies and capitalized on Freedom’s errors to sweep the Irish in a tough North Eastern Conference match on Thursday.

Freedom’s service and hitting errors accounted for a chunk of the Panthers’ points in the 25-15, 25-16, 25-19 win.

“The score doesn’t show how close the game actually was,” Oconto Falls head coach Rachell Otto said.

The teams opened the game with a long rally, but the Panthers were able to secure the first point and gain the initial momentum for a 25-15 win.

“From the first long serve we knew it was going to be a very competitive game between us,” outside hitter Sarah Sprout said. “I think getting the energy in the first game was huge for us.”


Oconto Falls boys take second in humid weather

Oconto Falls and Freedom have been dueling for conference supremacy for years in boys cross-country.

Freedom defeated Oconto Falls by 21 points at the Bonduel Invitational on Sept. 12. Panthers coach Lon Ludemann wanted his guys to close the gap against their rival at the annual Jim Bremser Invitational in Mishicot on Thursday.

The Panthers did one better, beating Freedom and placing second in the large division race, just 12 points behind De Pere (49) on a hot and humid day.

“I want them to have us in their head,” Ludemann said of Freedom.

Consider Oconto Falls’ race a warning to their North Eastern Conference foes. The Panthers are running well with their top five guys finishing in the top 27 in their division at Mishicot.

Noah Kokko-Ludemann finished ninth overall, fifth in the large division, with a time of 17 minutes, 39.6 seconds. Brody Schindel placed sixth (17:39.7) and Justan Konitzer ninth (17:56.7).


Panther girls finish 9th at Mishicot

Sophomore Autumn Canavera ran a personal-best time of 21 minutes, 35.8 seconds to place 18th as the Oconto Falls girls placed ninth out of 13 schools in the large division at the Jim Bremser Invitational in Mishicot on Sept. 12.

Directly behind Canavera was teammate Breanna Sadowski, who shook off an injury to take 19th in 21:40.4.

“I wanted to stay with her,” Canavera said. “She was suffering from the heat, so the best I could do was just keep up with her.”

Canavera competed at Mishicot last season and knew it was a flat, quick course. She took advantage of that.

“My coach has a number on my hand, so I can see my second mile, and that really helps me,” Canavera said. “I just try to finish most of the time, that’s my goal.”


Oconto Falls struggling for points

Photo by Lisa Walters

Oconto Falls High School senior Cliff Yuma gets tackled during the 46-0 loss to Freedom on Sept. 8.

In the previous two years, the Freedom football team put a hurting on Oconto Falls, outscoring the Panthers 95-6.

Friday night continued that trend as Freedom scored on five straight first-half possessions before cruising to a 46-0 victory in North Eastern Conference play.

The Panthers have been outscored 181-15 in their first four games this season.

“It just comes down to finishing,” Oconto Falls coach Barry Derickson said. “What we’re trying to do is execute. It’s going to be a process; there is no magic wand. I’m not (University of Texas football coach) Tom Herman who’s going to come in and make it happen overnight.

“But at the same time, we’re on the right path to do the right things. We’ve just got to go out and execute. This program, we’re trying to revive it from the dead.”


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