Sports

Wed
07
Sep

Freedom’s offense overpowers Panthers


Photo by Josh Thompson Media

Oconto Falls High School quarterback Connor Scray attempts to break free from Freedom’s Brody Bazile in Oconto Falls’ North Eastern Conference loss Friday.

Since Barry Derickson was named the Oconto Falls football coach, he knew the first three weeks of his team’s schedule were going to be brutal.

All three opponents – Luxemburg-Casco, Little Chute and Freedom – made deep playoff runs a season ago and returned solid players. In the first two weeks, the Panthers fell 47-6 and 41-6. Week 3 presented possibly the toughest challenge thus far in the season as visiting Freedom used a dynamic offense and shutdown defense to record a 53-6 victory Friday at Dan Rider Field.

Freedom was a good teaching tool for Oconto Falls.

“It’s a good measure for our team to see how they play and how they react to this,” Derickson said. “This week we were promoting all week: ‘Finish the game and go out there and give it everything you’ve got every single play.’ And they did that.”

The scoreboard might not reflect it, but Derickson is seeing improvement from all his players since the first game of the season.

Wed
07
Sep

County K-9 unit holding golf scramble

The Oconto County K-9 Unit will raise money for the care and maintenance of the county’s police dogs through a golf scramble at Red Maple Golf Course in Suring on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Four-person teams can register through Sept. 9. The $65-per-person registration fee includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, various events at holes and a dinner. Additional dinners can be purchased for $15.

At least one $65 registration is needed to hold a team’s spot in the event. Entry fees may be sent to Oconto County K-9 Unit, Todd Skarban, P.O. Box 31, Suring, WI 54174.

The unit is also seeking hole sponsors, which can consist of either a $25 or more donation or a raffle prize. For information, call Skarban at 920-373-7962.

Wed
31
Aug

Gillett cannot slow Thundercatz at home


Photo by Josh Thompson Media

Gillett High School senior Dylan Sexton finds a hole and returns a punt 75 yards for the Tigers’ lone score in Friday’s 43-6 loss to Tigerton/Marion at home.

With his top two quarterbacks not dressed for the second game of the season, new Gillett football coach Steve Andrastek had to go a different direction.

Sophomore Adam Anderson, who generally plays wide receiver, got the start at quarterback against Tigerton/Marion on Friday.

The Tigerton/Marion defense made it difficult on the makeshift quarterback as the Tigers tallied just 70 yards of total offense. The Thundercatz amassed 448 yards – 327 on the ground – as Tigerton/Marion scored a 43-6 victory in nonconference action in Gillett.

“On our depth chart, I came into the season with two quarterbacks, and he is our third right now,” Andrastek said about Anderson’s start.

Wed
31
Aug

OFHS boys 2nd, girls 3rd at opening meet


Photo by Josh Thompson Media

Oconto Falls High School runners Aaron Kurth, left, and Evan Konitzer, right, make their way over a hill in the season-opening meet at Southwest Park in De Pere. The Panthers took second place behind Bay Port.

If Thursday’s meet at Southwest Park is any indication of what kind of season it will be for the Oconto Falls boys and girls cross-country teams, optimism should be high.

“I’m pleased,” longtime coach Lon Ludemann said. “We basically come here for one reason, and that’s to get the experience.”

Ludemann doesn’t have his kids worry about times or places in the annual season-opening, four-team meet hosted by West De Pere.

“The experience and learning how to do it is more important than what place you got,” Ludemann said.

The Oconto Falls boys finished second behind Bay Port (36). The Panthers (63) were followed by Seymour (66) and West De Pere (131).

The Oconto Falls girls came in third with 95. Bay Port (26) was tops, with West De Pere (35) next and Seymour (132) fourth.

Konitzer places 3rd

The boys team had five runners place in the top 20. Senior Evan Konitzer finished third (18:05) to lead the way for the Panthers.

Wed
24
Aug

Red-zone stop deflates Panthers

The Oconto Falls offense was clicking early.

Trailing 13-6 with a shot to tie or take the lead early in the second quarter, the Panthers marched down to the Luxemburg-Casco 2-yard line. However, two holding penalties pushed Oconto Falls all the way back to the 25. Oconto Falls ended up turning the ball over on downs.

Luxemburg-Casco took control from that point on and scored the next 34 points of the game to pull away for a 47-6 victory Friday in the season opener for both schools.

“If we punched it in right there, now we’re neck and neck,” first-year Oconto Falls head coach Barry Derickson said. “Those errors just killed us. If we eliminate those errors, we’re going to be great.”

Spartans head coach Dillon Maney also believed that red-zone stand was the turning point of the game.

Wed
24
Aug

Panthers hitters making big jumps


Times Herald Photo by Chris Caporale

Oconto Falls High School seniors Jenny Krueger, left, and Shelby Coron, right, will attempt to be two dominant players in the front row for the Panthers this fall.

The graduation of unanimous first-team all-North Eastern Conference hitter Emily Kilmer will not be the biggest loss for the 2016 Oconto Falls volleyball team.

The graduation of setter Mikaela Thomson leaves the setter position in the hands of sophomore Emma Huberty and freshman Samantha Coron in head coach Rochell Otto’s 6-2 system.

“If we can dig the ball and get it where our inexperienced setters aren’t running all over the place, then I think we’ll do some good things,” Otto said.

The passing will be left in large part to libero Bailey Magnin, who posted 189 digs last season, the fifth-highest total on the team.

Magnin believes being more vocal on the court will help ease the transition, especially early on.

“We have to make sure we all communicate,” she said.

Wed
17
Aug

Panthers look to rebuild in 2016


Times Herald Photo by Brady Van Deurzen

Oconto Falls High School senior Kalie Elkins, a member of last season’s sectional qualifying team, tees off Friday at the Oconto Falls Invitational at River Island Golf Course in Oconto Falls.

With the graduation of five seniors following the 2015-2016 school year, Oconto Falls girls golf coach Paul Luebke is getting accustomed to several new faces.

Luebke got his first chance to see his team play in live competition Friday at the season-opening invitational at River Island Golf Course in Oconto Falls. No scores were kept from the nine-hole scramble with Oconto and Bonduel.

“All of the girls are looking really good so far,” Luebke said. “They look like their swings are getting better and their ball striking looks like it has really improved.”

Luebke said the experience will help the younger players stepping into bigger roles this season.

“Four of our junior varsity players are going to need to move up to varsity this year,” Luebke said. “They get nervous because they’re on varsity now. It’s not JV anymore, it’s a whole different level. It means more.”

Luebke said 2016 will likely be a rebuilding year.

Wed
17
Aug

Tigers aim for top 3 in M&O


Times Herald Photo by Chris Caporale

Gillett High School senior Myranda Pratsch gets low to pass a ball during the first day of volleyball practice Monday at the high school. Pratsch is one of eight returning letter winners for the Tigers this season.

The 2016 season is underway for the Gillett girls volleyball team, which opened practice early Monday morning.

Gillett went 4-11 overall and 3-6 in the Marinette & Oconto Conference last season, good enough for seventh place, but with the return of eight letter winners, coach Keri Hicks has the team setting its sights higher this year.

“I would like to be in the top three if I am looking at it realistically,” said Hicks, who has been the head coach of the Tigers for 23 of the past 26 seasons; she took a break from 2011-2013.

“They should look more consistent, athletic and confident,” Hicks said. “I am hoping that instead of being in the game and losing by a few points, they are winning those games.”

Hicks is using CHALK (coachable, hardworking, aggressive, loud and kind) as the team’s motto.

Wed
10
Aug

Large senior class leads Panthers into 2016


Times Herald Photo by Chris Caporale

Oconto Falls High School running back Mac Winkler awaits a throw from Connor Scray at Monday’s practice. Winkler will be a focal point in the backfield for the Panthers this season.

A large senior class is stepping up in big ways for Oconto Falls first-year football coach Barry Derickson.

The 10 seniors have been strong leaders during the opening week of the football season, trying to make sure everyone is on the same page with what Derickson expects from his team.

“They’ve been taking a lot of accountability for their goals they set,” Derickson said. “They’ve been very inclusive for what they’re doing as far as the team goes, very involved as far as making sure these guys understand what is expected with the team.”

The Panthers went 1-8 last season overall, including an 0-8 mark in the North Eastern Conference. A 42-13 victory over Green Bay West in Week 4 was the team’s first win since the 2011 season.

“I like their determination, their resilience, their attitude,” Derickson said. “They’re up for whatever we’re doing right now, and they’re really excited for what we’re doing.”

Wed
10
Aug

Tigers fill in after dominant senior class

The Gillett High School football team will be chasing its third straight playoff appearance when the Tigers open their season Aug. 19 in a nonconference game at Elcho/White Lake.

It won’t be easy, though, as first-year head coach Steve Andrastek is tasked with overcoming the departure of several graduated seniors, including seven all-conference selections.

The Tigers went 6-4 last season, 4-3 in the Marinette & Oconto Conference, and fell to Hilbert/Stockbridge in Level 1 of the WIAA Division 7 playoffs.

To continue the program’s recent success, Andrastek said younger players will need to step up and learn from the upperclassmen.

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