Maass named national coach of year

There wasn’t much more Mike Maass could have accomplished last season as coach of the Appleton North High School boys volleyball team.

The Lightning finished 34-0 and captured the program’s first state title. For his efforts, Maass was named coach of the year by Volleyball Magazine.

Maass, who is a 1989 Oconto Falls High School graduate, was a little surprised when he found out he had won the award.

“It’s a great honor,” Maass said. “It’s great to have recognition for the North program and the Fox Valley in general. For us to be recognized by a national magazine is a pretty big deal.”

The Appleton North volleyball team wrapped up its season in November, but Volleyball Magazine did not announce its yearly awards until one month ago since states such as California and Illinois do not play their boys volleyball season until the spring.


Falls squanders lead, game against De Pere

Oconto Falls had De Pe re on the ropes early, however, a knockout punch wasn’t in store.

The Oconto Falls Legion baseball team jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but the De Pere 17U squad got its hitters going and scored 10 unanswered runs to tally a 10-6 victory in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.

“The one thing you can’t do is walk guys, give them free bases, and we started doing that,” Oconto Falls coach Chris Hillberg said.

Oconto Falls (5-3) won the opening game 5-2 as Hunter Magnin threw a complete game five-hitter to pick up the victory.

Alex Johnson went two for two at the plate for Oconto Falls in the first game and Jacob Mogged had two RBIs.

In the second game, Oconto Falls had a tough time cashing in with big hits. The team stranded 14 runners and left the bases loaded in the first, fifth and sixth innings.


Final challenge awaits Morrissey

Jake Morrissey accomplished a lot during his high school wrestling career. However, he’s got one more thing to cross off his list.

After falling just one round short of placing in freestyle and Greco at the USA Wrestling freestyle and Greco national championships last year, Morrissey — a 2013 Oconto Falls High School graduate — will have a shot at redemption when he competes in the national tournament in Fargo, N.D., later this month.

“You’re going to be wrestling against the best kids in the nation,” Morrissey said. “It’s the toughest tournament you can go to as far as being a high school tournament.”

Morrissey, who will wrestle at Purdue University in the fall, will compete in both freestyle and Greco. The Greco wrestling will be two days, followed by one-day break and then freestyle starts.

What does Morrissey prefer to wrestle, freestyle or Greco?


’73 baseball team recalls state title

The old adage that pitching and defense win championships couldn’t ring more true for the 1973 Oconto Falls High School baseball team.

The Panthers (16-1) used their defensive prowess to run off eight straight postseason victories while allowing just 10 runs en route to the program’s first state baseball championship.

Forty years after the team’s remarkable run, players and coaches still recall many memories quite fondly. However, some details have faded over the years.

“Memory-wise it feels like yesterday, but body-wise it feels like 40 years ago,” said Doug Meyer, who was the team’s ace pitcher as a senior.

“I can look at their pictures and it was just like it was yesterday,” then-assistant coach Mike Kaczmarek Sr. said.

The players grew up together, Meyer said, and became a close-knit group that became accustomed to success.


Greenwood to coach Gillett boys

New Gillett Secondary School boys basketball coach William Greenwood II says his teams and his program will focus on character, and the result will be winning basketball.

“I think building a program must be based on character,” Greenwood said. “By the time they come into my program in second grade until they exit the program their varsity year, I hope that my athletes will be the epitome of selflessness and commitment to character.

“Not only will they be prepared for success on the basketball court — which I think we’ll bring championship calibre basketball — but the athletes will be prepared to be excellent outside of school as co-workers, family members and parents. That’s pretty much what I want to build my basketball program around. The championship calibre teams I think will be a by-product of that philosophy.


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