High School Digest

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Community High School junior Erin Cerveny had three hits and two RBIs, and pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs, in a season-opening 5-4 victory over Freedom on Tuesday at home.



Gresham vs. Menominee Indian

Gresham, which ended last season with a program-best fourth-place finish in the Central Wisconsin Conference-10, looks to start the conference season strong at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Menominee Indian High School.

Menominee Indian, which lost their top three hitting threats and ace Kelsey Corn, are looking to rebuild under new head coach Roberta Ponfil. The Eagles finished in the top two of the conference in each of the past two seasons.

Kamille Davids will likely step into the circle for the Wildcats against a Menominee Indian team that is looking for hitters to step up.


Shawano at Clintonville

The Shawano baseball team, which could have as many as two games under its belt before it travels to Clintonville on Monday, will be looking for a similar result as last year’s contest between the teams.


Not a pitch-man: President balks at opening day start

Over the past century it’s been a running gig for a U.S. president to make the scene on baseball’s opening day, where the commander in chief takes the mound and unleashes, to a thundering hail of applause, the ceremonial first pitch of the season.

But in the April 3 opener pitting the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins, President Trump won’t be on the bump. The White House has declined an invitation for him to appear at Nationals Park, citing schedule conflicts.

Given the sharp divide between his supporters and detractors, the ghost job is probably a smart move. It’s not a stretch to imagine baseball’s first pre-game riot breaking out among fans of the same team.

The whole first-pitch tradition began with William Howard Taft, the fleshy chief executive who made the toss from the presidential box at the Washington Senators-Philadelphia Athletics 1910 season opener.


DePerry hits walk-off as Hawks win season opener

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Community High School senior Sarah Petry connects on a pitch and hits a grounder to second base early in Tuesday’s 5-4 home victory.

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Community High School sophomore Emilee Bastar pitches during Tuesday’s 5-4, 10-inning, season-opening victory. Bastar pitched 4 1/3 innings with five walks, two hits and three strikeouts to go with an unearned run.

Shawano senior first baseman Tatum DePerry ripped a grounder through the right half of the infield to push across two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning for a 5-4 walk-off Hawks victory Tuesday over Freedom at Memorial Park.

The Irish, who posted a run in the top of the 10th on a Payton Dorn single to left field to take a lead, committed two errors to start the final frame, putting Shawano senior Sarah Petry on third base and sophomore Kate Hoffman on second with DePerry coming up to bat.

DePerry, in her first varsity start, delivered with her single, scoring both runners before Freedom could attempt to make a play at the plate.

“She was tight before the game. She had ugly pregame, but she stepped it up,” Shawano head coach Brian Johnson said. “I really liked when she got up. I’m like, ‘Man, we got right kid at the plate here.’”


High School Highlights


Pulaski 5

Shawano 0

Senior goalkeeper Carlie Hinnefeld made 18 saves as Shawano lost on the road Tuesday.

The Hawks (0-1-0) will travel to Waupaca on Thursday for another nonconference matchup.


The weight room is my happy place

Leader File Photo Athletic trainer Sally Egan works with athletes at Shawano Community High School to help prevent injuries.

Helping young athletes safely build their strength and endurance is my passion, so I’m the first to admit my happy place is the weight room.

As a ThedaCare licensed athletic trainer and a certified strength and conditioning specialist, I am contracted full time to work with high school student athletes, parents and coaches at Shawano Community High School.

During the school year, I work with students and parents in the athletic training room and on the field to prevent and treat injuries. Given my love of strength and conditioning, I also help teach the sports and weight training PE course, assist coaches with the development of warm-up programs, and help teach proper weight training technique to anyone who ventures into the weight room after school.


Defense necessary as Shawano seeks step forward

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Community High School senior Kien Moorman works on fielding during practice this week. Moorman, the team’s starting left fielder last season, will be one of three returning outfielders for the Hawks.

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Community High School senior Kasey Kristof works at catcher during practice this week. Kristof, who played shortstop last year, is taking over behind the plate while Jack Hanauer recovers from a torn ACL.

With no physically dominant pitcher or big hitting threat, playing sound defense is a focus this spring for the Shawano baseball team under the direction of Rob Wolff.

It could be what helps the Hawks bust through to the top half of the Bay Conference.

“When your defense breaks down, then everything falls apart,” Wolff said, reflecting on the Hawks’ tourney run last year. “We beat Xavier, and they had a couple players going to UW-Milwaukee. And then we lose to Oconto Falls on a suicide squeeze in the sixth inning and they lose in the sectional final to go to state. So I mean, we’re close.”

Losing Jack Hanauer, a three-year starter at catcher, to an ACL injury will hurt the Hawks. Wolff plans to move senior Kasey Kristof, who started the past two years at shortstop, behind the plate.

Hanauer will remain with the team as he continues his post-operation recovery to help Kristof and the younger Hawks.


Eagles looking for depth on mound

Coming up with error-free defense will be critical for the Menominee Indian baseball team this spring.

With just two pitchers with game experience — junior Dayton LaTender and sophomore Mequan Corn, the Eagles need to do everything they can to keep pitch counts to a minimum.

“It’s going to be even more key with the new pitching limit that’s going to be enforced, so there may be some high-scoring games, and if you pair that with some bad defense, it might be even higher scoring,” Menominee Indian head coach Mike Waupoose said. “So just finding the time to get these guys reps outside and get used to it and get used to playing at multiple positions, so that will be key for us.”

Waupoose is still looking for more athletes to take over innings on the mound.

If weather turns bad and games start to pile up late in the season, the Eagles will need more depth.


Bohr coming up to speed for Bears

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Bonduel High School senior shortstop Kailee Pedersen is one of six returning starters for the Bears, who hope to finish in the top four in the Central Wisconsin Conference-8.

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Bonduel High School senior third baseman Brittany Wudtke works on fielding a ground ball at practice this week. The Bears return the entire infield but lost catcher Kaylee Rynish and two outfielders to graduation.

Senior Kaitlyn Bohr spent all summer learning how to be a catcher out of necessity for the Bonduel softball program.

After Kaylee Rynish, a four-year starter behind the plate, graduated, the Bears had no one readily available to take over the position.

“I’m hoping that she’ll be able to replace her,” Bonduel head coach Chris Reinke said.

As Bohr learns the position, she will have a strong infield in front of her.

All four infielders, along with pitcher Cameri Gehm, return for the spring season. Seniors Becca Carpenter (first base), Kailee Pedersen (shortstop) and Brittany Wudtke (third base) are joined by junior Brynn Reinke (second base).

The team’s seven seniors, along with Reinke, have been playing together for nearly a decade, which Pedersen hopes can help alleviate any issues of going through slumps.


Wildcats chasing CWC-10, state hopes

Capturing a WIAA Division 4 regional championship was a big confidence boost for the Gresham baseball team last spring.

The Wildcats, who dominated Sevastopol for an 8-3 win, went on to defeat Niagara in the sectional semifinal 6-2 before falling to Rib Lake in the sectional final, 11-1, in six innings.

“Getting into sectionals for baseball was huge, and I think that competition level, and the desire to want to compete at that level, was huge for these kids,” Gresham head coach Scott Cerveny said.

Starting pitcher Derek Bowman worked his way through the Niagara contest, walking two batters and hitting another before settling down. He threw four scoreless innings in the four-run victory.


McFarlane stepping forward this spring

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Community High School freshman Haley Williams, left, fights Colleen McFarlane for a 50-50 ball during practice Wednesday. McFarlane, the team’s top defender, will move up the field this year to help the Hawks keep possession and advance the ball.

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Community High School junior Sydney Steinbach chases down the ball during practice on Wednesday. Steinbach is one of three players who each scored two goals last year, the most for any returning athlete.

Four graduated seniors — Megan Klitzke, Morgan Klitzke, Sarah Dickmann and Teagan Monfils — combined for 66 of Shawano’s 75 goals in 2016.

Losing that core group means the team’s top defender for the past two seasons, Colleen McFarlane, will move up the field for the Hawks this year.

“A lot of the names you just mentioned controlled the field pretty well, so I’ve got to get somebody else to step up,” Shawano head coach Bob Croschere said. “Hopefully three or four more of them to step up and actually take those command positions on the field.”

McFarlane, who roamed the field as a defender and defensive midfielder last year, has become a vocal leader for Shawano, which finished last year 8-10-2 overall, 4-5-2 in the Bay Conference, and advanced to sectional play for the first time in program history.


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