Sports

Sat
23
Feb

Shawano man uses family’s gear to spear first sturgeon

A Shawano man used his uncle’s spear to jab his first sturgeon, fulfilling a family effort started in 2010.

Bryan Nemitz also used the spearing shack that he, his uncle, Donny Nemitz, and his father, Gary Nemitz, built in 2010, when Bryan drove the spear home into the 53-inch, 40-pound sturgeon just a few days ago on Feb. 16 while spearing on Lake Poygan.

Bryan’s father never got to see the shack on the ice himself because he died in December 2010 of a heart attack.

It took Bryan seven long years to get an upriver lakes tag, because the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources only issues a few hundred tags a season there. He thought he’d blown his chance on opening day, Feb. 9, when an estimated 80- to 100-pound sturgeon came past the hole in 6 feet of clear water and the spear head came loose from the handle.

The opportunity was gone in seconds.

Fri
22
Feb

Bonduel’s Giese, Banker advance at state


Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Jacob Giese, top, holds down Ithaca/Weston’s Cade Nettesheim during a quarterfinal match in the 195-pound weight class at the 76th annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament on Friday. Giese pinned Nettesheim in 2:31 to advance to the semifinals.

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Isaac Banker, top, tries to flip Reedsville’s Carson Schanilec on his back during a consolation quarterfinal match in the 182-pound weight class at the 76th annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament on Friday. Banker won an 11-3 major decision and will wrestle on Saturday.

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Keith Tourtillott, front, balances himself as Stevens Point’s Jared Rohde tries to take him down during a consolation matchup in the 220-pound weight class at the 76th annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament on Friday. Tourtillott escaped with a 4-3 decision win to advance another round.

The second day of the 76th Annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament proved to be a challenging one for the area’s five remaining state wrestlers.

Bonduel’s senior Jacob Giese and sophomore Isaac Banker both will compete on the final day of state Saturday, while Shawano junior Keith Tourtillott, Bonduel sophomore Max Sokolski and Wittenberg-Birnamwood freshman Pierson Potrykus all were eliminated from competition.

Giese continued his stellar season on the mat, taking down Ithaca/Weston’s Cade Nettesheim twice in the opening period to go up 4-1 before earning the pin at the 2 minute, 31 second mark in a quarterfinal match in the 195-pound weight class.

The win advanced Giese to the semifinals against Spring Valley/Elmwood’s Kenny Fesenmaier, where he earned a 5-2 decision win to earn a spot in the finals.

Fri
22
Feb

Girls basketball regional semifinal scores

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Bonduel 69, Iola-Scandinavia 37

New London 39, Shawano 21

Little Chute 62, Wittenberg-Birnamwood 55

Freedom 61, Clintonville 32

A full roundup of the playoff games will be published in the Wednesday edition of the Leader.

Fri
22
Feb

Boys basketball postseason seeds revealed


Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Carter Weisnicht, right, goes up for a shot over Clintonville’s Aiden Polzin during a nonconference clash on Dec. 8. Shawano earned a No. 11 seed in Division 2, while Clintonville picked up a No. 6 seed and will host its first postseason game.

With just under a week remaining in the regular season, boys basketball teams learned their postseason fates when the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association released playoff brackets on Sunday afternoon.

While many local teams have struggled with consistency, the postseason will provide teams a fresh start, which could be just what is needed to put together a postseason run.

Shawano’s season has been stocked full of exciting, close games, but with just four wins on the resume, the Hawks were handed a No. 11 seed in Division 2.

A 68-66 loss to Green Bay West on Monday handed Shawano its sixth loss by less than 10 points this season. The Hawks opened the year 4-4 but have lost 13 straight.

The return of senior guard Nick Grignon from injury should avert some of the attention away from juniors Carter Weisnicht and Nick Sherman. Sophomore Kaleb Lowney has served as a reliable scoring threat for the Hawks over the past few games.

Fri
22
Feb

Are you ready for some (more) football?

Speculation about the viability of a new pro football league, with yet another new league around the corner, centered on whether the U.S. loves football enough to support it in March and April.

A more fitting question may involve the point where there’s too much of a good thing, or whether either of the new leagues qualify as a good thing in the first place.

With the American Alliance of Football making its debut last week, and with the latest iteration of the XFL launching next year, we’ll find out soon enough.

A seasoned football fan may be excused for being skeptical of either league’s chances, after having seen the coming and going of entities like the United States Football League, and before that the World Football League.

Thu
21
Feb

Locals find success on first day of state


Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Max Sokolski, top, hangs on to Laconia’s Colton Lovejoy in a 126-pound weight class Division 3 preliminary match at the 76th Annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament on Thursday.

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Wittenberg-Birnamwood’s Pierson Potrykus, top, looks up at the clock while holding Reedsville’s Blake Delsman in a 106-pound weight class Division 3 preliminary match at the 76th Annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament on Thursday.

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Keith Tourtillott, left, wrestles Brookfield Central Jacob Somlai in a 220-pound weight class Division 1 preliminary match at the 76th Annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament on Thursday.

Five local wrestlers took to the Kohl Center mats on the opening night of the 76th Annual WIAA Individual Wrestling Championship Tournament on Thursday.

Shawano junior Keith Tourtillott, Bonduel sophomores Max Sokolski and Isaac Banker and Wittenberg-Birnamwood freshman Pierson Potrykus will continue competition at state on Friday, with Bonduel senior Jacob Giese joining them after having a bye on Thursday.
Tourtillott was the first local wrestler to step on the mat, taking on undefeated Brookfield Central senior Jacob Somlai in a Division 1 preliminary match in the 220-pound weight class.

Tourtillott held off the attacks of Somlai in the first minute of action, but Somlai was finally able to take down Tourtillott to go up 2-0. Somlai eventually was able to flip Tourtillott on his back and claim the pin in 1 minute, 13 seconds.

Wed
20
Feb

Four Bears ready to battle at state


Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Luis Lagunes, top, holds down Weyauwega-Fremont’s Carter Greening during Saturday’s Division 3 Bonduel Sectional.

For a second straight season, the Bonduel wrestling team will have four individuals competing at state. With two returning state-qualifiers, sophomore Isaac Banker (182) and senior Jacob Giese (195), and two new state-qualifiers, sophomores Luis Lagunes (113) and Max Sokolski (126), the Bears are looking for continued success in Madison.

All four of Bonduel’s state wrestlers last year won their opening matches, with then-senior Jordan Boldt eventually taking first in the 126-pound weight class and Giese taking third at 195 pounds.

While some Division 1 state wrestlers can afford to lose their opening matches and still continue wrestling, a loss in your first match in Division 2 or 3 will eliminate you from the tournament. Bonduel coach Chris Rank expressed confidence in the Bears’ three wrestlers who will take the mat Thursday — Lagunes, Sokolski and Banker — and expects all four wrestlers to turn in strong performances.

Wed
20
Feb

Tourtillott eager to step on state mat


Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Keith Tourtillott, left, walks towards Xavier’s Mac Strand during a Bay Conference dual on Feb. 5. Tourtillott will take the state mat on Thursday against Brookfield Central’s Jacob Somlai.

Qualifying for the individual state wrestling tournament is no small feat, with a select few earning that honor each year.

For those who achieve the opportunity to wrestle inside the Kohl Center at the end of the season, it’s a chance to showcase years of hard work within the sport while taking on the state’s best in the respective weight classes.

For Shawano junior Keith Tourtillott, who placed second in his weight class at sectionals to qualify for his first state tournament, reaching Madison is a big honor. But he’s continuing to set his goals high for this weekend.

“When I am at state, I hope to wrestle my heart out and treat every match like it’s going to be the hardest I’ve had yet,” he said. “I’m going to stick to the rituals and techniques I’ve used off and on the mat throughout the season that have benefited me.”

Wed
20
Feb

High School Highlights

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Clintonville 75

Xavier 57

The eighth-seeded Truckers pulled away from the Hawks in a Division 3 regional quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday.

Erin Viergutz led a balanced Clintonville attack by scoring 18 points. Lindsy Carpenter tallied 17 points, while Elly Arndt had 13 and Lizzy Weatherwax tallied 11.

Viergutz also grabbed 13 rebounds, while Carpenter had eight.

Iola-Scandinavia 54

Menominee Indian 41

A slow first half doomed the Eagles in a Division 4 regional quarterfinal loss to the Thunderbirds on Tuesday.

Ninth-seeded Menominee Indian trailed 29-18 at halftime.

Eighth-seeded Iola-Scandinavia will travel to take on top-seeded Bonduel on Friday in a regional semifinal. Bonduel earned a bye with its No. 1 seed.

Elcho 56

Gresham 28

The 11th-seeded Wildcats were doubled up by the Hornets in a Division 5 regional quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday.

Wed
20
Feb

Bears top Eagles in overtime thriller


Leader photo by Morgan Rode Menominee Indian’s Norman Kakwitch, middle, goes up for a shot while being defended by Bonduel’s Aaron Margelofsky, left, and Isaac Boldt, right, during Friday’s Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division matchup at Bonduel High School.

A Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division battle between Menominee Indian and Bonduel was about as entertaining as a high school boys basketball game could get, with momentum swings, an amped up crowd and intense moments on the court.

In the end, it was a pair of free throws from Bonduel senior Parker Bohm that helped the Bears to a 66-64 overtime win on senior night at Bonduel High School on Friday.

“I think this could be tremendous (for us going forward) because it felt like 10, 15 times we were going to lose that game and we battled back. Our kids played with heart and they made big plays when they had to,” Bonduel coach Duke Copp said. “This is what high school basketball should be like, it was a fun game.”

After a back-and-forth first half between the two conference rivals, Menominee Indian was able to build a comfortable lead behind red-hot shooting from junior Norman Kakwitch.

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