Siefert and Mullen breathe new life into Late Models

Well, Mike Mullen and Jared Siefert have surely made a splash in the Late Model division.

Both are former IMCA Modified drivers who have enjoyed great success and have quickly shown they are formidable competitors in the Late Model ranks.

Mullen picked up his first career Late Model feature win Saturday night in only his fourth night behind the wheel of a Late Model chassis. In two nights of racing at Shawano, Mullen has a third-place finish and a feature win. Siefert picked up his first Late Model win two weeks ago at the Shawano Speedway and also has a runner-up finish in just a handful of nights.


New coach will guide MIHS into 8-man football

Menominee Indian High School’s new football coach is undergoing a learning curve in preparation for the upcoming season.

Not only will Tony Noll be taking over a varsity football program for the first time, he also will lead Menominee Indian’s conversion to eight-man football.

Noll was hired earlier this year to replace Chris Clache, who compiled a 15-54 record over eight seasons and a 1-8 mark in the Central Wisconsin Conference-10 last season.

Noll, who was the girls volleyball coach at Almond-Bancroft High School two years ago, has been involved in youth league football as coach and referee in Wausau since 1997.

“I think this will be a great challenge as we all learn and transition to eight-man football this year,” said Noll, who is an English teacher at MIHS. “I am trying to incorporate what I already know about the game.”


Shawano teams go 3-2 at youth league tourney

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Braedyn Kowalkowski of the Shawano 11U baseball squad awaits a pitch Friday against Peshtigo. Shawano won the Shawano Youth League tournament game 8-3.

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Shawano 11U pitcher Jake Polzin delivers a pitch Friday against Peshtigo. Shawano won 8-3 to open Shawano Youth League tournament play.

The Shawano boys 11U team started off the second weekend of the Shawano Youth League tournament with a bang.

The team, which took first at an Oconto tournament on June 29, defeated Peshtigo 8-3 Friday.

“The hitting, defense and pitching have been coming together,” coach Chris Popp said. “We have four really good pitchers.”

Popp said the challenge Saturday, when temperatures are expected to reach the 90s, will be staying hydrated.

“As long as we play our game and take care of business, we should be alright,” Popp said.

Also Friday, the Shawano Black U12 squad defeated Shiocton 5-0 and Ripon 4-2. The Red squad lost 11-0 to Bonduel and 11-0 to Merrill.

“The Black squad is off to a good start and has some good kids,” SYL president Dustin Beyer said. He said the Red squad played a good Bonduel team in the opening round.


Area resident donates funds for new scoreboard

Jirschele Athletic Field in W.A. Olen Park in Clintonville will get a new electronic scoreboard, thanks to a $15,000 donation from an area baseball fan.

“Baseball has always been important to me and my family,” Dick Koeppen told the Common Council on Tuesday.

Koeppen said he played on the field for more than 43 years, from his days in high school to his seasons with the Clintonville A’s. His sons, Jeff and Bob, also played on the field. He learned about four years ago that the A’s needed new dugouts and a new scoreboard. The club could not afford a new scoreboard, however.

Koeppen decided to donate the cost of a new electronic scoreboard with the only requirement being it says “Compliments of the Koeppen family” or something similar. He also asked to have input into the location and the final design, which have not been finalized.


Henning’s blast helps Shawano Legion to 10-9 victory

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Shawano American Legion shortstop Zack Sousek fields a ball against visiting Waupaca in Shawano’s 10-9 win Thursday at Memorial Field. Sousek scored three runs.

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Shawano American Legion second baseman Ky Schmidt fields a throw on a Waupaca stolen base Thursday in the Patriots’ 10-9 win over Waupaca.

An early rally and a wild pitch keyed Shawano American Legion’s 10-9 win Thursday over visiting Waupaca.

With Shawano behind 1-0 entering the bottom of the first, Zack Sousek hit a leadoff single and scored on a Ky Schmidt single. Outfielder Chase Henning then delivered a two-run blast to pull the Patriots ahead 3-1.

“They didn’t pitch to him after that, which is a smart move,” Shawano coach Will Gillis said. “He just did what he has done all year.”

Henning was 1 for 2, had two intentional walks and scored two runs.

“Chase is a great hitter and one of the best hitters I have ever seen at the high school level,” Waupaca coach Kyle Douglas said.

Shawano (12-6, 7-1 Fox River Valley-West) added six runs in the second inning and one in the fifth.


Ballet line key part of Sharks’ state hopes

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt The Shawano Ski Sharks’ ballet line will be counted on to perform well Friday at the Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships on Lake Wazeecha near Wisconsin Rapids.

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt The Shawano Ski Sharks perform before a crowd of hundreds at Wolf River Beach on Wednesday. The team will compete in the Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships Friday on Lake Wazeecha near Wisconsin Rapids.

The Shawano Ski Sharks’ hopes for a state championship could very well rest on the shoulders of its 18-woman ballet line.

The 49th annual Wisconsin State Water Ski Championships run Thursday through Sunday on Lake Wazeecha near Wisconsin Rapids. Twenty-eight teams will compete in three divisions. The Shawano squad will be in Division 3, which competes on Friday.

“Our single biggest strength on the team is that we have a lot of ladies,” said Eric Gran, a 26-year veteran of the Ski Sharks. “I would put money down that we have the largest ballet line.”

The Sharks will send a 50-member team to Lake Wazeecha in search of their first state title since 2010.

“We have a lot of girls that we are counting on to shine,” Sharks show coordinator Brad Kueschel said. “They could be one of our highest-scoring acts.”

Leah Passehl said she and her fellow ballet line members are prepared to showcase their talents.


Legion Baseball Highlights

Shawano 9

Seymour 8

Jack Lacy scored the winning run in the top of the seventh inning in Game 2 of a doubleheader Tuesday against visiting Seymour.

Grant Wainio (1 for 3) hit a two-run double and scored a run for Shawano. Both Chase Henning and Ky Schmidt scored two runs.

Tommy Stueck pitched three innings in relief, allowing no hits, struck out four, walked one and allowed one run to pick up the win for Shawano (10-6, 5-1 Fox River Valley-West).

Shawano 4

Seymour 2

Brendan Cummings pitched seven innings, allowed one hit, two runs, walked five and struck out two in a Game 1 win Tuesday against Seymour.

Cummings held Seymour hitless until Clayton VanLanen (1-2, walk, two runs) singled in the sixth.

Ky Schmidt and Chase Henning each went 1 for 2 with a double and run scored for Shawano. Grant Wainio was 1 for 3 with two runs scored.


Packers’ Jones pays high price for January misstep

When the Green Bay Packers open their regular season on Sept. 13 in Chicago, they will do it without the services of defensive end Datone Jones.

Jones, the Packers’ No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft and the 26th player selected overall, was suspended for one game by the National Football League for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

As you may have heard, Jones was booked for marijuana possession last January, on the night the Packers had returned home from their 26-20 overtime loss to Seattle in the NFC title game.

It’s likely that he wasn’t the only one in Wisconsin self-medicating after that game.


Shawano blasts Bulldogs times two

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Shawano Black pitcher Caitlin Daniel goes into her windup Saturday in a girls U12 softball game against Shiocton at the Shawano Youth League tournament at Memorial Park. Shawano lost, 12-0.

Leader Photo by Jason Arndt Shawano Black U8 left fielder Riley Moede prepares to return a ball to the infield Saturday in a 12-2 win over Bay Port at Memorial Field.

Shawano’s Red 12U softball team was bullish about winning its Shawano Youth League tournament Sunday.

Shawano defeated the New London Bulldogs, 13-4, in the title game.

Shawano also defeated the Bulldogs, 3-1, in the opening round Friday and sandwiched victories over Plover, Peshtigo and Green Bay Southwest between the New London encounters.

“The girls had a great weekend,” SYL president Dustin Beyer said. “There are a lot of talented girls there … and a lot of solid pitching.”

Shawano Red was coached by Brian Johnson, varsity softball coach at Shawano Community High School for 20 years until stepping down five years ago.

“You can’t find a better coach in town than Johnson,” Beyer said.

Johnson said his young team played like a more experienced squad.

“They are doing things my varsity team used to do. They are making pickoff plays,” Johnson said. “That is impressive when you got kids that young that understand the game.


Visiting coaches praise youth league tourney

The Shawano Youth League tournament drew high praise from out-of-town participants on the first of three consecutive weekends of baseball and softball action at Memorial Field.

SYL President Dustin Beyer credited the entire community for making the opening weekend a success.

“It is a long process to get everything together,” Beyer said. “This is not going to happen unless you have a lot of volunteers in town; a lot of parents come on down and help out, which is really appreciated.”

The opening weekend featured 32 teams in three tourneys: 8U boys, 10U girls and 12U girls.

“Shawano is considered one of the oldest tournaments around the area,” Oconto 8U boys coach Jeremy Wusterbarth said. “I just enjoy coming back every year, and they run a great tournament. The fans are great.”


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