Hawks defeat Bluejays in Bay tie-breaker

Photo by Jacy Zollar Shawano Community High School junior Alex Mueller drives the ball up the court during a 58-47 Bay Conference win over Menasha on Thursday.

Tied in the Bay Conference before the meeting, Shawano outpaced Menasha in a 58-47 win on Thursday.

The win lifts Shawano (8-10, 4-7 Bay) to a fifth-place tie with Green Bay East, while Menasha (8-10, 3-8 Bay) sits at No. 6.

The Hawks opened the matchup with a Carter Weisnicht 3-pointer and went on a 9-0 run against the visiting Bluejays.

Menasha shot 0 of 4 from the field in the first six minutes before its leading scorer, Jacob Everson, sank a 3-pointer.

The slow start carried through the first half and Shawano went into halftime with a 22-14 lead after both teams struggled to find the basket.

The Hawks and Bluejays picked up in the second, led by Atty Wagner with a pair of threes to start Shawano’s second-half scoring, and Everson with 15 points in the final 18 minutes for Menasha.


Veteran coach takes over Pulaski volleyball program

Former St. Norbert College and Notre Dame Academy head women’s volleyball coach Bethani Thibodeau is the new varsity head coach of Pulaski High School volleyball.

Thibodeau takes over for Valerie Spaulding, who led the program for three years and was previously an assistant coach.

“I am excited for Bethani to join our Pulaski coaching staff and keep moving Pulaski volleyball in the direction we want to go,” said Pulaski High School athletic director Janel Batten. “There is no doubt she will continue to build on the foundation that Coach Spaulding established here over the past couple years.”

Thibodeau is a field claims manager for ACUITY Insurance. She is a 1998 graduate of St. Norbert College with a major in business administration and a minor in communication.

“Coach Thibodeau brings with her a great amount of experience as well as a wealth of knowledge,” Batten said. “We are pleased to have her join our Pulaski family.”


Athlete of the Week: Todd Otradovec

Contributed photo Gresham Community High School senior Todd Otradovec scored a game-high 26 points in the Wildcats’ 69-68 victory over Central Wisconsin Conference-North rival Manawa on Tuesday. The senior leads Gresham in scoring (17.5 points per game) and rebounds (7.2 per game) this season.

Athlete: Todd Otradovec

Sport: Basketball

Position: Forward

School: Gresham Community School

Year: Senior

Todd Otradovec led Gresham with 26 points in its 69-68 victory over Manawa on Tuesday to keep the Wildcats undefeated in the Central Wisconsin Conference-North. The senior has the highest field goal percentage and leads the team in scoring (17.5 points per game) and rebounds (7.2 rebounds per game) this season.

Q Where did your interest in playing basketball begin?

A “I’ve loved it ever since I can remember. I remember watching it on TV and thinking, ‘I want to play this sport.’”

Q What’s your favorite part about playing the game?

A “My favorite part is playing with my teammates and getting to spend more time with my friends.”

Q What do you think contributes to you being the top scorer and a leader on the team?


Water clarity will determine sturgeon spearing success

Nearly 13,000 spearers are patiently crouching over holes in the ice of Lake Winnebago and three upriver lakes this morning as they wait for a lake sturgeon to swim past.

Water clarity will be one of the biggest factors in determining which spearers bring a fish to a weigh station, and which go home with only fond memories.

Department of Natural Resources sturgeon biologist Ryan Koenigs says a combination of January rains and an algae bloom under the ice have caused poor water clarity on Lake Winnebago. His crews did some testing before opening day and found the visibility there to be 3 to 9 feet, with an average of 6½ feet (the worst conditions since 2006).

Since the lake is more than 12 feet deep in many spots and most sturgeon hang around near the bottom, spearers may not see fish that are right below their spearing holes.


Groshek and Fraaza join 1,000-point club

Contributed photo Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School senior Trevor Groshek, center, scored his 1,000th high school career point during the Chargers’ victory over Northland Pines Jan. 5. Groshek is the third Charger in school history to pass the milestone. He is shown with, from left, his sister, Marissa Groshek; mother, Sherry Groshek; father, Dave Groshek; and coach, Lon Ebel.

Trevor Groshek and Cory Fraaza achieved a milestone this season that just two other basketball players in Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School history have accomplished.

The seniors each broke 1,000 high school career points, nearly one month apart from each other.

“It’s very exciting,” Chargers head coach Lon Ebel said. “It’s been a big accomplishment for both of them. They’ve had an opportunity that most kids don’t get to experience.”

Trevor Groshek became the third Charger in history to score 1,000 points during a home victory over Northland Pines on Jan. 5. Groshek needed 14 points at the start of the game to hit 1,000 — he scored 15.

“It was a surreal moment because I knew coming into game that I needed 14 points,” Groshek said. “I was the most nervous going into that game because I wasn’t sure if I was going to hit it, so when it happened it was just an amazing moment.


Hoffman buzzer beater lifts Gresham to victory over Wolves

Leader photo by Jacy Zollar Gresham Community High School senior Drew Haffner drives past Manawa’s Nathaniel Reynolds during the first half of a 69-68 victory on Tuesday.

Jake Hoffman knew he had the bucket from the moment the ball left his hand. The freshman’s jumper with 0.8 seconds remaining sealed Gresham’s 69-68 victory over Manawa in a Tuesday matchup between the top two teams in the Central Wisconsin Conference-North.

“Right away, I could feel that it was going to go in,” Hoffman said. “It’s pretty shocking. It’s hard to put it in words what that moment felt like. And the team energy after that was amazing.”

“These guys are the quietest bunch of guys, and they were going crazy in the locker room afterward,” Gresham head coach Jeff Zobeck agreed. “It was the loudest I’ve probably ever heard them. Just a great experience for those kids.”

Manawa built a 10-point lead with 3:45 left in the second half, but the Wildcats fired up with buckets in transition off steals to take seven of the next 12 points and trail by five with a minute remaining.


Overdue but gratifying, Packers Jerry Kramer voted into Hall of Fame

Before their Super Bowl victory over New England, the last Philadelphia Eagles NFL championship had come before President Kennedy was inaugurated, when they topped the Green Bay Packers 17-13 in the title game.

One of the Packers playing that day in 1960 was Jerry Kramer, an offensive guard and future best-selling author, whose decades-long push to the Hall of Fame was finally realized last week.

For the 11th time since retiring, Kramer was eligible to be voted into the Hall, and this time he finally made it. Widely recognized for his literary efforts, Kramer was a stalwart on the Packers’ line who made first-team All-Pro five times.

His “Instant Replay” was one of a couple of books written by professional athletes that were required reading for a young sports fan in the 1960s and ’70s.


Witt-Birn finishes 4th in CWC

Sophomore Chad Moegenburg led Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School wrestlers to a fourth-place finish Saturday at the Central Wisconsin Conference tournament in Manawa.

Moegenburg defeated Weyauwega-Fremont’s Easton Groskreutz 8-6 in the 113-pound championship to claim the Chargers’ only first-place finish of the meet.

Shiocton edged Weyauwega-Fremont by two points for the team title, with Bonduel placing third.

Moegenburg (35-6) pinned Peter Esser, of Pittsville, and Kevin Klemm, of Manawa, before facing Groskreutz.

Dylan Sprague (27-9) finished second for the Chargers at 160 pounds. He lost to undefeated Brandon Peckham of Tri County in the first-place match. In earlier matches, Sprague pinned Weyauwega-Fremont’s Adam Batten and Shiocton’s Kaden Piechocki and won by major decision over Riley Wayerski, of Pittsville.


3 Bears reign as Central Wisconsin Conference champs

Three Bonduel wrestlers took the Central Wisconsin Conference title to lead the Bears to a third place team finish at Saturday’s conference meet.

Seniors Jordan Boldt (126 pounds) and Jacob Banker (182) are three-time conference champions after their victories.

“It feels really great to be able to win it three times in my high school career,” said Boldt, who pinned his first two opponents in the finals in 19 and 50 seconds, respectively. “I actually wish I would’ve done better, because we had a bet to be on the mat for no more than four minutes total, and in the last match it took me all three periods.”

Boldt (34-4) dominated Shiocton’s Jared Jahnke in the championship match by a 15-6 major decision after struggling at the start.


High School Highlights

Gresham 69
Bowler 49

Gresham had five double-digit scorers to lead the Wildcats over Bowler. Todd Otradovec led with 17 points, Drew Haffner added 15, including four 3-pointers, Jake Hoffman 13, Raven Bennett 11 and Justice Paiser 10 for the Wildcats.

Ezra Spencer scored a game-high 18 points for Bowler and Zach Fehrmen added 14 with four 3s.

Wittenberg-Birnamwood 59
Manawa 45

Senior Cory Fraaza led with a game-high 26 points and broke 1,000 career high school points in Witt-Birns win over Manawa. Fraaza joins senior Trevor Groshek in the 1,000 point club this season.

“Cory Fraaza had a monster night on the offensive end of the floor,” coach Lon Ebel said. “He’s meant a lot to our program and its been pretty amazing to have two seniors hit 1,000 in the same year. I’m not sure we will ever see that happen again in our program.”

Seymour 59
Shawano 45


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