Sports

Sat
21
Apr

Speedway starts new season next week

Once again, the 2018 Shawano Speedway season brings in a wide variety of events for people of all ages, with the season kicking off April 28.

From the return of the World of Outlaws to the Dirt Kings Series, the on-the-track action should be top notch.

Off-the-track, Racing for a Reason, Hall of Fame night, Halloween on the Half Mile, the new Bike-a-paloosa, Undy 500, and backpack night will give something for fans of all ages to enjoy.

The World of Outlaws Late Models once again return to the famed half-mile on July 31 (rain date Aug. 1) for the SunDrop Shootout. Rick Eckert and Chris Madden battled for the win last year and put on a show for the lead, with Eckert finally picking up that elusive Shawano win.

Brandon Overton returns to the tour in 2018. Brent Larsen, North Carolina’s Chris Ferguson, Michigan’s Rusty Schlenk, Mississippi’s David Breazele, former Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year Colton Flinner and Timothy Culp join the Outlaws in 2018.

Sat
21
Apr

Athlete of the Week: Mackenzie Hoffman

Athlete: Mackenzie Hoffman

Sport: Softball

Position: Catcher, shortstop

School: Gresham Community School

Year: Senior

Mackenzie Hoffman was selected as a top player in the state to play in the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association All-Star Game this summer. The senior, who has started on varsity all four years at Gresham, will be continuing her softball career at Edgewood College in Madison next year.

Q Where did your interest in playing softball begin?

A My mom and grandpa were very involved with softball as they both played and coached. I was able to start playing when I was in fourth grade and I fell in love with it from day one.

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

A My favorite part about playing the game is the fact that it is my outlet for everything. Softball takes my mind off of everything else. The diamond is my happy place. I also love that my team is like a second family to me.

Sat
21
Apr

Hunter, 11, topples turkey during historic snowstorm


Long story + photo. I told Ross we may need to cut as it’s over the 800-900 word limit, so let me know if you need me to. The historic winter blizzard is over and the official numbers are in: Green Bay, 24.2 inches; Appleton, 21.2 inches; Shawano, 29.8 inches; Amherst, 33 inches; and Caleb Schloss’ turkey, 26.1 pounds. While many of us were fighting the worst snowstorm in area history, this 11-year-old turkey hunter was spending the coinciding youth turkey season April 14-15 in snow up to his knees and shivering on public ground with his father in pursuit of wild gobblers. Caleb, a fifth-grader at Wilson Elementary School in Neenah, learned persistence and even disappointment as he missed one gobbler Sunday on public land near Wautoma before connecting with the biggest tom of his young life with just 12 minutes of the youth season to go. The story is one for the ages, made all the more memorable because of the windy, snowy and miserable conditions that would discourage any stout hunter, let alone this pre-teen soldier. “It’s turkey season. You don’t quit for anything,” said Caleb’s dad, Trent Schloss, who added: “It’s always up to Caleb. I certainly thought about how bad it’s going to be. It was definitely a shift in turkey patterns. It (the snowstorm) changed the game in a hurry.” Saturday morning found Caleb, Trent and Caleb’s mother Jennifer all in their RV parked on their 172-acre property near Wautoma. Jennifer, who is president of the Winnebago Strutters chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, decided to head home for Neenah to deal with the major snow removal issue as the historic blizzard moved toward its crescendo. Trent and Caleb hunted on nearby public land in Marquette County, where they’d done plenty of scouting. “The snow broke right about daylight,” Trent said, recalling how bright the snow was. Although they’d awoken about 4 a.m., they were a bit late getting to the roosting area and kicked out two roosting hens. They managed to get a gobbler to answer Trent’s calls, but the wind made it difficult. Then the gusts snapped the top of a 60-foot pine, sending it crashing down. “Everything was silent when that hit the ground,” Trent said. They saw five jakes (young male birds) and one tom in the distance. Trent called them to within 50 yards, but the serious Caleb didn’t feel comfortable at that range with his 20-gauge Mossberg pump shotgun, Carlson choke tube and Hevi-Shot Magnum Blend loads. “Caleb had the gun on him the whole time,” Trent said. “He won’t take wild shots.” The tom and a jake moved to within 35 yards, but Caleb decided to pass on the shot. Strong winds and frozen pine limbs that sounded like breaking glass when the two walked through brought an end to the first day’s hunt. Sunday morning found them both back to the same roost site. Crows cawing prompted some early gobbling. They moved closer to the gobbles, constantly scanning the snowy ground but not realizing until too late that the gobbler was still in the tree at almost 9 a.m., far later than normal. They busted the bird off the roost, then headed for the truck to get warm. While driving around the public ground, they spotted two toms on a logging road. They walked toward the birds, but hens soon surrounded the toms, ruining their calling chances. Trent noticed that Caleb’s heavy clothing was making it hard for him to walk, so they switched to lighter clothing. The snow at this point was at the top of Caleb’s knee boots. It was snowing so hard that they could not identify a dozen turkeys in a cornfield as toms or hens. They decided to follow a creek bottom below the cornfield and try to ambush the birds. Trent used GPS software on his phone to mark the cornfield so they could remain hidden on the stalk, then sneak over the creek bank for a possible shot. “Everything was just so white,” Trent said. “(Caleb) is just dragging big-time.” They stalked within about 90 yards of the birds, with two hens and one tom in view. Caleb set up against a 6-inch oak tree with a snow drift in front, while Trent sat behind him and called. Eventually the two hens wandered off, but the strong wind made it hard for the tom to hear Trent’s calls. “Dad, my hands are cold,” Caleb said. His hands were inside a muff with hand warmers, but he wears a thin glove on his shooting hand to make it easier to pull the trigger. Caleb’s warmers had stopped working, so Trent gave him his. “Tough it out, buddy. We’re almost there,” Trent answered. Caleb couldn’t see well over the snow drift, so Trent stuck his feet out in front of him for a makeshift seat to give Caleb more elevation. Trent later recalled this special bond of father and son, working as a team. “He’s still my little boy, but he’s trying to be a big guy trying to hunt.” The gobbler continued to feed, but eventually responded to Trent’s yelps and started moving closer. At about 40 yards, Trent yelped again and Caleb shot. The bird jumped up and started moving toward the tree line. Caleb shot again, but the tom ran off. “He was just so disappointed in himself,” Trent said of his son. They began walking back to the truck in silence about 4 p.m. They drove around and crossed a lucky spot where Jennifer had shot her first bird, at last spotting two turkeys. Trent used his binoculars and could see one had a beard. They began hiking toward the cornfield where the private and public landsmet. Twenty deer gathered in the cornfield as Trent placed a hen decoy and the two hunters set up in a big stand of pines. Caleb rested the shotgun on his knee as his dad called. Eventually, Trent heard the telltale sign of a drumming tom. “This bird is really close,” he said. A hen popped out around a tree and then the strutting tom came into view. The tom disappeared behind a pine, then came back at a range of 20 yards. When the bird’s head came up, Caleb fired and the bird crumpled. “It goes down in a cloud of feathers,” Caleb recalled. Trent checked his phone and there was 12 minutes left of the season. “He just sat there in amazement,” Trent said. “’I told you you could do it!’” Caleb answered: “If I missed again, I was done.” Caleb dragged it back to his dad. “I was way too cold to carry it,” the young hunter said. The estimated 3-year-old bird, Caleb’s fourth, had one spur broken off to 5/8 inch, with the other at 15/16 inch and a beard of 10 3/4 inches. “This is one of those days that you had the lowest of the low and the highest of the high,” Trent said. “He’s going to carry that memory on, and it’s not something you can get from playing video games.”

The historic winter blizzard is over and the official numbers are in: Green Bay, 24.2 inches; Appleton, 21.2 inches; Shawano, 29.8 inches; Amherst, 33 inches; and Caleb Schloss’ turkey, 26.1 pounds.

While many of us were fighting the worst snowstorm in area history, this 11-year-old turkey hunter was spending the coinciding youth turkey season April 14-15 in snow up to his knees and shivering on public ground with his father in pursuit of wild gobblers.

Caleb, a fifth-grader at Wilson Elementary School in Neenah, learned persistence and even disappointment as he missed one gobbler Sunday on public land near Wautoma before connecting with the biggest tom of his young life with just 12 minutes of the youth season to go.

The story is one for the ages, made all the more memorable because of the windy, snowy and miserable conditions that would discourage any stout hunter, let alone this pre-teen soldier.

Fri
20
Apr

Spring sports season restructured after prolonged winter weather


Contributed photo Paul Hegewald helps clear the Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School baseball field after a blizzard dropped two feet of snow. High schools across Central Wisconsin are experiencing huge delays in the spring sports season due to the winter weather.

With winter weather extending into mid-April, leaving fields and tracks blanketed with snow, the spring sports season has come to a halt across Central Wisconsin.

Many teams are confined indoors for practice and haven’t been able to begin contests yet. Those that have, such as track and field, are now delayed at the start of the outdoor season.

“It’s all very up in the air regarding when our fields will be rid of snow and ready to play on,” Shawano Community High School athletic director Charmaine Schreiber said. “We want to get these kids playing as soon as possible and our goal is to provide as many opportunities as we can for them. The kids, coaches, ADs … we’re all just as frustrated with it.”

Schreiber and the other Bay Conference athletic directors met Wednesday to discuss any necessary adjustments needed to restructure schedules and determine conference standings.

Thu
19
Apr

Kietlinski signs Letter of Intent to Indiana university

As Bowler senior Reanne Kietlinski closes a dominating high school basketball career, she’s ready to embark on her NCAA Division 2 college journey at Oakland City University in the fall.

Kietlinski signed her NCAA Letter of Intent on Wednesday, officially committing to the Indiana school’s basketball program.

“I visited a couple schools and Oakland City actually did an online tour,” she said. “I was able to communicate with the coaches and some of the players on the team. I felt really comfortable with their coaching staff and the girls. Also, the online tour showed that it’s a really nice place as well, and I think it just fit really well with me.”

The signing is a big milestone for Kietlinski, who had the dream to play college ball since her earliest memories.

Thu
19
Apr

Favre’s post-career concerns familiar, worrying refrain

A couple of years ago, a Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback brought to light the hive-mind idiocy of rookie hazing and initiation rites to college newcomers.

Bart Starr revealed that after receiving the gauntlet-style paddling “welcome” from members of the University of Alabama’s A-Club fraternity in the 1950s, he sustained a back injury that put him in traction and pain that has never gone away.

Recently, another Packers Hall of Fame QB told a different cautionary tale, this one about the very nature of the game through which he became a household word.

In a television interview, Brett Favre said he didn’t want his grandchildren to play football. The continuing flow of reports of players’ chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), in addition to symptoms he feels that he may be experiencing, have made the game’s all-time ironman rethink the head injuries he suffered with the Packers, Jets and Vikings.

Wed
18
Apr

DNR stressing safety for spring turkey season

Approximately 80,000 hunters will be heading to the field for the 2018 spring turkey hunting season, with the first period starting Wednesday.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden and Hunter Education Administrator Jon King said there are two key factors needed for safe turkey hunting.

“The two most critical ingredients for a successful spring hunt are a detailed hunting plan in one hand and a firm grip on firearm safety in the other,” King said.

DNR statistics show 80 percent of accidents during turkey hunting seasons involve hunters mistaking other hunters for game, or hunters failing to positively identify their target. The other 20 percent of accidents are self-inflicted, usually the result of violating one of the four firearm safety rules.

Wed
18
Apr

ATV club holding safety course

The Hidden Bear Trail ATV Club and The Red Arrow Snowmobile/ATV Club and are sponsoring a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-certified ATV Safety Course.

The course will be held at the Lakewood Community Center/Fire Station, 17214 North Road, Lakewood.

Class will meet on April 28-29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days.

Anyone is welcome to attend the course with a recommended minimum age of 11½. Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988, and at least 12 years old must have ATV certification to operate on public areas. Those students who have not reached the age of 12 may not use their certificate to operate alone until they turn 12 years of age.

Parents and adults are encouraged to enroll and participate. Fees for the course are $10 per student. The fee is waived if you, parents or grandparents are members of either club.

Sat
14
Apr

Haffner, Kietlinski selected to All-Star rosters

Gresham’s Drew Haffner and Bowler’s Reanne Kietlinski will have the opportunity to play alongside some of the top talent in Division 5 as part of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s All-Star Game this summer.

Haffner was selected to the North boys team and Kietlinski to the North girls team. Both teams will play the respective South teams.

“It is a huge honor to be selected for this team, especially since it is coaches that vote for the players that make the team,” Haffner said. “I watched my brother Christian and friend Neal (Cerveny) play in it, and saw Coach (Jeff) Zobeck coach it, and since attending those I have wanted to play in it.”

“I feel pretty rewarded and very privaleged that I have this opportunity,” Kietlinski said. “I’m very excited to see the best of Wisconsin and play with them.”

The game gives the players a chance to play more competitively with like-minded individuals.

Sat
14
Apr

Athlete of the Week: Atty Wagner


Contributed Photo Shawano Community High School senior Atty Wagner finished first in both of his events at the Waupaca Quadrangular on Thursday. Wagner clinched the 200-meter dash in 24.39 seconds and tied his personal best in the high jump at 6 feet, 2 inches.

Athlete: Atty Wagner

Sport: Track

Events: 4x200-meter relay, high jump

School: Shawano Community High School

Year: Senior

Shawano Community High School senior Atty Wagner finished first in both of his events at the team’s first outdoor meet at Waupaca on Thursday. Wagner won the 200-meter dash in 24.39 seconds and tied his personal best in the high jump at 6 feet, 2 inches.

Q What’s your favorite part about the sport?

A My favorite part about track is meeting and competing against new people. Everyone cheers each other on so it’s always fun when the people you are competing against want you to do your best.

Q How does it feel starting the season out with several first place finishes?

A Starting out with a couple of first-place and other high-place finishes is really cool for me. It’s a real confidence booster and a reminder that hard work pays off.

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