Six softball players recognizedBy:
By Morgan Rode [email protected]
Leader Photo by Morgan Rode
Shawano’s Bayleigh Laabs, left, throws to first base for the final out of a Bay Conference win over Green Bay East at Martzke Park on April 30.
Leader Photo by Morgan Rode
Shawano’s Steven Hoffmann looks up and readies himself to catch a foul popup during a Bay Conference game against Xavier at Memorial Park on May 6.
With summer having arrived, conferences around the state started naming top athletes from the spring sports seasons.
Shawano had several athletes earn all-conference recognition after solid seasons on the diamonds and fields.
The Shawano softball team had six players named to one of three all-conference teams.
Senior Kate Hoffman (outfield), junior Gracyn Habeck (infield) and sophomore Taylor Johnson (utility) all earned first team honors. Junior Macie Herm (catcher) was a second-teamer, while senior Bayleigh Laabs (infield) and sophomore Naomi Wynos (infield) made the honorable mention squad.
Habeck and Johnson were each unanimous first team picks.
“As a junior, I am proud to receive that recognition from the other coaches,” said Habeck, who had made it a goal to make first team this spring. “Also having my teammates by my side to help me work hard during practice to get better each day, I thank them so much for pushing me. My coaches from their constructive criticism and positive attitudes have helped me build a strong physical and mental game.”
“It means a lot to be awarded with this because it really showed me that all of the work I’ve put in since day one is paying off,” Johnson said. “In sports, you go through so many setbacks and I think it’s such an honor as an athlete to get recognized for all of the time and energy you’ve put into your sport, especially by coaches in the conference.”
At the plate, Habeck posted a .450 batting average, drove in 10 runs and also scored 11 times. She also earned two wins in the circle.
Johnson pitched 31 1/3 innings for Shawano, also earning two wins. She had a 3.13 earned run average.
Johnson batted .382 at the plate. She drove in four runs and scored six other times.
To earn her spot on the first team, Hoffman batted .405, driving in six runs and finishing with a team-high 15 runs scored.
“It means a lot to know that I was recognized through the conference of all the hard work that I put in my senior year,” Hoffman said.
Along with helping guide pitchers through games, Herm posted a .292 batting average and drove in four runs. She also led the team in walks with 10.
Laabs was the Hawks’ primary shortstop for the season, but also had a solid year with the bat. She hit .302, drove in nine runs and scored eight more.
Wynos admitted she had a slow start to the season, but came on strong as the season progressed to help the team finish tied for third in the conference. She ended up hitting .457, with six RBIs, 10 runs scored and a team-high four stolen bases.
Wynos believes big things are in store for the Hawks moving forward.
“This season gave me a lot of confidence. I know what I need to get better at and what needs improvement. I also have a lot more confidence because I now know the speed of the game, the competition, and what I’m capable of doing,” Wynos said. “My motivation for next season is to help my team be a winning team. I think next season we will do great things together.”
A pair of dedicated seniors from the Hawks baseball team earned all-conference recognition this spring. Nick Grignon and Steven Hoffmann each were placed on the second team.
Grignon made the team as an infielder, primarily playing shortstop for the Hawks.
Grignon hit .438 on the season and had nine of the team’s 19 doubles. Grignon also drove in 12 runs and stole nine bases.
“It means a lot to receive recognition like that from the coaches from around the Bay,” Grignon said. “It’s something to be very proud of when coaches think that highly of you.”
Hoffmann made the team as an outfielder but did a little bit of everything to help his team out.
Hoffmann posted a .310 batting average and also drew 12 walks to finish with the most runs scored (13) for the team.
Hoffmann also worked a team-high 35 innings on the mound, striking out 20 batters along the way.
“Receiving all-conference honors is awesome — it let’s you know that your hard work and everything paid off,” Hoffmann said.
“I’m going to remember last season’s seniors the most and I hope my teammates remember me with the same leadership and fun qualities. I think the highlight this season, for me, was that win against New London (May 13) that I was on the mound for, and getting to see all the youngsters grow up throughout the season.”
The Shawano girls soccer team’s last line of defense turned out to be the only Hawk to make an all-conference team this spring, with junior Peyton Buerman picking up honorable mention status.
“I think that it’s such a cool recognition for being a junior because there are so many amazing and talented goalies,” Buerman said. “I am truly grateful to be nominated in the first place, but to actually receive it is something else.”
Buerman played goalkeeper in 21 of the team’s 22 games this season and stopped 299 shots over those games.
She recorded double-digit save totals in 14 games, including a season-high 31 in a 2-1 loss to Merrill back on March 30.
“This honor will definitely fuel me for next season and give me more to work for,” Buerman said. “There’s definitely a lot to improve on, but I have no doubt that we will be able to achieve our goals next year. We have so much potential on our team and I believe that we will be able to come together as a team and pick up our intensity.”
Freshman Kaden Marcell and sophomore Andrew Puissant hardly looked like underclassmen as they eventually made their way to sectionals as individuals this spring.
Marcell and Puissant also turned in strong efforts during the conference portion of the season, with both landing on the honorable mention team.
Both golfers figure to play big roles for the team moving forward. Shawano will return all five of its regional golfers next spring.
A pair of doubles teams represented Shawano on the all-conference list for boys tennis.
Seniors Christopher Black and Cesar Ramirez formed the Hawks No. 1 doubles team and made the first team. Fellow seniors Wyatt Theis and Rhain Rodenbeck created the No. 2 doubles team that made the second team.
Along with those four seniors, the Hawks will also need to replace Anton Piantek, who played No. 1 singles this year.