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Haffner close to making decision on future

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 7:59am
Guard leaves Marquette, considering missionBy: 

Greg Bates, Leader Correspondent

Photo by Marquette Athletics Christian Haffner left Marquette University after one year as a walk-on. He is close to making a choice between going on a mission trip and heading to another school to play basketball.

Christian Haffner did it all on the basketball court in high school.

He was a four-year starter at Gresham and tallied a school-record 1,712 points. As a senior in 2014-15, Haffner was tough to stop, averaging 26.7 points, 5.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game.

One year at Marquette University is all Haffner is going to get. He decided to leave the school and was granted his release in April. Since Haffner was a walk-on who redshirted in his freshman season, he’s able to transfer to another school and play right away and isn’t required to sit out a year.

“I think he’s going to find a better fit for himself,” Gresham Community School boys basketball coach Jeff Zobeck said. “There’s a lot of people that contacted me. Obviously, a lot of college coaches that want him at the lower level schools, but he’s still holding out for a D-I opportunity.”

Haffner said it was difficult to leave Marquette.

“I’m really going to miss the guys a lot,” he said. “I’m going to miss being able to hang out with all of them and be able to get to know everyone. A lot of them, I became really good friends with, and I know I’m going to be friends with the rest of my life.”

Although Haffner is able to play basketball right away, he might not compete next season. Or the season after that.

“I might go on a mission, because that’s the feelings I’ve been getting,” Haffner said. “I kind of feel like I should go on a mission.”

As of Sunday, Haffner had yet to make a decision but was “75 percent sure” he will go on a two-year mission.

Haffner has been playing basketball every day and working out in Milwaukee with Christian Parker, brother of Milwaukee Bucks star Jabari Parker. He is gauging interest from college coaches at the Division I, Division I junior college and Division II levels. Christian Parker, who is also a Mormon, went on a mission in college before signing and playing at the University of Washington.

Haffner does not regret his decision to walk on at Marquette. It offered him the opportunity to grow as a player and also redshirt in his first season. Haffner was able to practice, work out, sit on the bench during games and travel with the team.

“It was so awesome,” Haffner said. “It was a dream come true, and it really pushed me to come off as a better basketball player than I’ve ever been before. I learned a lot.”

Zobeck, who coached Haffner for four years, knew going to Marquette would be a valuable experience for his former star player.

“I’ve said that all along. Even if he was there for one year, it was going to be beneficial for him to experience that and play with that level of talent,” Zobeck said. “It should only make him better. He’s definitely gotten stronger and quicker from their workouts.”

The young and impressionable Haffner, 19, was pushed on and off the court by Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski, who was the former protégé of legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“I learned so much from him. It was crazy,” Haffner said. “He’s a great basketball mind. He knows the ins and the outs of the game. He worked with the Olympic team. He worked with everyone and he knows how to get the best out of every individual on his team.”

Haffner became a stronger defensive player in addition to developing a smarter basketball mind.

Haffner, a 6-foot-1, 160-pound guard, was a big-time scorer who relied mostly on outside shooting to rack up points in high school. At Marquette, Haffner worked on becoming a more well-rounded player.

“I’m a lot better ball-handler, and I see the floor a lot better now — I understand where everyone is going to be at,” he said. “In high school, I wish I would have been like that. I’ve gotten a lot stronger over the year, so I’ve been able to take the ball to the rim a lot better than I used to be able to.”

While practicing with the Golden Eagles, Haffner was a member of the scout team. His role was to pose as one of the main shooters on the opposing team.

“It was a neat role, but it was a big difference for me,” Haffner said. “It took a little bit of time to get used to. I liked it a lot because I learned different offenses.

“In my one year at Marquette, I learned more than I thought I ever would.”

Haffner has worked out for some college programs, and most of the coaches are still interested in him even if he goes on a two-year mission.

“I’ve heard a lot of people from these schools say, ‘All we’re worried about is when you get home you have a home, a place to play,’” Haffner said. “I said, ‘Alright, that sounds good.’ Those places I’ve been really thankful for because that kind of makes me feel like either way they’d take me, whether it’s now or later.”

If Haffner goes on a mission and then begins his freshman season as a 21-year-old away from competitive basketball for two years, will that hurt his career? He doesn’t see a problem with it.

“I honestly think it’s going to help it,” Haffner said. “It gives my body two years to mature. That’s my problem right now, I’m skinny. If I go on a mission for two years and come back, I think that it will give me time for my body to mature and it will actually help me.”

Zobeck does not believe a layoff would slow down Haffner.

“Kids always say, ‘Well, I’m going to take some time off. I’m going to take a year off, make some money and then go to college,’” Zobeck said. “You hear those types of scenarios from kids and you’re like, ‘Yeah, right. It’s never going to happen.’ But with him, he’s so motivated and he’s got that fire in his belly and that drive.”

Haffner doesn’t mind going anywhere to play basketball at the next level.

“I just want to play the game that I love to play,” Haffner said. “Hopefully, it’s at the Division I level, because that’s been my goal as a kid. I’ve always wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament. I’m still going for that goal.”

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SCHS trapshooting club looking to grow

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 7:57am
Fall season starts Sept. 18By: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]

Contributed Photo The Shawano Community High School trap team competed at the state meet in Rome on June 11. The team included, from left, Crede Timm, coach Tom Felts, Nicole Edwards, coach Troy Edwards, Will Hoefs and Chris Parker.

In its first season of competition, the Shawano Community High School trapshooting club had 14 members, and it expects to grow prior to the start of the fall season in September.

Many of the club members were in the Shawano Gun Club’s youth trapshooting program before moving on to high school competition.

Although the shooters are scored individually, familiarity with the location and those around them can help raise the scores.

“When you get used to shooting with the same people, you get used to everybody’s tendencies and you get into a rhythm and that helps,” SCHS trap coach Troy Edwards said. “Just having the opportunity, the team bonding sense of things.”

Soon-to-be sophomore Crede Timm was the team’s leading scorer, posting an average of 20.8 in the team’s conference competition this spring. He ranked ninth in Conference 3, which was composed of Shawano, Drummond, Potosi, Clayton, Nekoosa, Mineral Point and Rio.

Timm held himself to a higher standard, which made his season average frustrating.

Bad weather didn’t help. “It was usually rainy and stuff when we shot,” Timm said.

The conferences are based on team size. Shooting is done at a local gun club and shared electronically. Teams compete with others across the state without traveling.

Shawano required team members to shoot each Wednesday night.

“I liked it because during the youth gun club league, you didn’t really know that meany people,” Chris Parker said. “In the high school team, a lot more of your friends get to shoot with you, so its a more fun sport.”

Timm was also a member of the track team, and Edwards believes athletes from other sports also could fit the trap team and its one-night-per-week commitment in their schedules.

“I don’t think we are limited by number at this point, so I just hope it continues to grow and we get more youth interested in shooting sports,” Edwards said.

The Wisconsin Deer Hunters-Shawano Chapter and Woodlands Chapter each provided donations to offset costs for the shooters.

Edwards said the next step in the program’s development is to reach out to middle school students, who are eligible to participate in the high-school level sport. (Athletes are divided up by average score, regardless of age.)

The team could also add more high schoolers with increased awareness about the sport.

“It might grow a lot more because not many people heard of it,” Parker said. “Not many people in Shawano High heard of this team.”

The fall season begins on Sept. 18 and continues through Oct. 23. The 2017 spring season begins in April.

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All-Star link to World Series still a mistake

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 7:54am

Gary Seymour, [email protected]

Baseball’s All-Star Game made an impression on one fan that will last a lifetime.

Not his lifetime, mind you, but close enough.

A New York Yankees supporter had a standing, case-of-beer wager for years with a St. Louis Cardinals fan about who would win the All-Star Game. The Yankees fan always bet the American League and the Cards fan had the National League, which throughout the 1960s and ‘70s meant that sometime every July the Yanks fan would be showing up at Cardinal Fan’s door, cradling a case of Budweiser.

The American League’s string of futility – it won just two of the 28 games played from 1960-1982 – finally came to a crashing halt on July 6, 1983, when the AL blasted the NL 13-3 on the 50th anniversary of the midsummer classic.

Interestingly, the American League’s losing skein wasn’t the only streak that came to an end that night. In the third inning, California’s Fred Lynn homered off Atlee Hammaker of San Francisco with the bases loaded, giving the AL a 9-1 lead and blowing the game open. It was the first time a grand slam was ever hit in an All-Star Game. Lynn, whose homer was his only hit on the night, was the game’s MVP.

The next morning, Yankee Fan’s first child was born, a girl – first name Maria, and middle name, with “Ann” being a late scratch, Lynn.

Yankee Fan, recalling the moment their daughter received her Christian names, took a prolific slash of beer, stared at the can for a moment, then looked over and said, “It was the least I could do.”

It’s not the biggest reach by a sports fan in naming an offspring. That distinction could go to Jerome Fields of Chicago, an avid baseball fan who named his first son Wrigley.

Eight years later, apprised of this state of affairs – and not ones to miss a marketing opportunity – the Cubs’ front office invited young Wrigley Fields to throw out the first pitch at a game. This was back when the Cubs were the dregs of the National League, which pretty much covers the entire last century, so after the youngster looped a delivery that managed to cross home plate, the buzz was that compared to the rest of the staff, his performance was considered a quality start.

But back to the All-Star Game, which today, rather than being an entertaining midseason diversion, has far greater implications.

The 2002 All-Star Game at Miller Park ended in a 7-7 tie that was called after 11 innings because both sides had run out of pitchers. Fans squawked about the lack of resolution, and then-commissioner Bud Selig took a bold action, which sensible observers saw as a gross overreaction.

There had been precedent in a tie All-Star Game: One of the games played in 1962 ended in a 1-1 deadlock called after nine innings, and somehow the earth didn’t collapse into a black hole. The season went on as normal.

But after 2002 debacle, Commissioner Selig announced that henceforth the All-Star Game would be of such importance that home field advantage in the World Series would go to the team from the league that won the game.

So today we have a situation whereby a team can theoretically go 160-2 and have swept their upcoming World Series opponent during the regular season – and still not have earned home field.

If that strikes you as breathtakingly daft, that’s only because it is.

Home-field advantage in the postseason should be decided like other tiebreakers – head-to-head, best overall record, best record in intra-league games, etc., and not on the commissioner’s ill-advised decree from 14 years ago. By any name, an error is an error.

Veteran sportswriter Gary Seymour’s column appears weekly in the Leader. To contact him, send an email to [email protected] this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Richter powers through complete-game victory

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 7:40am
Pedersen jacks 3-run blastBy: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]

fter host Marion/Tigerton cut its deficit to two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Bonduel went back to work at the plate.

Jordan Boldt drove in two runs on an RBI single to left, Travis Wollenberg doubled off the left-field fence for a third run and scored on a wild pitch to cap a four-run inning in a 10-3 victory over Marion/Tigerton Tuesday night on the road.

“We kind of sat back there and just took these guys lightly there for a few innings,” Bonduel head coach Jason Boldt said. “Then we had to regroup and say, ‘Let’s go. Let’s put these guys away.’ So that was most of it there.”

Marion/Tigerton head coach Tyler Marquardt needed to go out to the mound to calm his team during the four-run sixth inning, eventually deciding to pull his infield in. Pitcher Conner Harris got Trevor Pedersen to ground to the shortstop and Brandon Olsen to strike out to end the frame.

“We know our weakness is the last two innings, and that showed tonight,” Marquardt said.

Marion/Tigerton used two errors, a single and a wild pitch for two runs in the fifth inning, the closest the hosts would get to coming back in the Central Wisconsin division battle.

Bonduel pitcher Josh Richter would get Patrick Bailey to pop out to second base to end the threat.

Jack Thiel was getting ready to relieve Richter in the sixth inning, but he was thrown out of the game for a comment made in the Bonduel dugout. The Grizzlies had posted four runs on Marion/Tigerton’s Conner Harris in the top of the frame and were relieving frustration in the dugout when the umpire decided to toss a player.

“He threw an inning last night, just to get loose for tonight,” Jason Boldt said of Thiel. “I was hoping Josh could get five and have Jack finish off tonight, and then all that happened. So Josh pretty much sucked it up and finished it out, which was nice.”

Richter threw all seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He struck out eight, walked two and hit two batters.

With the pitch count getting up there for Richter, who was finishing the team’s stretch of six games in five days, Boldt wanted him to rely more on his defense, which turned two double plays on the night.

“We were playing such good defense at the end, it’s like, ‘Just throw strikes, and these guys will help you out,’” Boldt said.

The Grizzlies (12-2) got on top early when Pedersen hit a three-run homer in the top of the first inning after Jordan Boldt reached on an error and Wollenberg singled.

Harris, who struck out nine batters while on the mound for Marion/Tigerton (3-7), scored in the bottom of the first on a single from Mitch Eland.

Harris allowed eight hits and the 10 runs. He walked two batters, while the defense behind him committed three errors.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E

Bonduel 3 0 1 1 0 4 1 10 8 2

Marion/Tigerton 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 7 3

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Wilinski scores 1st win in Shawano

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 7:39am
Snellenberger, Raddant win 2nd consecutiveBy: 

Scott Owen, Special to the Leader

Racing for only the third time at the track where he grew up turning wrenches for father Jerry, Konnor Wilinski scored the IMCA Modifieds feature win on the sixth annual Racing for a Reason night Saturday at the Shawano Speedway.

In other feature action, Paul Parker scored his first Late Models win of the year.

Rod Snellenberger (IMCA Stock Cars) and Kyle Raddant (IMCA Sport Mods) won features for the second week in a row, and Lucas Hacker secured his second Mighty Four feature.

Late Models

Parker grabbed the lead on lap one of the Late Model feature after a brief tussle with Joel Bennett. Behind the leaders, the likes of Mike Mullen, Jared Siefert and Brett Swedberg began to make their way forward.

By lap eight, Joe Reuter raced his way into the second position on the track, with Swedberg third and Mullen fourth. Siefert, who had started the race in 18th, joined the top five on lap eight. As Parker continued to lead on lap nine, Swedberg and Mullen each got past Reuter to move into second and third.

Over the remainder of the race, Parker continued to hold the top spot as Swedberg and Mullen each tried to gain ground. In the end though it was Parker leading wire to wire for the win. Swedberg, Mullen, Reuter and Siefert rounded out the top five.

IMCA Modifieds

The IMCA Modified feature saw Rob Charapata lead lap one of the race before a caution came out for debris on the track. On the ensuing lap, Wilinski made an inside pass for the lead on Charapata. On lap three, Matt Oreskovich moved into the second spot.

By lap five, Joel Seegert raced his way to third and looked to have a fast car. As Wilinski led, Seegert moved up to second on lap seven. On lap nine, Seegert, running the highest of grooves around the track, pulled to the outside of Wilinski in a battle for the lead. As the duo fought for the lead, Seegert got into the front stretch wall, ending his night and bringing out a yellow flag.

Wilinski led the rest of the way, fending off a hard-charging Marcus Yarie to win his first feature at the Shawano Speedway. Over the late stages of the race, RM VanPay, who started in 20th, charged to third. Not to be outdone, 23rd-place starter Clint Forstner, finished in fourth. Johnny Whitman came home in fifth place.

IMCA Stock Cars

BJ Giese led the opening lap of the IMCA Stock Car feature before succumbing to the pressure of Nate Michonski who took over the lead on lap two. Giese was able to hold the second spot though until Rod Snellenberger passed him for second on lap seven.

Snellenberger then set his sights Michonski. He was virtually glued to the rear bumper of Michonski for multiple laps as Travis Van Straten raced his way up to third. Snellenberger pulled to the inside of Michonski on lap 14 and used a slide job to take the lead in turns three and four.

Van Straten was able to quickly work past Michonski to move to second. Dan Michonski moved ahead of Giese on lap 17 to join the top four. On the final lap of the race, Van Straten pulled to the inside of Snellenberger and the pair went side by side through turns three and four.

Snellenberger was the first car to the finish line and scored the win. Van Straten, Nate Michonski, Dan Michonski, and Giese completed the top five.

IMCA Sport Mods

In IMCA Sport Mod action, Brian Besaw led the first three laps of the race, but on lap four, Kyle Raddant went outside Besaw and took the lead.

Raddant led the remaining 17 laps to score his second feature win in as many weeks. Lucas Lamberies, Jason Ebert, Jason Jach and JJ Anderson joined Raddant in the top five.

Mighty Fours

Aaron Milavitz led the first two laps of the Mighty Four feature before Travis Welch took the lead on lap three. Milavitz fought back to the lead on lap four and held the top spot until lap nine, when Lucas Hacker snatched the lead.

Over the last few laps, Hollie Welch and Grant Kastning applied pressure to the leader, but Hacker would not be denied victory. Kastning finished second, Hollie Welch third, Milavitz fourth and Dalton Nelson fifth.

Shawano Speedway

July 9

Race Summary

Late Model Feature: 1) Paul Parker, 2) Brett Swedberg, 3) Mike Mullen, 4) Joe Reuter, 5) Jared Siefert, 6) Tom Naeyaert, 7) Doug Blashe, 8) Joel Bennett, 9) Jeff Curtin, 10) Michael Stangl.

Heat 1: 1) Reuter, 2) Springborn, 3) Mark Rose.

Heat 2: 1) Parker, 2) Mullen, 3) Swedberg.

IMCA Modified Feature: 1) Konnor Wilinski, 2) Marcus Yarie, 3) RM VanPay, 4) Clint Forstner, 5) Johnny Whitman, 6) Matt Oreskovich, 7) Trevor Spaulding, 8) Jay Matthias, 9) Eddie Muenster, 10) Beetle Bailey.

Heat 1: 1) Jerry Wilinski, 2) Joel Seegert, 3) Rob Charapata.

Heat 2: 1) Konnor Wilinski, 2) Kevin Feck, 3) Oreskovich.

Heat 3: 1) Jim Zdroik, 2) Spaulding, 3) Jerry Muenster.

IMCA Stock Car Feature: 1) Rod Snellenberger, 2) Travis Van Straten, 3) Nate Michonski, 4) Dan Michonski, 5) BJ Giese, 6) Joe White, 7) Jerry Winkler, 8) Tom Riehl, 9) Trent Nolan, 10) Aaron Stolp.

Last Chance Qualifier: 1) Chas VanOoyen, 2) Harley Simon, 3) Mike Schmidt, 4) Calvin Stueck, 5) Dylan Heilmann.

Heat 1: 1) Giese, 2) Luke Uttecht, 3) Winkler.

Heat 2: 1) Nate Michonski, 2) Van Straten, 3) Riehl.

Heat 3: 1) Snellenberger, 2) Nolan, 3) Vern Stedjee.

IMCA Sport Mod Feature: 1) Kyle Raddant, 2) Lucas Lamberies, 3) Jason Ebert, 4) Jason Jach, 5) JJ Anderson, 6) Rob Krull, 7) Colten VanHierden, 8) Jordan Barkholtz, 9) Jordan Bartz, 10) Kelsey Hayes.

Last Chance Qualifier: 1) Jordan Reinke, 2) Tyler Thiex, 3) Doug Mauer, 4) Race VanPay, 5) Krull.

Heat 1: 1) Bartz, 2) Kevin Bethke, 3) Anderson.

Heat 2: 1) Lamberies, 2) Logan Fleischman, 3) VanHierden.

Heat 3: 1) Raddant, 2) Jach, 3) Alex Roffers.

Mighty Four Feature: 1) Lucas Hacker, 2) Grant Kastning, 3) Hollie Welch, 4) Aaron Milavitz, 5) Dalton Nelson, 6) Brad Wedde, 7) Jason Hopinka, 8) Travis Welch, 9) Alex Adams, 10) Paul VanRens.

Heat 1: 1) Hacker, 2) Kastning, 3) Travis Welch.

Heat 2: 1) Hollie Welch, 2) Milavitz, 3) Nelson.

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Legion Highlights

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 7:38am

Shawano 8

Kaukauna 5

Bryce Gagnow had two hits and two RBIs, and Cole Nelson added two more RBIs in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday in Shawano.

The Patriots (5-10) had nine hits, including doubles from Kien Moorman and Nelson.

Nate Laude pitched all seven innings, allowing five earned runs.

Kaukauna 6

Shawano 1

Jacob Lacy had Shawano’s lone RBI, scoring Connor Klish in the fifth inning, in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday in Shawano.

Cole Nelson had two hits to lead the Patriots (4-10) at the plate.

Nelson pitched six innings, giving up six runs. Four of the runs were earned.

Bonduel 18

Manawa 4

Bonduel racked up 17 hits over five innings in its final game of the New London tournament on Sunday.

Travis Wollenberg, Trevor Pedersen and Brandon Olsen each had three hits for the Grizzlies (11-1).

Brent Pieper, Wollenberg and Riley Allen combined to strike out six batters over five innings for Bonduel.

Bonduel 2

Clintonville 1

Brandon Olsen scored the game-winning run on a sacrifice in the ninth inning on a hit from Josh Richter at the New London tournament on Sunday.

The game featured Wyatt Erb pitching nine innings for Bonduel (10-1), striking out 13 batters and giving up five hits.

Olsen had two of the Grizzlies’ five hits in the game.

Bonduel 9

Weyauwega 0

Jordan Boldt led Bonduel at the plate and on the mound in the second game of the New London tournament on Saturday.

He had four hits to go with his complete-game performance for the Grizzlies (9-1).

Trevor Pedersen added three hits and three runs, while Brandon Olsen posted two hits and four RBIs.

Bonduel 3

New London 1

Trevor Pedersen pitched a complete game, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out 12 batters, at the New London Legion tournament on Friday.

The Grizzles (8-1) tallied only two hits but added eight walks to help produce offense in the game.

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BABA Roundup

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 7:37am


WP — Chris Dunn; LP — Nick Derochers

Little Falls: Drew Radius was 2 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs. Jenner Gullixon was 2 for 3 with a solo home run.

Caroline: Mike Weatherwax was 2 for 5. Conner Senzig was 2 for 5.


WP — Hunter Hoffman; LP — Jerry Boivin

Leopolis: Hunter Hoffman was 3 for 4. Kasey Kristof had a double.


WP — Parker Mindel; LP — Jared Sonnenberg

Clintonville: Jansen Van Daalwyk and John Dunlavy each went 2 for 5.

Marion: Jared Sonnenberg was 2 for 3 with two doubles. Dave Jueds had two hits with a double. Joe Weynberg had two hits, including a double.





WP — Derek Bowman; LP — Matt Rueb

Gresham: Mike James had three hits. Brent Bucholtz, Pete Carroll and Joey Ejnik each added two hits.

Tilleda: Brad Brei had two singles.



WP — Trevor Groshek; LP — Cole Kuenzli

Elderon: Matt Meronk had two hits. Marvin Meronk, Brandon Groshek, Troy Lesikau and Casey Reierson all had home runs.

Polar: Randy Krebs had two hits. Jared Tomany had two hits. Jordan Unsinn and Aaron Verhagen also added two hits.


WP — Josh Hahn; LP — Denton Mortenson

Aniwa: Max Nowinsky had three hits.

Hatley: Kodie Kocher had two hits.




WP — Preston Goetz; LP — Justin Christenson

Omro: Al Reyes was 2 for 3 with a double. Joe Robl was 2 for 4 with a double. Gregg Danke had a double and 4 RBIs.

Lanark: Jeremy Christenson was 3 for 5.


WP — Jason Jones; LP — Cam Siedl


WP — Adam Dietrich

Scandinavia: Connor Zblewski was 3 for 5 with two home runs. Jesse Dickert was 2 for 4, including one home run. Ryan Makuski and Jason Steinbach were 3 for 4.

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Murphy to return to dugout in 2017

Sat, 07/09/2016 - 7:41am
Coach recognized for 35 years as Bowler baseball coachBy: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Bowler High School baseball coach Ray Murphy was recently recognized for his 35-year career as the school’s baseball coach. He took off this spring after hip replacement surgery but expects to return to the dugout in 2017.

After 35 years of coaching, Ray Murphy finally took a season off.

Murphy, who has coached nearly every sport at Bowler middle and high school but is best known as the baseball coach, took a break this spring for hip replacement surgery but plans to be back in the dugout in 2017.

Murphy was recently recognized by the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association for 35 years of dedication to the program, which includes nearly 400 wins.

“He never needs a thank you or a pat on the back,” Bowler High School Athletic Director Jeff DePerry said. “He just does it out of the goodness of his heart.”

DePerry said Murphy’s coaching style still resonates with the high school athletes.

“He’s got an old-school mentality. He’s a good disciplinarian,” DePerry said. “There are not a lot of coaches that I feel kids respond to with that method, (but) he figured out what works with each kid individually, what approach for each kid. But he never sacrifices or compromises his values of doing the right thing.”

Murphy graduated from Bowler High School in 1970. His chance to play professional baseball was taken away when he was drafted for the Vietnam War in 1972.

He began coaching in 1980 and has coached parents of some of today’s athletes, which helps with his credibility when working the sideline or dugout.

Murphy said he tries to make sure his players are focused on their play, not on an opponent or an umpire’s decision, and do not dwell on mistakes.

“We’re all going to make mistakes,” Murphy said. “It’s what you do after you make that mistake. You make that mistake, hustle and make up for that mistake.”

Through his job as head custodian for the school district, Murphy is around his players during the day and is able to make sure their grades are in line.

He also takes time to build relationships with the kids.

“You’ve got to get to know the kids first,” Murphy said. “Get to know the families. Get to know the family background a little bit.

“That’s so key because I’ve had kids come up to me and say, ‘Coach, I’d really like to play baseball, but I can’t afford a pair of shoes.’ We’ll get you a pair of shoes. ‘I can’t afford a glove.’ We’ll get you a glove.”

Murphy has always made sure his players feel they’re part of the team.

“We always made sure here, at least I did, if there’s a kid wanting to play, I made sure they could play,” he said. “They got the equipment they needed. If they needed a ride home, we gave them a ride home. If we stopped for something to eat and he needed something to eat, we made sure he ate right along with his teammates.”

Murphy’s approach, a blend of discipline and caring, isn’t easily copied by new coaches.

“Newer coaches come in and want to be that hard-nosed, crack-the-whip-type coach, and kids don’t respond as well as they do with Ray because he gets to know them,” DePerry said.

Murphy is also the head coach of the middle school girls basketball team. At one point, he coached varsity basketball and baseball along with the middle school and junior varsity football teams.

His greatest accomplishment isn’t on the field or court; it’s the family values that he instills in his players.

“Everybody starts taking care of everybody,” Murphy said. “And that’s a good feeling when you get your players wanting to do that.”

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Sport Mods feature last week was 1 to remember

Sat, 07/09/2016 - 7:39am

Scott Owen, Leader Columnist

For myself, last Saturday will go down as one of my favorite nights of racing at the Shawano Speedway. I again had the chance to announce the race of a first-time feature winner.

The race was extra special because it was a young man whom I have had the pleasure of knowing for many years. Shawano racer Kyle Raddant scored his first career feature last week in the IMCA Sport Mods feature. Kyle, the rookie of the year in the same division a season ago, worked for many years right next to me, operating the scoreboard at the Shawano Speedway.

Kyle has deep roots at the Shawano Speedway as well. His grandfather, Willard, and great uncle, Leroy, were stalwarts at the track in the 1970s, and his father, Brad, and uncle, Brian, are also former racers. Kyle’s younger brother, Alec, now does Kyle’s old job running the scoreboard on race nights.

Making the night even more special was the fact that Kyle had a huge contingent of family at the track, including his grandfather, Willard, who now lives in Tennessee. Kyle had many good runs in the past year and a half, but finally sealed the deal last week, holding off hard-charger Lucas Lamberies for the win.

Aside from Kyle’s exploits, two other notable events took place during the night. Jordan Reinke made his season debut in the IMCA Sport Mods class, bringing home a 10th-place finish in the night’s feature. Reinke competed on a handful of nights a number of years back before getting back behind the wheel last week.

Additionally, Sport Mods rookie Bryce Clements scored his first top-10 feature finish of his career, finishing in ninth. Hailing from Suring, Bryce is the son of former Sportsman division standout Scott Clements.

Through the course of the season, Bryce has continually made strides behind the wheel. Through the first few weeks, he played it smart and elected to start at the rear of his races. Each week, he has continued to show improvement. Last week’s finish was especially encouraging because he kept pace with many of the divisions front-runners. Look for even greater improvement over the second half of the season.

This week, the Shawano Speedway will host the sixth annual Racing for a Reason, raising money for childhood cancer awareness. Through the first five years of the event, the track has raised an impressive $61,000. The night will feature at least 102 bucket raffle items as well as numerous silent auction items.

The 141 Speedway has off this week, so look for a high car count as well. Hope to see you all at the speedway.

Scott Owen is the announcer for Shawano Speedway.Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Young to lead Hawks into fall season

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 10:04pm
Coach excited about young rosterBy: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]


Newly hired Shawano Community High School girls volleyball coach Breanna Young has gradually worked her way up the coaching ladder.

After graduating in 2012, Young returned in the fall of 2013 as the freshman team’s coach. Each season after that, she moved one step closer to the head coach position, which she accepted on Tuesday.

She succeeds Jess Cumberland, who resigned after one season to spend more time with her family.

This year’s seniors started high school with Young as their coach, which could help ease the transition.

“I have worked my way up with them, and I know how they respond to coaching different styles and different drills, so I think that will help,” Young said.

Young, who has also coached three years of club volleyball in Shawano, worked closely with Cumberland to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run the program.

“Any new coach needs to start fresh, to learn the process and everything, but overall, it’s not a brand new face,” Cumberland said. “I think the comfort level is still going to be there.”

SCHS Activities Director Charmaine Schreiber said Young’s ties to the city made her a good fit to continue running the program.

Young, who received an associate degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and is a nurse at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, was a four-year starter under Jean Wolff for the Hawks from 2008-2011.

“We’re really excited to have alumni come back to coach,” Schreiber said.

Young’s younger sister, Annelies, was the team’s setter last season and is among the graduates the new coach will need to replace. Middle hitter Erika Dunnam and defensive specialists Kira Corn, Alexis Stephens and Lexi Dobberstein also are gone, as are Katelin Senzig and Meagan Ward.

Young isn’t fazed.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of young talent,” Young said. “It’s just forcing them to become leaders a little bit faster and developing their talent.”

Cumberland said that she would remain in contact with Young throughout the season, and the 22-year-old head coach can also rely on those around her as she gets acclimated to the position.

“I have a lot of support in my previous coaches, whether it is through the clubs I played on or through school,” Young said. “And I know that I have a lot of people that I can turn to and have a lot of support.”

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Johnson will return as SCHS head coach

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 7:56am
Coach looks to build depth behind strong programBy: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]


It took some convincing for Brian Johnson to return as head coach of the Shawano varsity softball team.

After originally declining the offer, Johnson said his wife, Kris, and former baseball coach Mike Wagner provided the support to ultimately change his mind.

“‘Listen, I think you have a lot to offer yet,’” Johnson remembers being told. “‘I think you’re going to regret if you don’t take this opportunity.’”

Johnson met with SCHS activities director Charmaine Schreiber on Tuesday to accept the position.

“Brian has a rich history in Shawano softball,” Schreiber said.

Johnson coached the program from 1991 until 2004, and led the Hawks to their only softball state championship in 2002. After two years off, he then came back to coach from 2007 through 2011. Johnson compiled over 200 wins in his tenure.

Johnson, who started 2015 as the JV coach, took over the varsity team mid-season after head coach Kevin Isaacson resigned.

Varsity assistant coach Ty Raddant also stepped down after his daughter, Alli, graduated this spring.

Johnson said he is focused on finding an assistant coach and hopes to bring back Raddant.

“I’m really hoping he reconsiders. Angela (Bahr) will be on staff,” Johnson said. “Until Ty, Angela and I sort of figure out where the three of us are at, and hopefully it is the three of us, then I’ll go on.”

Shawano (18-10, 11-3 Bay Conference) advanced to a WIAA Division 2 regional title game last season, falling to Luxemburg-Casco by one run.

The team lost three players, Alli Raddant, Hannah Hein and Julia Beck, to graduation.

In addition to several returning players with varsity experience, Johnson is also familiar with the talent in the youth program. His daughters are currently playing in the program.

“I know the amount of time it takes to develop a winning program. The program is in great shape,” Johnson said. “It’s one of the things that encouraged me. It wasn’t like I was inheriting a program I had to rebuild.”

Schreiber also hopes Johnson can get more girls involved in the program, which last season disbanded the junior varsity squad because of low participation.

The Hawks should have plenty of softball players to compile two full teams, Johnson said.

“I think with looking at who is coming up next year, we have no problem fielding a JV team, and I’m hoping that hopefully within two or three years, we can get back to having a freshman, JV and varsity program,” Johnson said. “That’s how you really develop winning programs — when you can get a chance to develop, and you don’t have to throw them to the wolves right away.”

Johnson acknowledged the work Isaacson and Raddant have put into building the team. He also wants parents and other community members to support the program.

“It’s not a one-person show,” Johnson said. “It takes a group of people to establish a winning program.”

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Peebles selected to lead Gresham/Bowler program

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 7:54am

Chris Caporale, [email protected]


For the second straight season, the Gresham/Bowler football team will have a new coach.

Eric Peebles, a 2002 graduate of Bonduel High School, will begin his first year of coaching with the eight-man, co-op team.

He hopes to set an example for the athletes and to establish the framework for a successful program.

“Right now, it’s just building a program,” Peebles said. “You’ve got to lay a solid foundation with them with hard work and being prepared to do that, which hopefully transitions onto the field.”

Peebles is expecting roughly 20 kids to come out for football this season and would like to see more Gresham athletes join the squad.

At the team’s May informational meeting, around eight Gresham Community School athletes were interested; two participated last year.

Peebles wants to pass on his enjoyment of football to the athletes.

“I just enjoyed high school football in general,” Peebles said. “Being in the weight room, being around practices and football. It’s just something about it for me, and I hope I can translate that to have them carry on something that they remember from it.”

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Road to the modern era paved with Maroons, Speed Boys and Orphans

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 7:52am

Gary Seymour, [email protected]

A great team in the National Basketball Association got a lot better when the Golden State Warriors signed free agent all-star Kevin Durant.

World-class glutton Joey Chestnut reclaimed his international hot dog-inhaling title, and en route raised the bar in eating like a pig, stuffing a record 70 down the chute in 10 minutes.

The countdown to the Green Bay Packers’ first practice is winding to a close, and with a full roster ready to roll, optimism is running high among Packers fans.

But a week after its Cavaliers won the NBA championship, Cleveland took center stage again, this time with the boys of summer.

In winning 14 consecutive baseball games, the Indians opened up a lead in the American League Central Division and sent researchers scrambling to the archives, comparing their run of excellence to great hot streaks of the past.

The Indians would lose their bid for 15 in a row, and thus fell well short of the 26 straight wins set in 1921 by the New York Giants.

They also did not match the 20 consecutive victories by the St. Louis Maroons, or the 17 in a row won by the Boston Beaneaters.

It was with the Beaneaters’ string that nicknames got more fascinating than winning streaks. If reliable time travel is invented before I roll a 7, the meeting where someone pitched Beaneaters as a serious name for their team will be a destination on the bucket list.

There was a different vernacular in play in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century, a dialect that today we would find even more amusing than the American Cornball spoken in the 1930s and ’40s.

Plus, sports were a benign, auxiliary diversion back then, and not the massively influential cultural mammoth that they have since become. It isn’t surprising that some of the past teams’ nicknames sound like an afterthought, or a no-thought.

Most Packers fans are aware of how their team’s name came to be. Curly Lambeau petitioned his employer for financial help to fund the football team in the start-up league, and the employer agreed, with the condition that the team nickname would reflect the sponsor’s name – the Indian Packing Company.

Had Lambeau worked for an office supply outfit and not a packing company, the NFL’s most recognizable franchise might have been called the Green Bay Shredders. But it still wouldn’t have been the oddest name in professional sports. Baseball had that covered.

Before the Red Sox moniker was settled on, Boston’s ownership had toyed with names like the Speed Boys and Puritans.

The Chicago Cubs were actually once called the Orphans – apparently, “Refugees” was already taken – and the Cincinnati Reds became the Redlegs during the Cold War to avoid any mistaken association with the “Red” communists of the Soviet Union, not that the Redlegs were paranoid or anything.

Today, new sports franchises sometimes open up the matter of the nickname to a vote among fans.

If the Miami Marlins had gone with the winning entry in a fan poll to determine the team nickname, they would be known as the Manatees. Kind of a shame that one didn’t pan out – it would have been interesting to see what sort of menacing logo they could have designed out of a bloated sea cow.

The Cardinals are said to have got their name from a female fan observing out loud that the team was wearing a lovely shade of cardinal. A sports columnist sitting in close proximity supposedly overheard the remark, mentioned it in the next day’s column and the name stuck.

Before they were the Cardinals they were once the Perfectos.

Now, there’s a name that could actually still work today. The team logo would be a ballplayer with a cellphone stuck to the end of his outstretched bat, taking a selfie.

Gary Seymour is a veteran sportswriter whose column appears weekly in the Leader. To contact him, send an email to [email protected] this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet

Leopolis Triathlon brings many to July 4 tradition

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 7:46am
146 compete across 3 divisionsBy: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Rolando Colon, left, and Casey Clark, of Shawano, ride a tandem bike during the 5-mile ride Monday in the Leopolis Triathlon. The two finished 10th and 11th in the 17-30 male age group of the beer belly division in 37:44.
Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Jameson Buday, 3, and Chris Buday, of Mequon, race to the finish of the Leopolis Triathlon on Monday. The two finished in 41 minutes and 34 seconds.

In his first competitive triathlon ever, Leopolis’ own Brandon Wudstrack just wanted to keep moving.

Wudstrack achieved the goal, working his way through the 50-yard swim, 15-mile bike and 5-mile run Monday at the Leopolis Triathlon, taking second place in the “jock” division for men ages 17 to 30.

His time of 1 hour, 26 minutes and 32 seconds trailed only Aaron Paisar, of Minneapolis, by seven minutes in the age group.

Mike Heidke defended his title in the jock division, finishing in 1:01:21. Mike Heling followed 2 minutes and 30 seconds later.

Meagan Gebler was the top female contestant, finishing the race in 1:07:46.

About halfway through the Leopolis Pond, a sandbar threw off Wudstrack, along with many other competitors. It was shallow enough for competitors to stand, but it wouldn’t help them move any faster.

“The swim kind of sucked because I didn’t expect the sandbar in there and you’re digging for dirt as you’re swimming,” Wudstrack said. “Then you try running, and it’s mush. You’ll sink right in. It was difficult.”

Wudstrack did have an advantage, having run the course in preparation for the event. After falling behind in the bike portion, which he blamed on his mountain bike, he was able to make up some ground late during the run.

Between the three divisions, 146 athletes completed the race, with 17 in the jock division, 48 youth runners and 81 “beer belly” participants.

Shawano’s Ben Carroll topped the youth race in 27:51. Allison Graper, of Bear Creek, was second in 30:19.

Seymour 12-year-old Trinity Inman came in third place of all runners ages 16 and under with her time of 31:36.

In the beer belly division, Brenton Steudel, of Greenville, eased to a victory in 24:29, nearly three full minutes ahead of the next finisher, Chicago’s Evan Jacobson. Clintonville’s Joe Jaskolski (28:01) finished in third place in the division.

For many, the race continues to be a yearly tradition, a sentiment Wudstrack shares after completing his first triathlon.

“I plan on doing many more after this,” Wudstrack said. “I was excited and worked up for it, and now I want to keep doing it.”

Leopolis Triathlon

July 4

Jock Division: 1, Mike Heidke, Appleton, 1:01:21; 2, Mike Heling, Appleton, 1:03:51; 3, Meagan Gebler, Appleton, 1:06:7; 4, Melissa Radmer, Milwaukee, 1:07:46; 5, Diane Dorn, Ringwood (IL), 1:12:58; 6, Clark McGregor, Green Bay, 1:17:47; 7, Chris Holzhan, Neenah, 1:18:27; 8, Larry Czarnecki, Clintonville, 1:18:36; 9, Aaron Paiser, Minneapolis, 1:19:23; 10, Princess Vele, Gresham, 1:19:23.

Youth: 1, Ben Carroll, Shawano, 27:51; 2, Allison Graper, Bear Creek, 30:19; 3, Trinity Inman, Seymour, 31:36; 4, Claire Guenther, Shawano, 32:14; 5, Kaleb Lowney, Shawano, 33:21; 6, Sarah Carroll, Shawano, 34:12; 7, Lydia Williams, Shawano, 34:56; 8, Eli Kendl, Clintonville, 35:16; 9, Colten Schuh, Shiocton, 35:20; 10, Lucas Te Plate, Shawano, 35:27.

Beer Belly: 1, Brenton Steudel, Greenville, 24:29; 2, Evan Jacobson, Chicago (IL), 27:21; 3, Joe Jaskolski, Clintonville, 28:01; 4, Peter Suechting, Neenah, 28:22; 5, Hank Johnson, Missoula (MT), 28:22; 6, Pat Carroll, Shawano, 28:24; 7, Tony Witt, Appleton, 29:03; 8, Thad Carroll, Shawano, 29:42; 9, Luke Scudder, Neenah, 29:42; 10, Simon Levin, Gresham, 29:49.

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Patriots manage 1 hit in 2-1 loss

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 7:39am
Erb throws 5 no-hit innings for BonduelBy: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Bonduel’s Travis Wollenberg attempts to turn a double play at second base as Shawano’s Nate Laude slides into the base Monday. Bonduel had two errors in a 2-1 victory over the Patriots.
Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano shortstop Alex Hoffman backhands a ball before making his throw late in Shawano’s 2-1 loss Monday to Bonduel. Shawano committed one error in the game.

Center fielder Bailey Dingeldein made a game-saving catch in the gap with the bases loaded as Bonduel held on for a 2-1 victory over Shawano on Monday at Village Park.

The game-turning play was set up in the sixth inning after a wild pitch left Shawano’s Alex Hoffman on second base and Kien Moorman on third. Bonduel coach Jason Boldt intentionally walked Nate Laude, bringing up Jacob Lacy with the bases loaded and two outs.

Boldt wanted the lefty-on-lefty battle between his son, Jordan Boldt, on the mound and Lacy, Shawano’s left fielder. The two played on the same team for many years growing up.

Lacy drove the ball deep to center field, but Dingeldein covered enough ground to make the running catch to end the inning and prevent three runs from scoring.

“Just keep it on the outer half,” Jason Boldt told his pitcher. “And he got too much of the plate there. It scared me a little bit.”

Shawano, which had just one hit against three Bonduel pitchers, threatened again in the seventh inning, this time against Travis Wollenberg. Connor Klish reached on an error, advanced to third on wild pitches and scored on Cole Nelson’s sacrifice fly to left field, to cut Bonduel’s lead to 2-1.

The rally continued as Patriots pitcher Dylan Sumnicht walked and moved to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch. With two outs, Seth Sousek made solid contact, sending the ball to center field where Dingeldein made the final catch.

The Shawano (3-9) offense came after Grizzlies starter Wyatt Erb threw five no-hit innings and struck out nine batters. Jason Boldt held Erb to a pitch count, as the contest was Erb’s first game back on the mound since suffering a leg injury during the high school season.

“He went above what I expected,” Boldt said. “We had him on a little pitch count there, too. I didn’t want to push him because we have a lot of games coming up that mean stuff. We wanted to get the win today, but I didn’t want to risk him getting injured further.”

Shawano head coach Ryan Koenig said the Patriots regained their confidence at the plate after Erb left the game.

“(Bonduel) changed pitchers, and they have more energy, and that goes with being more comfortable,” Koenig said.

Kasey Kristof had Shawano’s only hit of the game, a single in the sixth inning.

Bonduel (7-1) scored its first run of the game in the fourth inning on a double to right by Brandon Olsen, driving in Brent Pieper, who had reached base on an infield single and advanced when Dingeldein was hit by a pitch.

The Grizzlies were back at it in the fifth inning, as Trevor Pedersen singled back up the middle to score Wollenberg.

Sumnicht allowed the two earned runs over six innings, striking out five batters and allowing seven hits. He did not walk a batter but hit two Bonduel players with pitches.

The defense behind him recorded one error in the first inning, and that would be it.

“I was happy with the way we played,” Koenig said. “If we play like that going forward, we’ll win more ball games.”

Jordan Boldt had one strikeout in his inning of work, and Wollenberg allowed one run without a strikeout or walk.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E

Shawano 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1

Bonduel 0 0 0 1 1 0 x 2 7 2

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Raddant races to first-ever feature victory

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 7:36am
Yarie takes 5th victory of seasonBy: 

Scott Owen, Special to the Leader

Even though he only lives a few blocks away from the track, Kyle Raddant, a third-generation racer with deep roots at the Shawano Speedway, was the last competitor to enter the fairgrounds Saturday.

In fact, he barely got the car unloaded in time to start his heat race. It didn’t matter though, as Raddant, who operated the scoreboard at the track for many years saving his money up to buy a race car, brought home his first career feature in the IMCA Sport Mods division in front a large contingent of family.

Brett Swedberg (Late Models) and Rod Snellenberger (IMCA Stock Cars) also each won their first features of the year. Marcus Yarie (IMCA Modifieds) scored win No. 5 and Josh Slewinski (Mighty Fours) won his second consecutive feature .

Late Models

While Jeremy Kazynski led early on, Swedberg worked his way through traffic and up to second place on lap five. Swedberg ran down Kazynski over the next two laps and put an inside pass on Kazynski to take the lead on lap seven. Ninth-place starter Tom Naeyaert passed Kazynski for second on lap nine, and 10th-place starter Nick Anvelink joined the top three on lap 11. As Swedberg caught the tail of the field, Naeyaert and Anvelink began to gain ground on the leader.

A caution after lap 21 erased Swedberg’s lead, but did provide a clear track in front of him. When the race went back to green, Swedberg quickly put a few car-lengths advantage on Anvelink, who raced into second on the restart. Swedberg was able to fend off Anvelink for the win. Naeyaert, Doug Blashe and Jeff Curtin completed the top five.

IMCA Modifieds

Kevin Feck took the lead on lap one of the IMCA Modifieds feature in front of Jeremie Hedrick. As Feck continued to lead, Yarie worked his way to second place on lap seven. Feck and Yarie battled side by side for the top spot over the next three laps, with Feck racing right along the wall, and Yarie on the inside of the track.

Yarie held the lead on lap 10, but Feck battled back past Yarie to take the lead back on lap 11. On lap 12, Yarie passed Feck again and led the rest of the way for the win.

Jerry Wilinski charged to second late in the race as Lance Arneson, Clint Forstner and Mark Weisnicht finished third through fifth, respectively.

IMCA Stock Cars

BJ Giese led lap one of the IMCA Stock Car feature before Shawn Wagner made the pass for the lead on lap two. Wagner would hold the point position until lap 10 when Snellenberger snagged the lead.

Dan Michonski moved into second place on lap 11, while 19th-place starter Travis Van Straten moved to third on lap 13. Michonski lost the handle on his car on lap 19 and fell back to sixth before he could gather it back in.

Snellenberger went on to win the race ahead of Van Straten, Wagner, Brandon Czarapata and Justin Jacobsen.

IMCA Sport Mods

Brian Besaw took the lead on the opening lap of the IMCA Sport Mods feature. Raddant then passed Karah Taycher for second on lap two. On lap four, Raddant stormed to the outside of Besaw to take the lead.

Besaw continued to run second until lap 13, when Lucas Lamberies grabbed the runner-up spot. A caution after lap 13 added some suspense to the race, as Lamberies lined up right behind Raddant. Raddant would not be denied, though, and went on to win his first career feature. Lamberies finished second, Wyatt Block third and Besaw fourth. Jason Ebert rounded out the top five.

Mighty Fours

In Mighty Four action, Slewinski fought back the challenges of Grant Kastning to lead every lap of the feature and score the victory. Kastning had to settle for second, followed by Matt Brehmer, Jason Hopinka and 18th-place starter Lucas Hacker.

Spectator Eliminators

Jasper Drengler and Mike Sortino prevailed in Spectator Eliminator action.

Shawano Speedway

July 2

Race Summary

Late Model Feature: 1) Brett Swedberg, 2) Nick Anvelink, 3) Tom Naeyaert, 4) Doug Blashe, 5) Jeff Curtin, 6) Jared Curtin, 7) Joel Bennett, 8) Jeremy Kazynski, 9) Josh Moesch, 10) Robby Bunkleman.

Heat 1: 1) Tim Rothe, 2) Ron Berna, 3) Troy Springborn.

Heat 2: 1) Curtin, 2) Anvelink, 3) Moesch.

IMCA Modified Feature: 1) Marcus Yarie, 2) Jerry Wilinski, 3) Lance Arneson, 4) Clint Forstner, 5) Mark Weisnicht, 6) Matt Oreskovich, 7) Kevin Feck, 8) Jerry Muenster, 9) Chris Pepin, 10) Mike Fillion.

Heat 1: 1) Feck, 2) Shawn Frelich, 3) Forstner.

Heat 2: 1) Jeremie Hedrick, 2) Oreskovich, 3) Wilinski.

IMCA Stock Car Feature: 1) Rod Snellenberger, 2) Travis Van Straten, 3) Shawn Wagner, 4) Brandon Czarapata, 5) Justin Jacobsen, 6) Dan Michonski, 7) Tom Riehl, 8) Scott VanProoyen, 9) Vern Stedjee, 10) BJ Giese.

Heat 1: 1) Snellenberger, 2) Ray DePew, 3) Simon.

Heat 2: 1) Michonski, 2) Trent Nolan, 3) Giese.

Heat 3: 1) Riehl, 2) Jacobsen, 3) Schmidt.

IMCA Sport Mod Feature: 1) Kyle Raddant, 2) Lucas Lamberies, 3) Wyatt Block, 4) Brian Besaw, 5) Jason Ebert, 6) Jordan Bartz, 7) Jordan Barkholtz, 8) Jason Jach, 9) Bryce Clements, 10) Jordan Reinke.

Heat 1: 1) Block, 2) Jach, 3) Besaw.

Heat 2: 1) Bartz, 2) Lamberies, 3) Barkholtz.

Mighty Four Feature: 1) Josh Slewinski, 2) Grant Kastning, 3) Matt Brehmer, 4) Jason Hopinka, 5) Lucas Hacker, 6) Hollie Welch, 7) Brad Wedde, 8) Dalton Nelson, 9) Travis Welch, 10) Mike Brehmer.

Heat 1: 1) Welch, 2) Matt Brehmer, 3) Hopinka.

Heat 2: 1) Slewinski, 2) Calvin Stueck, 3) Kastning.


Racing will continueSaturday night as the track hosts the sixth annual Racing for a Reason night. Through the first five years, the track has raised over $60,000 for childhood cancer awareness. There will be numerous silent auction items as well as bucket raffles. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. More information can be found online at

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BABA Roundup

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 7:34am



WP — Nate Korb; LP — Aaron Hoffman

Little Falls: Cam Grunewald was 2 for 5 with a game-winning triple.

Leopolis: Kasey Kristof was 2 for 5. Brock Hoffman was 4 for 4.


WP — Erik Kroening; LP — Jake Madson

Tigerton: Brandon Sivertson was 2 for 3 with a home run. Patrick Provoast was 2 for 3. Jon Berg was 2 for 4.


WP — Mitch Ebben; LP — Ben Schiedermeyer









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Legion Highlights

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 7:33am

Shawano 5

Bay Port 4

Bryce Gagnow got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning to preserve Shawano’s road victory Tuesday.

After a run scored on a ground ball, Gagnow recorded a strikeout and fly out to center field to preserve the win for the Patriots (4-7).

Kien Moorman and Alex Hoffman each had two hits to lead the Patriots.

Shawano got ahead early, posting four runs in the first two innings, and added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to extend its lead to 5-3.

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Defensive letdowns hinder Patriots

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 11:24pm
Shawano held to 2 hitsBy: 

Chris Caporale, [email protected]

Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Jacob Lacy had one of the Shawano’s two hits, and pitched two strong innings, in the Patriots’ loss Friday at home.
Leader Photo by Chris Caporale Shawano Patriots second baseman Jacob Lacy, who had one of two Shawano hits on the day, cleanly tosses the ball to Nate Laude for an out Friday night.

The Shawano Patriots could not produce enough offense to offset five errors Friday in a 12-2 loss at home to Menasha.

After three innings, the Patriots had allowed just three earned runs but also had surrendered five unearned runs.

“It’s our defense. You can’t throw the ball around,” Shawano head coach Ryan Koenig said. “You can’t give them free passes.”

Back-to-back walks in the opening inning led to Menasha’s first runs of the game, when Chris Van Handel singled in Tyler Nelson, and Brady Rasmussen sacrificed in Griffin Jack.

In the second inning, errors by Nate Laude and Jacob Lacy gave the Twins their first two runners of the inning. After Nelson reached on a strikeout that hit the dirt, Jack hit a bases-clearing double to center field. Another run scored when Van Handel hit his second RBI single.

“We have a pretty good team,” Menasha head coach Jeff Chew said. “If you’re going to give us opportunities by making mistakes and let us get on base, we’re going to take advantage of it most of the time.”

Menasha tallied two more runs in the third inning, one on an RBI double and another when Jack hit a sacrifice to the shortstop, scoring Nelson.

Lacy relieved Cole Nelson for the Patriots, pitched a scoreless fourth inning and allowed one run in the fifth.

Menasha posted another run in the sixth inning off Bryce Gagnow, before Jack bombed a two-run home run to left field, his fifth and sixth RBIs of the game.

Laude scored Shawano’s first run, in the second inning, on a wild pitch after an error by Menasha pitcher Mackenzie Blashka. Blashka was trying to turn a double play when his throw to second base was wide.

“Up 6-0 with one out, we should have just taken the out at first,” Chew said. “We discussed that as a team, about where you are in a game and doing the little things and doing things right.”

The Patriots, who fell to the Twins 13-2 in the first meeting between the squads on June 19 in Fox River Valley American Legion West Division play, were held without a run through the next three innings before Alex Hoffman scored on a double steal in the sixth

Hoffman and Lacy were the lone Shawano (3-8, 1-4 West Division) players with hits.

Blashka, who has not pitched much for the Twins (12-2, 5-0 West) over the course of the season, struck out 11 batters, and Caleb Davidson came in for the final two innings and struck out four batters.

“Honestly, their pitchers were good. Hitting their spots and getting some calls, and our guys have got to lay off of high pitches,” Koenig said. “We swung at a lot of ball 4s that were at the letters or higher. We have to have to discipline.”

Nelson pitched three innings. Lacy and Gagnow each pitched two innings to close out the game.

Nelson allowed three earned runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out one batter. Lacy allowed the one run on two hits. Gagnow gave up three runs, allowed four hits and recorded one strikeout.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E

Menasha 2 4 2 0 1 1 2 12 10 2

Shawano 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 2 5

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First Fury a success in Shawano

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 11:08pm

Scott Owen, Leader Columnist

Well, the Cheesehead Triple Crown 2016 has come and gone.

Green Bay’s Benji LaCrosse scored the win in the Clash at the Creek at 141 Speedway on Thursday night, while Hunter Marriott, of Missouri, picked up the win last Friday night at the Battle at the Zone held at the Oshkosh Speedzone. The Shawano Speedway played host to the final night of racing in the Cheesehead, the Fury at the Fairgrounds.

Thanks to great track preparation by Bobby Reiter Sr. and Bobby Reiter Jr., and some help from Mother Nature in holding off the rain, the race went off without a hitch. Many nights, the track is dry and slick, but last Saturday night, there was bite in the high groove of the race track all night long.

Freeport, Illinois, racer Jeff Larson tiptoed around the high line of the track like Nik Wallenda walking a tight rope. The race was highlighted by the fact that numerous drivers who started deep in the field were able to advance greatly.

Second-place finisher Jay Noteboom, of Hinton, Iowa, started the race in 12th position.

Third-place finisher Kelly Shryock, of Fertile Iowa, started in ninth.

Fifth-place finisher RC Whitwell, of Tucson, Arizona, started the race in 10th.

Sixth-place finisher Dylan Smith, of Beatrice Nebraska, started in the 19th spot.

Wausau’s Marcus Yarie came home in seventh after starting 16th, while Seymour’s Mike Mullen started the race in 23rd before crossing the line in eighth.

The night also showed the brilliance of one of the up-and-coming young racers in our area. Konnor Wilinski, the 16-year-old son of Jerry Wilinski, made his Shawano Speedway debut. Konnor ran a handful of races at other area tracks last summer, as well as racing at Luxemburg Speedway and Seymour Raceway Park this year.

In his first action at Shawano last week, racing against some of the finest talent in the nation, Konnor was victorious in his heat race and came home ninth in the feature. According to Konnor, the plan going forward is to race Shawano occasionally while continuing to serve as an integral part of his father’s pit crew on a weekly basis.

The future looks bright for the younger Wilinski, and I, for one, am really looking forward to watching him race more and also watching him battle with his father.

The Cheesehead series was certainly a great event and one that hopefully will continue to grow going forward. In the future, it can certainly become a true destination event in the world of short-track dirt racing.

Scott Owen is the track announcer at the Shawano Speedway.Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet