Mike's BlogDude, whatever I want to talk about
May 15, 2013 | 03:42 PM
"It all comes down to your teammates."
Those were the words of Badger senior Ariel Altergott Tuesday night after the Badger girls track team won the Southern Lakes Conference title for the second straight season.
Altergott added that it took overall moral support and drive from her teammates to get the job done.
It was a big night for Badger. Both the boys and girls won the SLC meet, held at Waterford High School.
Track is a sport based on individual performances, but team support is underrated. With Badger, sprinters cheer on field events, hurdlers cheer on distance runners and everyone is on the same page.
The girls won with 135 points, finishing 17.5 points ahead of second-place Elkhorn. Individual conference champions for the girls included Tristan Sproul (1,600 run), Olivia Asta (100 hurdles) and Liberty Wieseman (discus).
The boys, who kept up their momentum just a week after winning the Walworth County Invite, totaled 145.5 points. They edged Westosha Central, which finished just eight points behind Badger.
Individual champions included Alex Martinez (3,200 run) and Sam Lasch (long jump).
The track teams return to action on Monday, as they host a Division 1 regional at Badger High School. The meet starts at 4 p.m.
1. Badger 135. 2. Elkhorn 117.5. 3. Burlington 110.83. 4. Waterford 108.33. 5. Westosha Central 104.33. 6. Union Grove 69. 7. Wilmot 33. 8. Delavan-Darien 14.
1. Badger 145.5. 2. Westosha Central 137.5. 3. Waterford 124.5. 4. Burlington 101. 5. Union Grove 71. 6. Wilmot 63. 7. Elkhorn 42. 8. Delavan-Darien 13.5.
Badger top finishers
3200 relay: Zach Aspinall, Cody Sadikoff, Sam Carmona, Dan Villanueva, second, 8:48.05. 100 dash: Mike Mann, second, 11.38. 110 hurdles: Jordan Mason, third, 16.47. 1600 run: Alex Martinez, second, 4:38.11. 400 relay: Andrew Allen, Connor Kotula, Nick Hall, Christian Martinez, second, 45.59. 300 hurdles: Andy Cychner, third, 43.19. 200 dash: Mann, third, 23.19. 3200 run: Martinez, first, 10:01.02. High jump: Sam Lasch, third, 5-8. Long jump: Lasch, first, 19-9.5; Allen, third, 19-6. Discus: Erik Sundstrom, second, 132-7; Josh Doyle, third, 131-10.
3200 relay: Julia Adams, McKenna Beyer, Anna Kase, Sydney Davis, third, 10:37.93. 100 hurdles: Olivia Asta, first, 17.15. 1600 run: Tristan Sproul, first, 5:33.71; Elle Adams, third, 5:37.39. 800 relay: Taylor Ajamian, Evelyn Edge, Angelina Labonne, Madisyn Cromey, second, 1:53.15. 400 relay: Kiera Beak, Labonne, Allison Paleka, Sydney Collins, third, 54.16. 3200 run: Elle Adams, second, 12:15.96. Triple jump: Paleka, second, 33-3.25. Discus: Liberty Wieseman, first, 106-4. Shot put: Wieseman, second, 34-7; Hali Davis, third, 34-3.
May 13, 2013 | 12:34 PM
Soccer lovers, unite.
The 15th annual Lake Geneva Lakers Classic Soccer tournament kicks off this weekend, May 18 and 19, at the Badger High School Sports Complex, 220 E. South St.
The two-day event, which draws hundreds of cars and thousands of spectators, features more than 130 teams from Illinois and Wisconsin, ages 9 to 18. The players battle on 11 fields surrounding Badger High School and Lake Geneva Middle School.
All participants must register 45 minutes prior to the start of the first game, which is slated for 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Games should wrap up Sunday evening.
Individual awards will be presented to all first- and second-place teams with all U9 and U10 players receiving participation awards. Each team is allowed four guest players.
With full parking lots, people everywhere and constant action, it is one of the biggest and best sporting events in the area. It showcases some of the finest soccer talent in the Midwest, with teams from the Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison metro areas.
For more information, call (262) 248-9682 or (262) 374-4625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full schedule of games, visit http://lakerssoccer.webs.com/2013schedules.htm.
Teams combine for nine technical fouls, two ejections
May 09, 2013 | 12:48 AM
Just 24 hours ago, the Chicago Bulls were the talk of the NBA.
Guard Nate Robinson, thrust into a starting spot after an injury to Kirk Hinrich, was unstoppable in Chicago's game one win over the Miami Heat Monday night.
The offensive ignitor, only 5-foot-9 in stature, made mince meat of the NBA champions, slicing and dicing his way to 27 points and nine assists.
The basketball world was shocked, as the Heat are heavy favorites to sweep the Bulls. Especially since the Bulls are without superstar Derrick Rose, all-star Luol Deng and Hinrich.
On Tuesday, the Bulls were the darlings of the national media, a true David beating Goliath.
That all came to an emphatic halt Wednesday night in game two.
The Heat woke up, realized they were still the champs and played like it. NBA MVP LeBron James led the way, scoring 12 points in the first quarter, and Miami handed Chicago its worst playoff loss in franchise history, which dates back to 1966.
The 115-78 victory evened this intense series at 1-1 heading back to Chicago on Friday.
On ESPN's The Herd Tuesday, host Colin Cowherd said Chicago's victory Monday was good for the NBA. I agree.
But what transpired Wednesday night probably isn't where the league wants to go.
The Bulls and Heat combined for 51 total fouls, nine of which were technicals. Chicago had six flagrant fouls, and Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected late with the game out of hand. Gibson's taunting of a referee could even lead to a suspension.
"You come in here, you're not going to get calls. That's the way it is. That's reality," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in a televised interview. "You can't get wrapped up in that stuff. You have to stay focused on the task at hand and we've got to get the job done."
Things were chippy all game, with violent screens, battering fouls and plenty of jaw jacking.
In one particular sequence late in the game with Miami up by 35, Noah walked onto the court and was immediately ejected. Then, Gibson lost it, cussing at a referee after being ejected. Gibson had to be restrained by team staff members. It was an ugly, heated scene.
Hopefully, game three resembles more of a basketball game than an all-out street brawl. The Bulls were getting blown out, and I'm sure it didn't feel good. But if they don't corral their emotions, Miami will keep embarrassing them.
This was the largest victory margin in Heat postseason history. Miami out-scored Chicago 56-18 in the paint and 20-2 on the break. Miami out-rebounded the Bulls, 41-28, and shot 60 percent overall and drained nine of 18 triples.
At 37 years young, former Milwaukee Buck great and future Hall of Famer Ray Allen led all scorers with 21 points on only seven shots.
From the get-go, the Heat set the tone with aggressive, in-your-face play and took the fight to the Bulls. It got Chicago way off its game both physically and mentally.
No worries, Bulls fans
First off, nobody expected this to be a series, and it is somehow tied, 1-1.
No Rose, Deng or Hinrich, and the Bulls are playing with pure heart. Thibodeau is the best coach in the league, and he continues to give his guys a chance. Chicago plays as a team and is relentless defensively.
All Chicago has to do is steal one more game at home (games three and four are at the United Center), and anything can happen from there.
A natural Bulls hater due to my love for the Bucks, I can't deny the determination of Robinson and other backups like Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler.
I grew up a huge fan of Michael Jordan, like everybody, and unforgettable Bulls games from the 1990s helped me develop a passion for basketball.
Fast forward to 2013, and the Bulls are on the precipice of greatness, but only if Rose can make a full recovery from his knee injury.
Only 24 years old, the 2011 NBA MVP has missed more than a full calendar year but has received medical clearance to play. An explosive, top-10 NBA talent, Rose has repeatedly stated he isn't sure whether he'll return in this series.
Sure, Chicago beat the Nets without Rose, but the 6-foot-3 Chicago native at full strength may not even be enough to beat these Heat.
James, Dwyane Wade (a Chicago native) and Chris Bosh are on a mission to fulfill the Willis Tower-sized hype they created when they joined forces in 2011.
The Heat rolled in the Finals last year, and they won 66 games this year, including a 27-game win streak. It was the second-longest win streak in NBA history. Miami is 42-3 in its last 45 games. Wow. Two of those losses were to Chicago.
James captured his fourth MVP award this year, joining Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to win four. That's some epic company.
Don't be surprised if Miami wins two, three or even four straight titles if the Big 3 sticks together.
Chicago's time will come, but it won't be this year. Rose has no reason to return and should focus on next year. These Bulls are just fine without him and have proved it to the world in the last two weeks.
Regardless if Rose plays or not, the Heat will win this series in six games or less. I'll go with five.
Badger baseball wins sixth straight
May 02, 2013 | 08:28 PM
Shame on me.
With the departure of nine of 11 varsity starters from a team that went 17-4-3 overall last year, I didn't give the Big Foot/Williams Bay girls soccer team much chance of contending this spring.
In the April 11 edition of the Regional News, my headline was "Rebuilding mode."
Heck, head coach Annie Isham was even a tad hesitant to predict big things from the Lady Chief Dogs. After all, they lost their goalie, the conference's leading scorer and the conference player of the year to graduation.
Only three weeks later, the youthful co-op squad continues to prove people wrong with balanced scoring and solid keeper play.
On Thursday at Palmyra-Eagle, Big Foot got a second-half goal from Rachel Heidenrich and held on for a 1-0 victory.
The Chief Dogs remained perfect atop the Rock Valley Conference standings at 8-0.
On Tuesday, Big Foot beat Palmyra in Walworth, 1-0. Mari Hubanks accounted for the only goal.
Balanced scoring has been the key for this bunch. There are 12 players with at least one goal.
Heidenrich, Hubanks, Morgan Courier, Morgan Grunow, Schyler Isham, Maggie Kivlin and Emma Crement all have six or more total points. Courier leads the way with 14 points, and Grunow and Hubanks each have 13.
Courier leads the club in goals with seven. Goalie Natalie Boldger has been consistent in the net, with 32 saves this season.
Big Foot returns home Monday to face RVC North foe East Troy.
Badger boys edge Comets
The local diamond boys are living up to the hype.
On Thursday night, the visiting Badgers used a four-run inning to stave off host Delavan, 4-2.
It was the sixth consecutive victory for Badger (10-2, 8-1), which sits a game and a half ahead of Burlington atop the Southern Lakes Conference standings. Badger is currently ranked No. 8 in the state according to the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association.
The Comets took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but Badger answered with a flurry in the fifth. Jonah Zeinert's RBI double capped off a rally that included RBI singles from Derek Denecke, Travis Stahulak and Peter Krien.
Krien had a big day at the dish, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Senior southpaw Colton Andresen struck out seven and allowed no earned runs on four hits with two walks over six innings.
Stahulak added two hits and an RBI, and Eric Skipper and Andresen each tallied a hit.
Andresen improved to 3-1 on the mound and lowered his ERA to 1.68. He has struck out 28 batters in 25 innings and has only walked five.
The red-hot Badgers must now face another red team, the Kenosha Bradford Red Devils, who are ranked No. 1 in the WBCA state rankings.
Bradford (8-4) travels to Lake Geneva Saturday morning for a 10 a.m. tilt.
Stahulak, who was recently named the WisSports athlete of the week, http://www.wissports.net/news_article/show/252407?referrer_id=532521, is in line to pitch for the Badgers. The left-handed flame-thrower is having a banner season. He tossed a five-inning no-hitter against Elkhorn last week, and he is 4-0 with a 0.78 ERA. He has struck out 37 in only 18 innings, good for two per inning.
Bradford is the real deal. The top-ranked team in the state all season, the Red Devils are hitting the cover off the ball and pitching well.
On Wednesday, Bradford earned a 10-1 win over Waterford, a team Badger beat, 9-5.
Keep in mind the Red Devils play in Badger's sectional in the postseason, so these two teams could meet again in June.
Badger has the firepower to match up with Bradford, and a win could make the local boys legitimate contenders for the Division 1 state tournament.
April 23, 2013 | 05:40 PM
We are witnessing history.
Travis Frederick, a Sharon native and former Big Foot football star, is about to be drafted into the NFL.
The NFL Draft begins Thursday and runs through Saturday. Experts have Frederick projected anywhere from the first to third round. He is seen by most as the top center in the draft.
It's becoming more and more certain that Frederick will become the highest-drafted football player in area football history. Actually, he may be the first player ever drafted from Walworth County.
After numerous interviews and inquiries with area football sources, nobody can really recall a Walworth County player being drafted. Scott Wedige, a 2007 Elkhorn graduate, is currently an offensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals. It's a little out of the way, but Burlington graduate Tony Romo is the star quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
But neither player has the pedigree of Frederick.
A former state player of the year in high school and a highly-touted Division 1 recruit for the University of Wisconsin Badgers, Frederick grew up playing football in the quiet town of Sharon with older brother Tyler and younger brother Collin.
Read the rest of this column on www.lakegenevanews.net tomorrow morning. Just click on Sports.
Free presentation serves as a reality check for student-athletes
April 20, 2013 | 11:28 AM
BURLINGTON - Jack Renkens, a national keynote speaker with Recruiting Realities, will bring his unique, no-nonsense presentation on college athletic recruiting to Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway, on Tuesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.
"It's a Game...Know The Rules" is guaranteed to serve as a reality check for families of student-athletes looking to get their degree and play at the college level.
Jack's 45-minute presentation is free and open to the public.
Entering his 16th year touring the U.S., Renkens has established himself as one of the top athletic/motivational speakers in the nation, presenting at state athletic conferences, football clinics, college financial planning groups, sports camps and high schools from coast to coast. His speaking tour includes over 170 high schools each year, with enrollments from 250 to 2,500 students. As a former high school/college coach and athletic director, Jack is also a featured newspaper columnist, having written 12 books on the recruiting process.
Jack's message is never sugar-coated. "It may not be what some parents want to hear, but it definitely is what they need to hear. I'm primarily trying to get families to be realistic about the opportunities that are available and to get them to understand it's about getting your education, not about hitting the ball, kicking the ball, throwing the ball. It's about finding the right match academically."
April 11, 2013 | 11:42 AM
The warm weather can't get here fast enough.
With another dismal day of showers and no sunshine, all Badger, Big Foot and Williams Bay sporting events are cancelled for tonight. It marks the third straight day (Monday, Tuesday and today) that all area varsity games are rained out.
At least we can still dream about 80-degree days on a beach somewhere. Or even warm, summer nights of action-packed, Lake Geneva Generals semi-pro football.
OK, it may be too early to start thinking football, but the Generals are already gearing up for a third straight playoff appearance.
The boys in the Bay, nicknamed the "G's," have been honing their skills at Williams Bay High School since February by training and finalizing their opening day roster. Last week, they had their first outdoor practice.
The Generals open the 2013 season with a road game against the Roscoe, Ill. Rush. Here's the rest of the schedule:
(home games in CAPS)
June 15: CHICAGO THUNDER
June 22: WAUWATOSA SPARTANS
July 13: at Roscoe Rush
July 20: RACINE RAIDERS
July 27: at Muskego Hitmen
Aug. 3: MONONA WARRIORS
Aug. 10: at Madison Mustangs
Aug. 17: MILWAUKEE VENOM
Aug. 24: at Shorewood Monarchs
Aug. 31: bye
Sept. 7: RACINE THREAT
Sept. 14: bye
The Generals hope to run the Oregon offense, basically the read option, this season. Coach Derek Diehl knows his football, and his teams have made the playoffs just about every year he's been involved with semi-pro football.
But this schedule is a killer. Roscoe is a two-time Mid-States Football League champion (2011, 2010), the Raiders won it all last year, and the Threat were champs in 2009.
The Mustangs left the Ironman Football League after losing in the Iron Bowl last year. From 2008 to 2011, Madison won four straight IFL titles. So the Generals will have their hands full, especially on the road.
Finally, the Venom will be a homecoming of sorts for Diehl and the Generals. Diehl is a former offensive coordinator for the Venom, and several current Generals used to play for Milwaukee.
It will be an uphill climb for Lake Geneva this season, but Diehl always finds a way to win games.
Expect an interesting season from the hometown boys. After all, nothing beats watching affordable football on a perfect summer night.
The Generals are still looking for area football players, ages 18 to 45.
Semi-pro football features players from no experience to high school to college to arena and even the NFL.
Any interested players should contact the general, Derek Diehl, at (262) 224-5354, or email email@example.com . Also, find the Generals on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/483565728339071/.
April 05, 2013 | 02:53 PM
Big Foot graduate and former college hoops player Michael Dowden was named the new Big Foot boys basketball coach Thursday.
He is stepping down after one season as Big Foot's girls varsity basketball coach.
Dowden replaces Big Foot Athletic Director Tim Collins, who compiled a 10-36 record in two seasons. However, the Chiefs enjoyed a four-win improvement last season (7-16).
Dowden's Big Foot career has come full circle. A star point guard for Big Foot who scored more than 1,000 career points, Dowden played collegiately for Beloit College and St. Norbert College.
He served as the head boys basketball coach at Coleman two years ago. His coaching resume also includes stints as an assistant at Beloit College and an assistant with the Rock County Robins semi-pro womens basketball team.
"Michael will bring a great deal of energy to the boys program," Collins said. "He is a very knowledgeable basketball person who is young and eager to take the program to the next level."
Collins will continue as AD, head cross country coach and teacher at Big Foot. "I no longer have the energy to continue to wear so many hats at a school this size," Collins said. "I am thankful for the opportunity to coach the past two years and develop the relationships with the players and parents. It is now time to turn over the reigns."
The search for a new girls coach will begin immediately, Collins said.
Five Badgers, four Bulldogs lead Geneva Lake-area picks
March 29, 2013 | 02:56 PM
For the second straight year, the boys and girls all-Walworth County basketball players of the year are East Troy Trojans.
The annual team, which celebrates the finest players from nine county schools, recently announced its first, second and honorable mention teams for the 2012-13 season.
East Troy was rewarded on both the boys and girls sides with three first-teamers. Nate Dodge, a 6-foot-3 sharpshooter who averaged 19.7 points and helped lead the Trojans to the Division 3 state tournament, earned player of the year honors.
For the girls, East Troy senior Breanna Gaspervich won her second straight player of the year award. She helped the Lady Trojans become Division 3 state runners-up earlier this month. The 5-foot-6 guard averaged 16.9 points per game and knocked down 56 3-pointers. She was 40 percent from beyond the arc. East Troy is led by two guys with Lake Geneva ties. Boys coach Darryl Rayfield lives in Lake Geneva, and girls coach Jeff Brown used to coach the Williams Bay girls.
It was the second straight year East Troy players won the top awards (Gaspervich and Tanner Plomb in 2012). Dodge is the fourth Trojan ever to win player of the year.
The all-Walworth County awards are voted on by county coaches and media members. The teams started back in 1998 with Elkhorn's Greg Berlin and Katie Hommen taking the top awards.
Rounding out the boys first team in 2013 are 6-foot-9 twins Brett and Alex Prahl of East Troy, Elkhorn's Andrew Bryson and Faith Christian's Adam Montsma. Montsma, who led the county with 26 points per game, was the first Geneva Lake-area first team selection since Jack Slovick, Justin Bowers and Preston Dailey in the 2009-10 season. Montsma is the first Faith Christian first team pick since Josh Sass in 2008-09.
Montsma's twin brother Alex, another 6-foot-3 senior who averaged 17.7 points per game, was the first player chosen on the second team. He is joined by Elkhorn's Arik Anderson, Big Foot's Carter Hehr, Badger's Lincoln Wieseman and Delavan-Darien's Jesse Collins.
I am a bit surprised Bryson was picked over Alex Montsma for first team. I had the Montsmas on my first team with the three East Troy players. Faith Christian coach Brian Pollard said Alex was the most complete player he has ever had in his 16 years of coaching.
Geneva Lake-area players who earned honorable mention were Williams Bay sophomore John Higgins, Bay junior Adam Lechelt, Badger senior Rob Slagle and Faith Christian junior Joe Ingersoll.
I had Ingersoll on my second team.
Along with Gaspervich, East Troy seniors Rachel Atchison and Alicia Oleson were named to the girls first team. They were joined by Whitewater's Brooke Trewyn, who led the county with 20.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, and Badger's Karina Reeves, a 5-foot-9 senior.
Reeves' selection marks the fifth straight season a Badger made the first team (Lana Wieseman twice, Gina Ambrose, Leah Rempert). Reeves was fourth in the county with 12.8 points per game.
Badger senior Tristan Sproul was named to the second team, which includes Whitewater's Sarah Schumacher and Kailey Reynolds, Elkhorn's Erin Schahczinski, Delavan-Darien's Kylie Collins and East Troy's Andrea Olsen.
Geneva Lake-area girls took up the final five spots on the honorable mention team, with the Bay's Claire Canda and Josie Bauscher, Badger's Stephanie Espinosa and Big Foot's Jen Petkoff and Molly Kovarik.
The last Geneva-Lake area girls to make the first team that weren't from Badger were Big Foot's Courtney Spangler in 2011 and Big Foot's Jordyn Courier and Haley Schwartz along with the Bay's Becca Hobbs in 2010.
This year, East Troy's boys and girls each had four all-county selections.
2013 All-Walworth County Team
(players listed in order of most votes)
Nate Dodge, 6-3, senior, East Troy (player of the year), 19.7 ppg
Brett Prahl, 6-9, senior, East Troy, 20.1 ppg
Alex Prahl, 6-9, senior, East Troy, 11.5 ppg
Andrew Bryson, 6-3, senior, Elkhorn, 14.8 ppg
Adam Montsma, 6-4, senior, Faith Christian, 26.0 ppg
Alex Montsma, 6-3, senior, Faith Christian, 17.7 ppg
Arik Anderson, 6-3, junior, Elkhorn, 12.0 ppg
Carter Hehr, 5-10, senior, Big Foot, 12.7 ppg
Lincoln Wieseman, 6-4, sophomore, Badger, 10.1 ppg
Jesse Collins, 6-0, sophomore, Delavan-Darien, 11.6 ppg
John Higgins, 6-2, sophomore, Williams Bay, 11.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg
Will Iloncaie, 6-1, sophomore, East Troy, 5.1 ppg
Adam Lechelt, 5-7, junior, Williams Bay, 10.4 ppg
Rob Slagle, 6-4, senior, Badger, 7.2 ppg
Paul Pelayo, 5-8, senior, Whitewater, 7.9
Joe Ingersoll, 6-3, junior, Faith Christian, 12.4 ppg
Brett Harms, 5-8, junior, Whitewater, 10.3 ppg
Breanna Gaspervich, 5-6, senior, East Troy, 16.9 ppg (player of the year)
Brooke Trewyn, 5-10, junior, Whitewater, 20.7 ppg, 10.4 rpg
Rachel Atchison, 5-6, senior, East Troy, 16.8 ppg
Alicia Oleson, 5-8, senior, East Troy, 10.4 ppg
Karina Reeves, 5-9, senior, Badger, 12.8 ppg
Andrea Olsen, 5-4, senior, East Troy, 9.8 ppg
Erin Schahczinski, 5-8, junior, Elkhorn, 12.1 ppg
Kylie Collins, 5-7, junior, Delavan-Darien, 13.6 ppg
Sarah Schumacher, 6-0, sophomore, Whitewater, 9.6 ppg
Kailey Reynolds, 5-6, sophomore, Whitewater, 9.3 ppg
Tristan Sproul, 5-8, senior, Badger, 7.0 ppg
Kori Koss, 5-4, junior, Wisconsin School for the Deaf, 21.1 ppg
Jessica Hauser, 5-3, senior, Elkhorn, 9.9 ppg
Claire Canda, 5-8, senior, Williams Bay, 9.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg
Josie Bauscher, 6-0, senior, Williams Bay, 8.3 ppg, 11.6 rpg
Stephanie Espinosa, 5-5, senior, Badger, 4.3 ppg
Jen Petkoff, 5-7, senior, Big Foot, 6.4 ppg
Molly Kovarik, 5-10, senior, Big Foot, 6.5 ppg
Players of the year
Boys - 2012: Tanner Plomb, East Troy. 2011: Plomb. 2010: Tyler Butke, Delavan-Darien. 2009: Eric Bryson, Elkhorn. 2008: Alex Bondar, East Troy. 2007: Michael Zweifel, Whitewater. 2006: Ryan Ambrose, Badger. 2005: Nate Kawlewski, Elkhorn. 2004: Brian Earle, Elkhorn. 2003: Earle. 2002: Mike Bohn, Williams Bay. 2001: Tom Becker, Delavan-Darien. 2000: Becker. 1999: Eric Earle, Elkhorn. 1998: Greg Berlin, Elkhorn.
Girls - 2012: Gaspervich. 2011: Alana Cesarz, Delavan-Darien. 2010: Cesarz. 2009: Cesarz. 2008: Kelly Supernaw, Delavan-Darien. 2007: Markie Schmidt, Elkhorn. 2006: Sarah Paul, Elkhorn. 2005: Paul. 2004: Paul. 2003: Courtney Miller, Big Foot. 2002: Brooke Yunker, Badger. 2001: Yunker. 2000: Britt Jensen, Badger. 1999: Jensen and Stephanie Kriho, Badger. 1998: Katie Hommen, Elkhorn.
Fun facts: Badger girls head coach David Jooss was a first team all-county pick in 1998 and 1999. Wilmot boys head coach Jake Erbentraut earned honorable mention in 1999. Both played for Badger.
March 12, 2013 | 04:39 PM
Editor's note: The following column appears in the March 14 edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News.
With the boys basketball state tournament last weekend and the girls state tournament coming up this weekend, the winter season is just about over.
For Geneva Lake area teams, 12 to be exact in basketball, wrestling, swimming and gymnastics, the season officially ended March 2 when the Burlington/Badger/Wilmot gymnastics squad placed second at state for the third straight year.
With the offseason here, it is only right to once again hand out my postseason awards for the best athletes, coach and team of the winter.
I am doing things a bit differently this season. In the past, I have chosen only one athlete, coach or team. While that standard will remain for the most part this winter, there is one major change.
Choosing one male athlete of the year was way too hard, so I picked four. And they are two pairs of brothers. A tie never hurt anyone, and I figure the more the merrier.
Congratulations to all athletes, coaches and teams from the winter, but a select few stood out.
Male athlete of the winter
Adam and Alex Montsma, seniors, Faith Christian basketball, Randy and Rory Shine, seniors, Badger wrestling
In an unprecedented tie, this category was simply too close to call.
Let's start with the Shines.
For the second straight year, the Badger wrestling squad made it to the team state tournament in Madison. The local grapplers finished 20-5 overall. Randy Shine was a huge part of the team's success.
He went 45-1 and won regionals before losing for the first time at team sectionals. Randy battled through a painful knee infection and wrestled but lost in overtime.
Randy had to miss individual sectionals and state, and it's unfortunate because coach Shane Koehl said he for sure would've won state at 138 pounds. Randy eventually had surgery and missed team state as well, but he kept one of the most mature attitudes I've ever seen.
"Showing support for everybody is my job now," Randy said just days before team state.
Rory Shine wanted to do well for his brother. At the beginning of the season, it wasn't a certainty Rory would even compete this season because of reconstructive hip surgery. He returned for the Southern Lakes Conference meet Feb. 2 and took second place at 152.
Rory followed that up with regional and sectional individual titles. He took fourth at state at 152 despite being in street clothes only one month earlier.
Over at Faith Christian, a set of talented twins were the area's best basketball players, and they picked each other up on the court.
All season, Adam Montsma was by far the best scorer in the county. Whether hanging in the air between defenders for a layup or stroking a long 3-pointer, Adam was an inside-outside threat that could score from anywhere on the court. He averaged 26 points per game and scored more than 1,000 points in his high school career. The 6-foot-3 guard/forward scored 50 points in one game and scored more than 30 points in eight games.
Adam also won Regional News Athlete of the Winter last year.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Adam came down with a severe flu during the last week of the season and essentially had to miss the team's first two playoff games. He fought through sickness to score 10 points in the team's 56-54 regional final loss.
When Adam was out, Alex came through. Alex, another 6-foot-3 combination guard, totaled more than 1,000 points for his career as well and had by far his best campaign in 2012-13. He averaged 17.7 points per game and had two games of more than 30 points. Alex went off for 10 games of 20 points or more, and he saved his best for the postseason. With his brother sick, Alex picked up the scoring slack, scoring 25 points per game in three playoff contests. He canned 11 triples in that span.
In the regional final against Milwaukee Academy of Science, Alex scored 24 points and hit three 3-pointers. He ran the Faith offense and consistently came up with big shots in clutch moments.
Both Badger and Faith Christian will miss their respective brothers, all of whom took their programs to new heights with their immense talent and model character and work ethic.
Female Athlete of the Winter
Bailey Fitzpatrick, sophomore, Burlington/Badger/Wilmot gymnastics
With most athletes coming from Burlington but a couple from Badger, Wilmot and Burlington Catholic Central, the BBW gymnastics squad is a state powerhouse.
They finished second in the state in Division I for the third straight season, and the "Big 3" of Bailey Fitzpatrick, Jenna Fitzpatrick and Molly Benavides (a Lyons native) were once again three of the best competitors in the state.
But Bailey slightly stood out among her teammates. The powerful yet graceful acrobat won the all-around state title for the second straight year, posting an impressive 38.216 at individual state. She also won state on bars with a 9.6.
In all, Bailey Fitzpatrick won four individual medals at the state tournament. She also won state on the bars last year as a freshman.
Bailey has been competing since she was little and has always succeeded alongside her sister, Jenna.
"We have a team that pushes each other and motivates each other," Bailey said during the season. "My sister and I push each other, but we also work together."
Team of the Winter
The local grapplers take home the award for the second straight year. And why shouldn't they?
They continued their quest to make Badger a household wrestling name in the state with regional and sectional titles. Thanks to a 20-point comeback at sectionals, the boys advanced to team state for the second straight year and the second time in school history.
Badger finished the season 20-5 and captured its first Southern Lakes Conference title since 1992. They shared the crown with Burlington and Elkhorn.
And the grapplers showed resiliency, losing to Burlington and Elkhorn in the dual season but recovering to beat both at the SLC meet. They overcame injuries to Randy Shine and Rory Shine among others and were ranked in the top 10 in the state in Division I all year.
Thanks to teamwork, character and a tremendous work ethic, the Badger wrestling program scratched and clawed its way into the state's elite and doesn't show any signs of slowing down.
Coach of the Winter
Shane Koehl, Badger wrestling
A former high school state champion himself, Koehl has made wrestling one of the most popular sports at Badger in only six seasons.
Multiple individual state place-winners and team state appearances are now expected, and Koehl's crew won its first SLC title in 21 years. Not an easy feat as the Southern Lakes Conference has become one of the best conferences in the state.
The youth levels are strong, and numbers continue to increase. Koehl has assembled a talented staff that not only tells the athletes what to do but also wrestles the guys in practice. It's this "by all means necessary" approach that has helped Badger advance to team state the past two seasons.
"Wrestling is no longer an afterthought in this community and school," Koehl said before team state. "We have a great group of freshmen that are excited about the program. The standard has been set and they know what they need to do to get there. The guys must continue to work hard, get matches in the offseason and not be satisfied with just being good."