Krein (click for larger version)
|Zweifel (click for larger version)|
June 12, 2012 | 04:08 PMIt's time to get out on the boats and hit the beaches.
The 90-degree, humid days are here and they aren't going away any time soon. Lake Geneva is bustling with tourists and traffic congestion. School is finally out, and summer time is here to stay.
Summer is definitely my favorite time of year. There's nothing like swimming in a cool, refreshing pool or soaking up some sun on the beach. If you don't get at least slightly sunburned at least once, it's just not summer.
Area athletes are finally allowed to sleep in, but we can't forget their accomplishments from the spring.
The Badger girls soccer loss last week officially ended the spring season, and the all-conference lists are hot off the presses. There were plenty of team and individual accolades to go around.
The Badger girls track and girls soccer teams won regional titles, while the Big Foot boys golf team won the Rock Valley South championship. Individually, Dimitri Chironis advanced to the state tennis tournament, and Liberty Wieseman advanced to state track for the Badger girls.
Badger's Emma Kopp and Big Foot' s Brittani Isham each were named soccer athletes of the year in their respective conferences.
The list is too long for me to name everyone, so it's once again time to pick the elite few who stood out above the rest.
Without further ado, here's my spring honor roll:
Male athlete of the spring
Peter Krien, junior, Badger
It was a very close call with Big Foot senior Collin Hubertz, the area's only state golf qualifier, but I have to go with Krien on this one.
The junior backstop helped lead the Badger baseball team to a complete turnaround this season. After a last-place finish in conference last year, the local boys enjoyed a stellar year, finishing 13-12 and 8-6 in the SLC.
The boys were in the race for the conference title up until the last week of the season, and Krien's offensive production was a big part of that success.
Krien, who is the starting quarterback at Badger, led the area in batting average with a .387 clip, just edging out Big Foot's Carter Hehr (.385). Krien topped the Badgers in on-base (.489) and slugging (.640) percentage, RBIs (25), runs (21), home runs (three) and doubles (10). He was second on the team with 29 hits and added five steals.
And Krien came up big in clutch situations. His game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning helped Badger down defending conference champion Burlington, and Krien smashed a home run in Badger's playoff loss to Racine Horlick.
A rare combination of power and speed, look for Krien to challenge for football and baseball conference player of the year next season.
Others receiving consideration: Collin Hubertz, Big Foot; Carter Hehr, Big Foot; Luke Kahl, Big Foot; Garret Cary, Big Foot; Mitch Jensen, Badger.
Female athlete of the spring
Alyssa Lueck, senior, Big Foot
Lueck, who will throw shot put at Division 1 North Dakota University next year, put quite the finishing touch on a brilliant career.
She took second at the Division 2 state meet in the shot put with a toss of 40-7 for her best career state performance. Lueck broke the school record in the shot put three times this spring, culminating with the current record of 143-0.75 at sectionals.
Lueck also broke the school record in the discus this season with a hurl of 136-7.5, which was more than 4 feet ahead of the previous record.
After the state meet, Lueck said she will miss all of the people she has met at Big Foot over the years, especially her dad, who was her coach.
"He has done so much for me over the last four years," Alyssa said. "He has been a great coach and father, and it's not going to be easy to be 10 hours away from him."
Others receiving consideration: Emma Kopp, Badger; Angelina Delgado, Badger; Liberty Wieseman, Badger; Morgan Sutich, Big Foot; Brittani Isham, Big Foot.
Coach of the year
Aaron Zweifel, Badger baseball
It can't be easy for a coach to turn a two-win, last-place team into a conference title contender overnight and do it without any seniors.
But that's exactly what Zweifel did with this year's bunch. Thanks to a strong, close-knit core of juniors who played baseball together all summer and fall in preparation for the spring season, Badger improved to 13 wins and was a game out of first place in the SLC going into the last week of the season.
Zweifel's positive attitude and willingness to throw plenty of pitchers at opponents paid off. The Badgers had four hurlers with ERAs in the 4s or better. Also, Zweifel stressed patience at the plate and extra work in the batting cages. The team responded with a .265 team batting average. '
"We were very happy with the season as a whole," Zweifel said. "The most satisfying part of the season was watching the team come together and compete for the conference title up to the last game of the conference season. We don't graduate anyone, so with everyone coming back, I'm looking for big things next year."
Others receiving consideration: Annie Isham, Big Foot girls soccer; Jenn Jaeger, Badger girls track; Bob Sullivan, Big Foot boys golf; Ross Fowler, Badger girls soccer.
Team of the spring
Badger girls soccer
The local kickers finished with a 15-6-2 record and advanced to sectionals for the second time in school history. Senior stars Emma Kopp and Angelina Delgado were on the school's first sectional qualifying team in 2009.
With 10 seniors leading the way, Badger was able to dictate the game with its possession offense, methodically moving the ball down the field and getting everyone involved.
The girls featured five all-conference honorees, including Kopp, who won SLC athlete of the year, and first team selections Delgado and Autumn Mikrut.
Kopp led the way in scoring with 26 goals, and Delgado paced the team with 13 assists. Mikrut notched 78 saves for the season.
Badger's highlight was a 4-3 thrilling shootout victory after a 0-0 tie over Milton in a Division 1 regional final. Mikrut came up with two huge saves in the shootout, and Delgado knocked in the game-winner to break a 3-3 tie.
It was coach Ross Fowler's second straight winning season.
Kopp summed up her squad after the season-ending loss last week.
"We were a family, and that's all that matters," she said. "We worked as a team."
Others receiving consideration: Badger girls track; Big Foot boys golf; Big Foot baseball; Williams Bay softball; Big Foot girls soccer; Williams Bay boys golf.