Share this page on facebook
Sports
Rockets’ trench leaders take All-CLC spotlight PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 23:12

CG-B linemen Paulus, Bley lead honor teams that also include Ozaukee’s Richter

Winning the battle in the trenches remained a trademark of the Cedar Grove-Belgium football team this fall on its way to a second consecutive Central Lakeshore Conference title.

Thanks to rock-solid play from its linemen, the Rockets were also undefeated in the regular season for the second straight year — and walked off with the lion’s share of post-season honors.

Seniors Wayne Paulus and Aaron Bley led a long list of Cedar Grove-Belgium’s all-conference selections, each receiving first-team recognition on offense and defense.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 235-pound Paulus was a unanimous choice in the coaches’ voting as an offensive lineman and defensive end.

Bley (6-2, 267) earned the two-way distinction as an interior lineman on both sides of the ball.

“They have both been three-year starters for us and had great seasons again,” Rockets coach Chris Zablocki said of Paulus and Bley, who are cousins.

“They’ve played together since the fifth grade and communicate really well with each other. They’re two of the key players in a group of seniors that’s going to be hard for us to replace.”

In addition to opening holes for Cedar Grove-Belgium’s potent rushing attack, Paulus and Bley were dominant players on a defensive unit that allowed only 32 points in seven conference games. Paulus was one of the Rockets’ top pass rushers, while Bley anchored the
defensive front.

Other local first-team honorees included Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Nic Vrubley (running back), Spencer Jacque (linebacker) and Kyle Bruggink (defensive back) and Ozaukee’s Dustin Richter (wide receiver) and Eric Hartnett (place-kicker).

Vrubley (6-0, 188) was one of the area’s leading rushers. The senior tailback used his speed and strength to pile up 928 yards and 15 touchdowns in league play, averaging 6.8 yards per carry.

“Nic was a kid who waited for his turn to become a starting running back and worked hard in the off-season,” said Zablocki, whose team was 7-0 in conference and 11-1 overall. “He did an outstanding job and helped us in a lot of different ways.”

Vrubley’s versatility also earned him second-team honors as a punter and honorable mention as a place-kicker.

He averaged 35 yards per punt, with a long kick of 50, and converted 36 of 40 extra-point attempts.

Jacque (5-10, 201), a senior, was the Rockets’ leading tackler for the second straight season and finished with more than 100 stops.

“Every year, Spencer got a little better and a little bigger,” Zablocki said of the senior. “He was one of our real leaders.”

Jacque also received second-team honors as a running back. As a fullback, he rushed for 506 yards in conference games, averaging 9.7 per carry, and scored eight touchdowns.

Bruggink (6-0, 167) excelled as a safety when he wasn’t playing quarterback, for which he received honorable mention. As a leader in the secondary, he used his signal-calling skills to read opposing offenses.

“Kyle was outstanding,” Zablocki said. “He played a little defensive back for us last year and really came on this season. He was a hard hitter.”

Richter was one of the bright spots for an Ozaukee team that was 2-5 in CLC play and 3-6 overall.

The junior (5-10, 155) had 26 catches for 371 yards (a 14.7 average) and scored one touchdown. He also rushed for 150 yards as a tailback, was the Warriors’ leading kick returner and received honorable mention as a defensive back.

“Dustin did a little bit of everything for us and had a solid season,” Ozaukee coach Lee Baldwin said.

Hartnett (6-5, 195) got the nod as the league’s top place-kicker in his first season of football. The sophomore was 5-for-5 on field-goal attempts, with a long kick of 54 yards, and made 14 of 16 extra-point tries. His only two misses were blocked.

“Eric’s a big kid and a very good athlete,” Baldwin said.

Four other Cedar Grove-Belgium players received second-team honors — Tyler Garcia (wide receiver, defensive back), Tyler Weavers (offensive lineman, defensive end), Nate Drewry (offensive lineman) and Ian Evans (linebacker).

Garcia (5-10, 175) had six catches for 85 yards and one touchdown on a team that relied heavily on the run. The junior’s per-catch average of 14 yards showed “he is a dangerous deep threat,” Zablocki said.

Garcia also used his speed and athleticism to excel in the defensive backfield. He shared the team lead with two interceptions.

Weavers (5-10, 201) was one of several Rockets who thrived on double duty. Besides helping propel his team’s rushing attack, the senior shined on defense despite limited time at the end position.

“Tyler wasn’t put at that spot until our fifth game, and he still impressed the coaches enough to get votes,” Zablocki said.

Drewry (6-0, 203), a senior, was one of the Rockets’ steadiest linemen and a big key to their offensive success, Zablocki said.

Evans (5-8, 170), a junior, overcame nagging injuries to bolster Cedar Grove-Belgium’s linebacking in his first full varsity season.

 


Nic Vrubley

 

Dustin Richter

 

 
Heartbreak in a heated finalen Rockets can’t overcome tough foe, sweltering weather in season-ending playoff loss PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 18:05

Rockets can’t overcome tough foe, sweltering weather in season-ending playoff loss

The Cedar Grove-Belgium Rockets didn’t mind going into last Saturday’s football showdown against St. Mary’s Springs as an underdog.

They knew that scoring an upset on the top-seeded Ledgers’ home field would be a tough task, but that wasn’t the only problem.

The Rockets also ran into a sunny, 75-degree day at Fruth Field in Fond du Lac that played in the hosts’ favor.

After hanging close for one half, Cedar Grove-Belgium eventually succumbed to a talented foe — and the heat — in a WIAA Division 5 quarterfinal game, 34-7.

“We knew that St. Mary’s Springs was the best team in Division 5, and they certainly played like it,” said Rockets coach Chris Zablocki, whose squad trailed by only 14-7 at intermission before running out of steam in the second half.

“It was a tough, physical game, a great game, but we had a lot of kids who play both ways. St. Mary’s had 28 returning seniors and most played only one way.

“We just got tired. We couldn’t match up with them for the whole game, especially in a heat wave.”

Springs (12-0) dashed the Rockets’ dream of returning to Madison for another Division 5 title game by taking control with a blend of hard-hitting defense and crisply executed offense.

Senior quarterback Mitch Beau — who completed eight of 15 passes for 133 yards and rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns — was the biggest bugaboo in Cedar Grove-Belgium’s nightmare.

“Beau is really talented,” Rockets linebacker Spencer Jacque said.

“He read our defense very well and knew what to do in every situation.”

After the Springs’ defense stopped the Rockets twice on three-and-out possessions to start the third quarter, Beau led a 54-yard touchdown drive that put his team firmly in charge. In addition to completing a 17-yard pass for a key first down, he rushed six times for
13 yards, including a 1-yard sneak that gave the Ledgers a 21-7 lead with less than three minutes left in the quarter.

For good measure, Beau threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Eric Steffes on the first play of the fourth quarter and capped his big day with a 1-yard scoring run.

“Beau is a phenomenal athlete, a great quarterback,” said Zablocki, whose 11-1 team hadn’t allowed more than one touchdown in any previous game this year.

“He can run with the ball and has a rocket for an arm.

“Our defense did a great job for one half against them, but it’s really tough to hold them down for a whole game.”

Wearing black uniforms on an unexpectedly hot day didn’t make the Rockets’ job any easier. Another major factor was the loss of tailback Nic Vrubley, who sustained a shoulder injury early in the second quarter.

The senior, who rushed for more than 1,500 yards this season, was unable to carry the ball the rest of the game, though he did continue to handle kicking duties.

“When you lose such an instrumental part of your game plan, it has a great effect,” Zablocki said. “Ian Evans did a good job filling in for Nic, but we still missed having him back there.

“Nic has a way of hitting the holes so quickly, and we just didn’t have that against their defense.”

Evans contributed on the Rockets’ lone scoring drive, finishing a 12-play, 76-yard march with a 1-yard touchdown run.

After Beau put Springs up, 7-0, early in the second quarter, Cedar Grove-Belgium responded with a passing attack that caught the Ledgers off guard.

Quarterback Kyle Bruggink completed three passes for gains of 18, 11 and 19 yards during the drive, as the Rockets pulled even with 4:19 left in the half.

But coach Bob Hyland’s Ledgers wasted little time stealing the momentum back. They ripped off a 10-play, 60-play drive of their own, including a crucial 20-yard keeper by Beau on a third-and-6 play near midfield.

When Beau tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to split end Erik Martin with just 46 seconds left, Springs owned a 14-7 lead — and left the Rockets facing their first halftime deficit of the season.

“That was a really big play by them, but we still thought we were in a great position going into the second half,” Zablocki said.

“We knew we would get the ball to start the half, but we just couldn’t establish a drive after that.”

Springs’ defense stymied the Rockets at every turn after the break, holding them without a first down and just 29 offensive yards.

Cedar Grove-Belgium trailed, 21-7, when cornerback J.J. Mitchell intercepted a Bruggink pass late in the third period — a turnover that led to Beau’s second touchdown run.

With Vrubley out, the Rockets’ potent three-pronged rushing attack had to rely on Evans and Jacque, a fullback who led them with 55 yards on 15 carries.

Jacque, one of nine Cedar Grove-Belgium starters who played both ways, said not having Vrubley in the backfield forced the Rockets to work extra hard.

“We played with them for the first half, but the heat definitely wore on us,” he said. “Losing our starting tailback changed our rotation, so Ian and I had to play more without getting a break.”

The frustrating finale overshadowed another outstanding season for the Rockets — at least temporarily. But the disappointment should eventually give way to pride for a team that went 24-2 the past two years, including a state-runner-up finish in 2008.

“They’ve had another great year, and I want them all to remember that,” Zablocki said.

“This is the first group of seniors that I’ve been with for four years, and they started a tradition of excellence for Rocket  football that they should be really proud of.”

Jacque, one of 12 seniors on the Cedar Grove-Belgium roster, concurred.

“I think we had a togetherness and work ethic that was special,” he said. “After losing in the state title game last year, we bonded together and wanted to take another run at it this year.

“We just came up a little short.”

In this Saturday’s Division 5 state semifinals, Springs will play Lancaster (12-0) while Arcadia (10-2) takes on Brillion (12-0). The winners will meet in the state title game Nov. 19.

 


QUARTERBACK KYLE BRUGGINK (12) and his Cedar Grove-Belgium teammates struggled to find consolation after their season ended with a 34-7 loss to St. Mary’s Springs in a WIAA Division 5 playoff football game in Fond du Lac. Photo by Sam Arendt

 

CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM back Ian Evans broke through the line for a short gain in Saturday’s season finale.     Photo by Sam Arendt

 
Nennig, Hawks set sights on state pool honors PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 17:56

Grafton advances 6 girls to Div. 2 final in Madison; Jajtner, divers qualify for Port

Members of the Grafton girls’ swimming and diving squad will be on a mission this Friday in Madison.

Although the Black Hawks won’t be among the favorites for a team title, they should make several trips to the medals stand in the WIAA Division 2 state meet at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium.

“If we swim our best races, the chips will fall where they will, and we will do all right,” said Grafton coach Adan Burgos, whose team had eight individual and two relay performances qualify for state at last Saturday’s Plymouth Sectional.

“Last year, our swimmers all had their best times and did well, and we’ll take the same approach this time.”

Senior Sadie Nennig will again lead the Hawks. She qualified in two individual events — winning the 100-yard backstroke (59.53 seconds) and taking second in the 200 individual medley (2:12.53) — and will be part of both state-bound relay teams, which each finished third.

Nennig was joined by sophomore Caitlin Hanney, junior Kelsi Chesney and senior Morgan Wilkey on the 200 medley team (1:52.85) and the 400 freestyle team (3:43.71).

Grafton’s other individual state qualifiers are divers Molly McElligott (second with 382 points) and Katelyn Zarem (third with 364.3), Hanney in the individual medley (fourth in 2:15.94) and 500 freestyle (sixth in 5:25.27), Wilkey in the 50 freestyle (25.54) and
Chesney in the 100 butterfly (sixth in 1:01.88).

McElligott is a senior, and Zarem is a sophomore.

Port Washington will be represented at state by swimmer Erin Jajtner and divers Claire Kinzer and Hayley Seitz.

Jajtner, a senior, advanced in the 200 freestyle (fifth in 2:01.72) and 500 freestyle (seventh in 5:27.07).

Kinzer, a sophomore, placed fifth with 295.05 points, and Seitz, a freshman, was sixth with 284.3.

The winners of each sectional event qualify for the state level along with the next 12 top finishers from all sectionals. Although no Grafton or Port swimmers or divers are top-seeded, they are expected to be among the leaders in Madison.

“We have a lot of state-meet experience, so we should do well,” said Burgos, whose state qualifiers will all be making return trips to Madison.

“Our goal is to have them be in the top six and make the podium.”

Nennig, one of the state’s top swimmers since her freshman year, will be among the favorites in both of her individual races.

She won state backstroke titles in 2006 and 2007 and finished second last year, when she also placed fourth in the butterfly.

The Hawks also have high hopes for their divers. McElligott finished third at state last year, while Zarem was fourth.

“Diving has always been a strong point for us and gets us off to a strong start in meets,” Burgos said. “I believe we have the best diving program and coach (Dennis Hubert) in the state.”

Jajtner is the only Port qualifier with state experience, having advanced in the 500 freestyle last year.

“She had a good meet, and we’re happy to have her going in two events,” Pirates coach Maureen Jajtner said of her daughter’s sectional performance.

The Port coach also praised the efforts of her young divers, who will represent their team in Madison one year after it had a state champion in Laura VandeBoom.

“They’re young, but they are talented,” Jajtner said. “Obviously, as first-time state competitors, they’re a little green, but I think they’ll do fine.”

Jajtner praised the work of Pirates’ diving coach Dustin Kesner, a former standout diver at Port High.

Burgos and Jajtner both noted that the Plymouth Sectional had several of the team favorites for this year’s state title.

Whitefish Bay won the sectional crown with 326 points, followed closely in the next three spots by Shorewood (317), Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol (312) and Plymouth (268).

Grafton was fifth in the 14-team field with 230 points, and Port was seventh with 156 points.

“Having that kind of sectional competition is only good because it pushes us to be better,” Burgos said.

Grafton and Port both had several other strong sectional swims that missed qualifying for state. They included Wilkey’s seventh-place finish in the 100 freestyle (55.82) and a sixth place by the Pirates’ 200 team of Tori Klotz, Alex Anderson, Sarah Wiskow and Jajtner
(1:48.03).

The Hawks’ alternates for their state-qualifying relays are Lisa Borden and Emily Fischer.

Friday’s Division 2 state meet begins with diving at 2:30 p.m., followed by swimming at 6:30 p.m.


SENIOR ERIN JAJTNER will represent the Port Washington girls’ swimming and diving team in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events at Friday’s WIAA Division 2 state meet. Press file photo

 

 
<< Start < Prev 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 Next > End >>

Page 399 of 401
advertisement
Banner