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Elusive goal dashes Hawks’ dream PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 21:16

Second-half rally not enough as Grafton soccer team bows to Mount Horeb in state shootout that ends WIAA tournament run 

The Grafton boys’ shot at a WIAA state soccer title was gone with the wind.

After surrendering a first-half goal in the face of a persistent breeze, the Black Hawks mustered the equalizer in the second period against Mount Horeb in a Division 3 semifinal at Uihlein Park in Milwaukee on Nov. 5.

But the rally wasn’t enough for Grafton, which saw its season end with a 4-2 loss in a shootout.

“It was a tough way to lose. We had the wind against us in the first half, but we felt confident in the second half,” Hawks coach Don Arnold said.

“We put a lot of pressure on them and got a goal, but we just couldn’t get another one.”

Grafton entered the tournament as an on-paper favorite, sporting a 20-3-1 record and a high-powered offense that averaged nearly five goals per match.

However, Mount Horeb (15-6-3) showed its mettle by taking charge in the first period. With a 20-mph wind at their backs, the Vikings cashed in quickly.

In the sixth minute, Kyler Donovan sent a corner kick across the mouth of the goal, and Ben Stephens headed the ball inside the near post to put Mount Horeb on top.

Despite being outshot, 7-3, in the first period, Grafton steadied its defense and stayed within 1-0 at halftime. That could have set the stage for a decisive comeback.

After winning a pregame coin toss, the Hawks chose to play against the wind in the first half.

“We thought if we stayed within 1-0, we would be in good shape,” Arnold explained.

True to form, Grafton controlled the ball throughout the second period and posted a 10-4 shot advantage. After several near-misses, including a shot by midfielder Jake Demerath that struck the crossbar in the 71st minute, the Hawks’ pressure paid off.

At 76:06, Demerath tallied off a rebound, sliding a shot past goalkeeper Max Handrich to knot the score.

“We were pretty confident,” Demerath said of the second half. “We were moving the ball around and had plenty of shots.”

 
Pool numbers pay off for Grafton girls PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 21:13

Haebig, Fox wins lead Black Hawks in sectional show that paves way for state title defense; Port’s Sharbuno advances

The numbers game topped the priority list for the Grafton girls’ swimming and diving team last Saturday.

Launching their bid for a third straight WIAA Division 2 state title, the Black Hawks came up big in a sectional meet at Plymouth High School.

The payoff was nine individual and three relay finishes qualifying for this week’s state finals in Madison.

“It was a very, very good meet for us,” said Grafton coach John Douglass, whose squad won the Plymouth Sectional for the third consecutive year.

“I was happy with those numbers. It could have just as easily been seven individuals and two relays, but everyone I was hoping to get through did.”

As expected, most of the Hawks’ state-qualifying efforts — eight of 12 — were first-place finishes.

Juniors Autumn Haebig and Mallory Fox led the way with two individual wins apiece for Grafton, which took top honors out of 13 teams with 370 points.

Haebig, who has won a pair of individual state titles each of the last two seasons, placed first in the 500-yard freestyle (5 minutes, 10.43 seconds) and 100 backstroke (58.24).

Fox ruled the sprints, winning the 50 freestyle (23.97) and 100 freestyle (52.0) with season-best times. Her 100-freestyle time is also the fastest among state qualifiers.

Senior Natalie Keshemberg had Grafton’s other individual first, winning the 100 butterfly (a season-best 59.39)

 
Big East kudos for two-way standouts PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 20:53

Ozaukee’s Richter, CG-Belgium’s Hilbelink, Gjertson garner top offensive, defensive honors in all-league football

If versatility is a measuring stick for exceptional football players, Ozaukee’s Michael Richter and Cedar Grove-Belgium’s Reid Hilbelink and Dan Gjertson all stood particularly tall this fall.

Each of the three received All-Big East Conference first-team honors on offense and defense in a vote of coaches concluding the league’s inaugural season.

Richter, a 6-foot-5, 188-pound senior, was a playmaker on both sides of the ball for Ozau-kee, which shared second place in the conference with Cedar Grove-Bel-gium.

A sure-handed wide receiver, Richter caught 39 passes for 843 yards and a league-best 12 touchdowns. He averaged 84 receiving yards per game and was a unanimous first-team selection.

On defense, Richter was singled out as a free safety. He intercepted four passes, returning one for a touchdown, and had 54 tackles, including four for losses.

“Mike had a fabulous senior season,” Ozaukee coach Jim Lippe said. “He was a three-year starter who always seemed to make big plays.”

Richter finished his Ozaukee career with 91 receptions for 1,995 yards and 26 touchdowns, all team records.

Hilbelink (6-3, 185) mirrored Richter’s contributions by giving Cedar Grove-Belgium a first-team honoree as a receiver and defensive back.

 
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