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Hawks send an early message PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 19:24

Late start, pesky fog, New Berlin West challenge can’t keep new-look Grafton from season-opening win

With a new head coach at the helm, the Grafton High School football team was understandably eager to get the season started last Friday.

Traffic problems forced New Berlin West to arrive 45 minutes late for the nonconference game, but the delay didn’t keep the host Black Hawks from making an auspicious 2014 debut: a 34-12 win on a f
og-shrouded night.

“I thought the kids did a decent job for the first game,” Grafton coach Andy Kolstad said.


“We couldn’t get anything going on offense early, but our defense made some plays that gave us some scoring opportunities, and we finally got things moving.”


After losing more than a dozen of last year’s starters to graduation, the Hawks were expected to have their hands full as much with inexperience as opponents this season. But with a spark from fresh talent, Grafton took control with a first-half surge.


Running back Romeo Wood, playing his first football game since his freshman year, got things started with a 15-yard touchdown run with 28 seconds left in the first period. The 170-pound senior continued his tackle-breaking charge in the second quarter, scoring on 27 and 14-yard runs that gave Grafton a 20-0 lead with 2 minutes, 27 seconds left in the half.


After the Hawks’ defense forced a three-and-out, a deflected punt gave them possession at the North 15 with 50 seconds left. Quarterback Joe Fugate wasted no time finding end Sam Miller open for a touchdown pass on first down.


When Wood added a two-point conversion run, Grafton took a 28-0 lead into halftime.

Wood finished with a game-high 121 yards rushing on 18 carries. It was an impressive show for a player better known for his rugby prowess than football skills.

“We knew that Romeo Wood has talent,” Kolstad said. “It was a good start, and I’m proud of him. He’s got three years of football to make up for, and he ran hard.”


Wood was hardly a one-man show, though. The Hawks piled up 274 ground yards on 39 attempts, with Nic Fullington providing 75 yards on just seven carries, and Fugate adding 53 yards on nine rushes.

 
Depth challenge: PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 19:22

Port boys have talented trio but questions in bid for another NSC cross-country crown

A depth challenge awaits the Port Washington boys’ cross-country team as it prepares to defend its North Shore Conference title this season.

Although the Pirates have three of their top runners from 2013 — seniors Eagan Norman, Nick Michalowski and Tom Knowski — back in the fold, a bit of uncertainty surrounds the rest of the lineup.


“We’ve got some question marks with our fourth, fifth and sixth runners,” said coach Mark Pasten, whose state-ranked team added a WIAA sectional title and a seventh-place state finish to its NSC crown last year.


“I think we have enough talent to be right up there again, but we’ll need some guys to step up.”


Norman, who raced to the NSC individual title and was 17th at state as a junior, is again expected to lead the Pirates.


Michalowski, who was third in the conference meet and is coming off an eighth-place finish in the 3,200-meter run at the state track and field meet, is also poised to have another solid season.


The duo have been named team co-captains.


Knowski was 22nd in the conference and joins Norman and Michalowski in a hard-working trio that provides a solid core, said Pasten, who is in his 20th year as the Pirates’ head coach.


“They’ve been outstanding. They’ve all worked hard in the off-season,” he added.

 
Defensive Hawks start 2-0 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 19:10

Defense was one of the biggest concerns for Grafton coach Don Arnold when his boys’ soccer team opened the season last week.

Two home matches and a pair of shutout wins later, Arnold and his staff were having second thoughts.

“That was a nice surprise. Our defense did a really good job in both games,” Arnold said after the Black Hawks blanked DeForest, 6-0, to open the season Aug. 19 and downed Plymouth, 1-0, two days later.

“We moved some people around in the back, and it worked out well.”

The defense stymied the opposition with aggressive work from players such as Danny Bader, Will Skalecki, Eric Schaub and Ben Lorge.

Arnold said moving senior Ben Lorge from midfield to defender helped bolster the back, which is anchored by goalkeeper Jeffrey Frankard.

“All the guys in the back did a great job,” he said.

 
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