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Season opener gives Ice Hawks a boost PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:35

With resounding win in first game, hockey team shows new sense of resolve

The Grafton/Port Washington Ice Hawks are already having a better season than last year, and it’s not even Thanksgiving.

Granted, improving on last season wasn’t exactly difficult. The co-op high school hockey team went winless.

Last Saturday, the Hawks jumped into the win column quickly by rolling past DeForest, 11-1, in their season opener at the Waunakee DeForest Ice Rink.

Junior Jeff Wade led the offensive surge with four goals, including three straight over a seven-minute stretch to break up what had been a close 2-1 contest.

Freshman Taylor Snider scored a hat trick in his first varsity game to put help Grafton/Port seal the win.

“Jeff and Taylor both have the ability to finish plays, and they really energized us in this game,” Hawks head coach Dan Wade said.

“We do have a balanced team, and six different players scoring goals is a very encouraging start to the year. We have also stressed the importance of defense, and holding a team to only 11 shots is another a good sign.”

The Hawks outshot the Norskies, 71-11.

Grafton/Port’s other goals came from  senior Bubba Holzer, junior Bryce Fisk, sophomore Kyler Huck and freshman Hayden Fisk.

“Our upperclassmen have all played on varsity since they were freshmen, and that experience is starting to show, but we also have many strong contributors who are freshmen and sophomores,” coach Wade said.

Youth movement takes stage for Port girls PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 15:27

Arrival of freshmen gives Pirates depth but puts them on basketball learning curve

One season after doing battle with only eight varsity players, the Port Washington girls’ basketball team has a more numbers-friendly outlook.

With at least 10 players on their roster, the Pirates have bolstered their depth a bit but now face another challenge: the learning curve.

“We’ve got a lot of freshmen we’re going to play at the varsity level,” said Port coach Brian Johnson, whose squad is coming off a 5-19 season.

“I expect us to take a few lumps, but we’re looking at these girls growing with the program.”

The Pirates hung tough last season with the leadership of three seniors — Mikayla Hilton, Stephanie Volesky and Kayla McIlree. Hilton capped her career by averaging team highs of 11 points and 10 rebounds per game on her way to All-North Shore Conference first-team honors.

Port’s returning players are junior forwards Hanna Strohm (5-foot-9) and Regan Curtin (5-8), junior guard Brianna Ahner (5-6) and sophomore guard Allie Uselding (5-5).

The 5-foot-9 Strohm is the team’s top returning scorer after averaging 5.2 points per game last season.

Johnson expects his varsity veterans to again provide much-needed leadership.

A most convincing championship PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 18:16

Division 2 state title caps season-long mission for Grafton girls’ swimming and diving team

Anything less than a team championship would have been disappointing.

So instead, how about a title secured in record-setting, eye-opening style?

“It was fantastic,” Grafton coach John Douglass said after seeing his girls’ swimming and diving squad cruise to top honors at the WIAA Division 2 state final in Madison last Friday.

“That’s the only way to describe it.”

Entering the meet as a solid title favorite, the Black Hawks not only met expectations, they soared beyond them.

Grafton won six of 12 events — including two individual firsts apiece by junior Sam Senczyszyn and freshman Autumn Haebig — and piled up 286 points, well ahead of runner-up DeForest’s 202.

The Hawks’ margin of victory was the second-largest in a Division 2 state meet, topped only by Shorewood team that won by 129 points in 1996.

“My girls were on a mission all season, and they responded very well to every challenge they faced,” said Douglass, who reached the top in his second year with the Hawks after guiding them to third place at state last season.

“This was exactly what we were hoping for.”

Grafton served notice to the rest of a 32-team field by scoring 30 points in diving, the first event at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium. After adding points in the 200-yard medley relay and 200 individual medley, the Hawks took control by winning the next five events.

“I’ve never seen a team win five events in a row at a state meet. It was shocking,” Douglass said. “For me as a coach, that was really special.”

Senczyszyn lived up to her both of her top seeds by winning the 50 freestyle in a meet-record 22.91 seconds and the 100 freestyle (50.89). Her 50-freestyle effort not only shattered the former record of 23.26 set in 2007, it eclipsed the Division 1 state mark of 22.97, giving her the fastest time by a female swimmer in Wisconsin high school history.

“I was a little surprised. I knew I had a chance to break the record, but you never know if you’re going to,” Senczyszyn said. “It was awesome.”

Senczyszyn won the 50 freestyle by more than one second over Fort Atkinson’s Emma Bare (23.93) and then outlasted Shorewood’s Kristin Malone (50.94) to take the 100 freestyle.

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