Written by Steve Ostermann
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 17:56
Senior earns share of honor as conferenceâ€™s top linebacker, repeats as first-team selection
During a season in which the Port Washington football team battled with injuries and inexperience, one player stood out as a constant force.
Shane Kennedy, who helped anchor the Piratesâ€™ defense each of the past two years, was named to the North Shore Conference Co-Linebacker of the Year in a recent vote of coaches.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound senior duplicated his selection to the 2009 first-team defense as well as receiving honorable mention as a tight end.
He shares the top linebacker award with Germantownâ€™s Adam Hurtz.
â€śIt was a rough year for us, but Shane kept playing hard the whole time,â€ť said Port coach Tim Greisch, whose team finished 1-6 in the conference.
â€śHe was tenacious and kept making plays all over the field. Defensively, there no question he became the focal point for other teamsâ€™Â blocking schemes.â€ť
Kennedy was Portâ€™s second-leading tackler in conference games with 55 total stops, including 34 solos. He made 10 tackles for losses, deflected two passes and recovered a fumble.
Kennedyâ€™s defensive play overshadowed his offensive contributions. He led the Piratesâ€™ receiving corps with 19 catches for 326 yards and three touchdowns in league contests, with a long play of 60 yards.
â€śHe has a great pair of hands. He liked to get in the mix, block people and get open,â€ť Greisch said.
Kennedy was the only local player to receive All-NSC first-team recognition.
Three area standouts were named to the second team â€” Portâ€™s Alex Multerer (running back) and Max Kaske (offensive lineman) and Graftonâ€™s Nick Scherzer (linebacker).
Multerer (5-9, 200) led the Pirates in conference rushing with 647 yards on 129 carries, averaging 5.0 yards per attempt. He scored seven touchdowns and had a long run of 78 yards.
Multerer also caught five passes for 33 yards.
â€śAlex had a fantastic season in a running-back-heavy year,â€ť said Greisch, noting the senior was edged in first-team voting by Cedarburgâ€™s Logan Lauters and Milwaukee Lutheranâ€™s Brian Cobbs.
â€śHeâ€™s a great competitor with one of the best motors Iâ€™ve ever seen. The bigger the game, the more he showed up.â€ť
Kaske (5-11, 230) was the Piratesâ€™ offensive line leader. The junior guard â€śmade all our calls up front and did an excellent job,â€ś Greisch said.
Kaske also saw action as a linebacker and on special teams.
Scherzer (6-2, 210) was the top defensive player on a Grafton team that was 0-7 in the conference. He led the Black Hawks in tackles for the second straight season, finishing with 78 stops, including 42 solos and 11-1/2 for losses.
The senior had two quarterback sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles.
Grafton coach Ben Chossek described Scherzer as â€śa good athlete at linebackerÂ who excelled at diagnosing the play and running it down.â€ť
A three-year starter, Scherzer was named Graftonâ€™s Most Valuable Player.
Receiving honorable mention in the coachesâ€™ balloting besides Kennedy were Portâ€™s Luke Schueller (defensive back) and Nick Godersky (offensive lineman, punter) and
Graftonâ€™s Chris Rose (linebacker).
Schueller (6-3, 175) was a full-time player most of the season for the Pirates, splitting time between the secondary and quarterback.
The senior had 18 tackles, including eight solos, intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble.
â€śLuke started out the season as a receiver, then got to spend time at defensive back and as a quarterback when we had injury problems,â€ť Greisch said.
â€śHe never missed a beat. Heâ€™s an outstanding athlete and student.â€ť
Godersky (5-11, 200), a junior, showed his versatility as a starting center and punter.
â€śNick did a real solid job of snapping and blocking,â€ť Greisch said. â€śHe takes his jobs very, very seriously.â€ť
Godersky averaged 32.6 yards per punt, with a long of 44, and had none blocked.
Rose (6-3, 180) capped his career with a solid season as an outside linebacker and defensive end.
The senior was â€śexcellent against both the pass and the run,â€ť Chossek said.
â€śHe worked extremely hard all the time and improved himself as a player through work in the off-season.â€ť
Rose had 41 tackles, including 26 solos and 7.5 for losses.
Lauters, a senior who led Cedarburg to runner-up honors in the WIAA Division 2 playoffs, was named Offensive Player and Back of the Year.
Homesteadâ€™s Donte Phillips was named Defensive Player and Lineman of the Year.
Other individual award winners were Milwaukee Lutheranâ€™s Garret Wenzelburger as top offensive end, Cedarburgâ€™s Jake Borgardt as top offensive lineman and Cedarburgâ€™s
Nick Boehnlein as top defensive back.
PORT WASHINGTONâ€™S Shane Kennedy was named Co-Linebacker of the Year in the North Shore Conference this season, as well as receiving honorable mention as a tight end. Photo by Sam Arendt
Written by Steve Ostermann
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 17:46
Despite loss of all-state player, Port boys eager to show theyâ€™re still a threat
You could say the Port Washington boysâ€™ basketball team will be PG-rated this season.
Post-Gasser-rated, that is.
After losing the best player in school history to graduation, the Pirates will be placed under the microscope by fans eager to see how they respond.
Gone is Josh Gasser, the all-state guard who took his 24-point, 10-rebound and 5-assist per-game averages to the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a prize recruit of the menâ€™s basketball program.
Also graduated are starters Cory Steinmetz and Zach Schultz and reserves Jay Davel and Adam Prom.
At first blush, it appears Port has little chance of matching last seasonâ€™s 19-5 record and North Shore Conference co-championship. But donâ€™t count Pirates coach John Bunyan among the naysayers.
â€śWe have a really athletic, good group of players who are hard-working and pretty focused,â€ť Bunyan said.
â€śI think they understand that Josh isnâ€™t here anymore, and itâ€™s their time to take over.â€ť
Port, which shared the NSC title with Germantown (both at 10-4), has no shortage of talent on paper.
Shane Kennedy, a 6-foot-4-inch senior forward, is back for his third varsity season. He returns as the Piratesâ€™ top front-line player, having averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game last year.
Portâ€™s backcourt will be led by junior point man Sawyer Mosley (5-10) and senior Joey McIlree (6-0), who provide quickness and scoring ability.
Mosley, who averaged seven points per game as a sophomore, â€śis a great talent whoâ€™s ready to come into own this season,â€ť Bunyan said. â€śHeâ€™s quick off the dribble and can hit the outside jumper.â€ť
McIlree, one of the leagueâ€™s top perimeter defenders, is known for his tenacity. â€śAnd he can penetrate and draw fouls,â€ť Bunyan said.
The Pirates are also counting on steady work from seniors Marcus Lackovic (5-9 guard) and Luke Schueller (6-5 forward), juniors Kyle Rismeyer (6-4 forward) and Zach Hauser (6-3 center) and sophomore Joe Burbach (6-4 forward).
Lackovic, Schueller and Rismeyer all contributed in reserve roles last season and â€śare very good athletes who have improved their games,â€ť Bunyan said.
Hauser and Burbach are new varsity additions.
Hauser will be counted on to use his 225-pound frame to bolster the front line. Burbach is a transfer student from Whitefish Bay Dominican who â€śruns the floor well and has some good skills,â€ť Bunyan said.
Senior Alex Sparr (6-4) is also back with the team but is recovering from a knee injury he sustained in football.
â€śWe lost quite a bit to graduation,â€ť he said, noting that Gasser and Steinmetz provided about half of the Piratesâ€™ scoring last season. â€śBut this can be a really good team.
â€śMy biggest concern is that they know theyâ€™re good basketball players. I want them to step up and play with confidence.â€ť
With most of its top players back, Germantown is a heavy favorite to repeat as conference champion this season. Bunyan also expects Whitefish Bay, Homestead, Nicolet and Milwaukee Lutheran to have solid teams â€” along with his own.
â€śI think the league will be well-balanced,â€ś he said. â€śWe lost Josh, but a lot of other teams lost their best kids, too.â€ť
The Pirates will open the season with a pair of games this weekend in a holiday tournament at Manitowoc Lincoln High School.
In Fridayâ€™s semifinals, Port plays Little Chute at 6 p.m., and Manitowoc plays Oregon. On Saturday, the consolation game is at 6 p.m., followed by the title contest at 7:30 p.m.
THE LEADERSHIP of point guard Sawyer Mosley will be one of the keys to success this season for the Port Washington boysâ€™ basketball team.Â Photo by Sam Arendt
Written by Steve Ostermann
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 17:44
Junior-heavy team can count experience as one of its assets in preparing for North Shore battles
Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to Grafton girlsâ€™ basketball.
Although the Black Hawks have only one senior this season, thereâ€™s no dearth of talent on their roster.
Their lineup features a solid group of juniors from a squad that went 16-11 last season and reached a WIAA sectional final for the fourth straight year.
â€śWe have a young team, but itâ€™s a good group, and I really like them a lot,â€ť Hawks coach Bob Maronde said.
â€śTheyâ€™ve got a bit of a tough edge to them. Theyâ€™re like little Rambos running around out there.
â€śWhen they make mistakes, they bounce right back. Thereâ€™s a lot of resiliency.â€ť
Thereâ€™s plenty of skill, as well.
Graftonâ€™s lone senior is Abbey Benzschawel, a 6-foot-1-inch center whose improved play last season culminated in a 17-point, 11-rebound performance in a sectional final against New Berlin Eisenhower.
â€śAbbey really stepped up for us as a leader,â€ť Maronde said. â€śShe started playing with great confidence.â€ť
The Hawksâ€™ other veterans include five juniors who contributed last year â€” forwards Hannah Eichler (5-11), Tess Safstrom (5-8) and Kimmi Schacht (5-11) and guards
Carley Pfannerstill (5-3) and Emily Schreiner (5-8).
Eichler, a two-year varsity player, earned All-North Shore Conference second-team honors as a sophomore, when she averaged nine points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.5 assists per game. Her versatility allows her to play in the backcourt as well as the front line.
â€śI think this will be a breakout year for Hannah,â€ť Maronde said. â€śYou can see that she has much more confidence now.â€ť
Pfannerstill has been pegged as the starting point guard. Her ball-handling skills and leadership will be crucial to the teamâ€™s success.
â€śCarley has a great knack of knowing when to go and when to hold up offensively,â€ť Maronde said. â€śShe is so quick, which makes it tough on other teamsâ€™ guards.â€ť
Likewise, Schreiner and Safstrom bring quickness to the wing positions and are â€śboth solid shooting and handling the ball,â€ť Maronde said.
Schacht will bolster the Hawksâ€™ front line and â€śis very strong in the post and has a great mid-range jumper,â€ť he added.
Giving Grafton strength in reserve will be players such as juniors Symone Wright (5-4) and Emily Volkmann (5-3), sophomores Audrey Dickmann (5-6), Sam Gosewehr (6-0) and Haley Orlowski (5-7) and freshman Amanda Hunt (5-11).
â€śOverall, I like us from No. 1 to No. 12,â€ť Maronde said. â€śAll the girls are good basketball players who can contribute.â€ť
Even so, Maronde said his teamâ€™s youthful energy comes with a hitch.
â€śMy biggest concern right now with them is their ability to focus for long periods of time,â€ť he said. â€śThey can be impatient and rush things, but I think it will get better over the course of the season.â€ť
After winning conference titles in three of four seasons from 2005-06 to 2008-09, the Hawks slipped to fourth place with an 8-6 record last season. Reclaiming the top spot may be a long shot with defending champion Nicolet a heavy favorite to repeat.
However, Maronde is hoping his team will be among the leagueâ€™s best, a list he thinks will include Cedarburg, Germantown and Whitefish Bay.
â€śA lot of it depends on how we handle December,â€ť he said, noting Grafton faces a tough schedule early in the season.
The Hawks open play Tuesday, Nov. 30, by hosting Green Bay West in a 7:30 p.m. nonconference game.
They will face Milwaukee Washington on Dec. 3 and Milwaukee Bay View on Dec. 7 before opening NSC play against Homestead on Dec. 10.
Grafton then takes on Cedarburg and Nicolet in consecutive games.
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