Whitefish Bay gymnastics
The youngsters off the state Division 2 title team of a couple of years ago have become upperclassmen and are now ready to lead the Blue Dukes back to glory once again.
"Other than a couple of spots, the team is intact and we have some freshmen who are excited about filling those other spots," said Whitefish Bay coach Mary Liniewski. "The kids have added some new skills into their routines. We're a little bit ahead of last year. Now it's all a matter of getting healthy and staying strong."
The Blue Dukes, who will host Nicolet next Wednesday (Dec. 22), will be led by senior co-captain and balance beam and floor exercise specialist Margaret Fitzpatrick. Junior co-captains will be all-arounds Maggie Anderson and Kelly Danek.
Other junior returnees include Tory Patek (floor, vault and beam); Sofie Yang (bars, beam and floor) and Tessa Hansen (vault). Yang, Danek and Anderson were all state place-winners last season with Anderson earning third in the all-around.
Like all teams statewide, the Blue Dukes will be working with new rules that will bring Wisconsin standards more in line with USA Gymnastics guidelines.
"So we're doing some new things and trying to catch up," she said. "But this is a good team. The older kids really want to go after that state title. They know River Falls (defending Division 2 state champ) is tough, but we are motivated."
Homestead girls gymnastics
New Highlander coach Sarah Woods will be working with an all underclassmen varsity this winter as the team looks to get back to the WIAA State Meet and improve on their seventh place Division 1 finish from last season.
The team will be led by junior co-captains Cori Sanduski (multi-time state place-winner) and Stephanie Fazio. Both will be all-arounds for Homestead.
The only other junior on varsity will be all-around Alex Holtz.
Other all-arounds for the Highlanders include sophomores Amy Schiman and Aly Guetzke, as well as freshmen Monica Caputa, Brittany Emond, Taylor Landgraf and Andrea Rossman. Another freshman, Elyssa Tracy, will do everything except vault.
"All told, we have 19 girls on this year's team, with only seven of them returning from last year," said Woods, who is replacing Marisa White. "This year will be a constant year of growth as the majority of the team are freshman and sophomores.
"It is a very young team that is excited and hungry to go to state again in March."
The Highlanders, who lost multi-time state place-winner Katelyn Wright to graduation, will host Grafton/Cedarburg on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Nicolet girls gymnastics
A youthful Knight team will look at a lot of people this winter in trying to formulate a steady lineup.
"We lost a lot of great kids to graduation but we have a lot of kids who are trying to make it work," said coach Christine Dempsey.
Like everyone at Nicolet this school year, Dempsey and her team had to make adjustments as new equipment had to be brought in after the old stuff was damaged in the July floods.
"We had to throw everything away," she said, "but the kids do have what they need now."
Among the people Dempsey will be counting on this winter will be senior all-arounds Alicia Berroug and Ariel Zangwell and sophomore all-around Jessica Kloehn. Others include junior all-around Valerie Whittle and freshman all-around Aleah Ellis.
Also in the mix (all of them all-arounds) will be junior Kim Charles, sophomores Lauren Deuser and Chara Yu, and freshmen Rachel Rabeen and Jenni Geren.
Nicolet recently beat Grafton/Cedarburg 126.025 to 123.375 in a North Shore/Greater Metro Conference dual meet as Berroug won the bars and Kloehn the floor exercise (personal best 9.0).
"It's a good group," said Dempsey. "I really like the atmosphere in the gym."
Whitefish Bay wrestling
The Blue Dukes turned in their second strong invitational outing in as many weeks, as behind Max Carlin's championship at 103 pounds, they took third at the Tom Burns Memorial Invite at Marquette on Dec. 11.
"Wow," said Blue Duke coach Dale Loebel. "There were just so many good things that we did as a team today. We had four kids in the finals and other kids stepped up too. And this was without a 130, 135 and 171-pounder because of ACTs."
"A really nice day. The kids were pretty happy."
Bay, which also dropped a North Shore decision to Germantown on Dec. 9, scored 144 points for its spot in the 11-team field as Greenfield won with 199 and Marquette was second with 164.
Carlin pinned Cedarburg and reserve team opponents before beating Sheboygan North's Darryl Thompson, 4-3, in the final.
Earning runner-up slots were Joey Davey at 112 (lost to a Cedarburg opponent, 10-1); Rashadeem Gray at 145 (lost to a Greenfield foe, 11-0); and Kelly Jackson at 215 (pinned by a Marquette opponent). Loebel said that Jackson, who had two pins on the day, is coming along very quickly.
Austin Hill was third at 285 as was Tim Carlin at 160, while Ben Lehrmann was fourth at 119.
In the 43-32 loss to Germantown on Dec. 9, Bay got wins from Gray at 145 (major decision), Paul Lovy at 171 (pin), Nick Levings at 189 (pin), Jackson at 215 (pin), Max Carlin at 103 (major decision) and Davey at 112 (pin).
Milwaukee Vincent/ Brown Deer wrestling
Brown Deer's Tory Dibb won the 285-pound class to lead the co-op team based at Vincent to an eighth-place showing (of 11) in the Beloit Invitational on Dec. 11.
The Vikings scored 80 points as Kenosha Bradford won with 167.5.
Behind championships from Spencer Bold at 130 pounds and Nick Weyker at 140, the Highlanders went 1-4 at the New Berlin Duals on Dec. 11.
"This was a step up in terms of competition," said Highlander coach Barry Bernstein, as the team was without 103, 112 and 119-pounders for the event. Those wrestlers took part in a junior varsity tournament in Menomonee Falls.
Those forfeits made it difficult to win matches said Bernstein.
Homestead lost to powerful teams from Delavan-Darien, Catholic Memorial, Oconomowoc and host New Berlin and scored its only win against Racine Case. The major highlight of the day was Weyker, beating the number one ranked wrestler in state Division 2 at 140 pounds by an 11-6 count.
Mike Kress also wrestled well for Homestead at 171, taking second.
On Thursday, Homestead travels to Cedarburg for a North Shore Conference dual meet. Then on Saturday, the Highlanders travel to the 16-team Battle on the Fox team tournament at Kimberly.
Whitefish Bay girls basketball
The Blue Dukes rallied from 27-21 halftime deficit to score an impressive 41-39 nonconference victory over state power Divine Savior Holy Angels on Dec. 7.
Bay took the lead with a 14-4 outburst in the third quarter and then held on for the win through a frantic fourth quarter.
Leslie Fuda had 14 points for the Blue Dukes while Elisabeth Johnston had 12 and Katie Sullivan eight.
"It was a good, good win," said Bay coach Greg Capper. "We did a lot of good things in the second half."
Brown Deer boys basketball
The Falcons bounced back from a tough 60-49 defeat at the hands of Whitnall, 60-49, on Dec. 7, to rout St. Francis, 80-41, Dec. 10.
"There isn't a whole lot to say about that game (St. Francis) except that we played hard all four quarters," said co-coach Andy Bauschelt. "We were ready to play and I thought our defense was really pretty fierce."
Brown Deer started the week 2-1 in the Woodland Conference and 3-2 overall. The schedule gets a little more challenging this week as the Falcons will visit Cudahy on Friday and host New Berlin Eisenhower on Tuesday, Dec. 21, both at 7:30 p.m.
A 25-5 effort in the second quarter broke open a close game against St. Francis and the Falcons never looked back. A total of 10 players scored for Brown Deer including Jamon Jackson-Wilson with 18, Donald Harmon with 11 and Keone Moore with nine.
In the loss to Whitnall, the Falcons were a little asleep at the switch at the start, as Whitnall broke out to an 18-6 lead in the first quarter. Brown Deer cut it to three at one point in the second half, but got no closer.
- Steven L. Tietz
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