2021 Hatchet fall sports summary
By Bob Skubal
Retired coach, historian, author of ‘History of Tomahawk Sports’
TOMAHAWK – The fall of 2021 saw Tomahawk display a very competitive sports program.
Special thank you to Michelle Schiltz, Scott Parsons and Hunter Baumgardt at WJJQ for all of their help, and to coaches John Zuelsdorf and Lauren Pfeiffer for taking the time to send in their results, regardless of how their various team performed.
This writer is hoping that other coaches take notice and find a way to turn in their results so the history of Tomahawk sports can be as accurately recorded as possible.
Let’s start with the cross country program. Head coach John Zuelsdorf was assisted by Bill Turgeon, Connor Ahrens, Kurt Reinke, Rachel Miller, Stephanie Welke and Justin Lund with both the boys’ and girls’ programs.
Members of the boys’ program were Arden Ziert, Ty Anthes, Taje Casey, John Mark Hawley, Jacob Towle, Owen Dickrell, Brett Borchardt, Presley Gutbrod and Sam Zastrow. Season results were a 6th place finish at the Ashland 12-Team Invite, 3rd at the 13-team Marathon Invite, 1st at the 28th annual 13-team Cricket Invite at Fall Creek (7th year in a row, and 16 of the last 17 years, Tomahawk won the overall traveling trophy), 6th in the 28-team Division 2 at the Smiley Invite at Wausau, 2nd at the 10-team Three Lakes Invite, champion of the 15-team Athens Invite, 3rd at the 14-team 45th annual Tomahawk Invite, and 3rd at the Conference meet at Lakeland. All-Conference honors went to Presley Gutbrod and Arden Ziert, both 2ndTeam All-Conference, and Sam Zastrow, honorable mention All-Conference. Final conference standings were Rhinelander 49, Medford 67, Tomahawk 82, Lakeland 97, Eagle River 107, Antigo 129 and Mosinee 157. Sectionals at Colby saw Tomahawk place 5th of 16 teams with 156 points. They followed West Salem with 61, Gale-Ettrick-Trempleau 94, Altoona 117 and Mauston 125.
Now for the girls’ program. Team members were Ava Dragosh, Emily Lacina, Macey Mann, Kate Reilly, Genna Wanta, Morgan Hansmann, Serena Reinke, Arawen Alberg, Halle Derleth, Marie Gorell, Kambyl Mattke, Rachael Rae Reilly, Robin Schmidt, Sophie Urmann, Elizabeth Lee and Alli Palmer. They started out by winning the 13-team Ashland Invite, winning the 13-team Marathon Invite, winning the 28th annual 13-team Cricket Invite at Fall Creek (7th year in a row, and 16 of the last 17 years, Tomahawk won the overall traveling trophy), 4th in the 24-team Division 2 at the Smiley Invite at Wausau, winning the Three Lakes 10 Team Invite, winning the 15 Team Athens Invite, 2nd place at the 14-team 45th annual Tomahawk Invite before placing second at the Conference meet at Lakeland, with Rachael Reilly earning 1st Team All-Conference, Kate Reilly and Alli Palmer 2nd team All-Conference, and Macey Mann and Emily Lacina honorable mention All-Conference. Final conference standings were Medford 32 (5th-straight conference title), Tomahawk 61, Lakeland 68, Mosinee 71, Rhinelander 122, and Eagle River and Antigo did not field complete teams. Sectionals at Colby saw Tomahawk place 4th of 15 teams, with Rachael Rae Reilly qualifying for state as a 5th-place individual from a non-qualifying team. At the state meet in Wisconsin Rapids, Reilly placed 64th. This was a great end to the season by the sophomore.
Next, we look back at volleyball. Head coach Lauren Pfeiffer was assisted by Keith Hanse, Emily Pierce, Lexy Millard and Jerry Angle. Team members were Carly Scholz, Emilie Scholz, Emily Ihn, Emerson Lange, Bella Weber, Sammy Gebauer, Amalie Kurth, Claire Albert, Shelby Grigg, Meghan Scholz, Alyssa Zehner, Macy Jankiewicz, Mackenzie Scholz and Katie Pierce.
What a difference a year makes! Last year Tomahawk was sixth out of seven teams in the conference, and this year they were conference runner-ups and ended the year 22-10. Their season started out with a 3-1 win over Ashland, 5-3 at the Whitewater Invite (wins over Kenosha Bradford, Palmyra-Eagle, Lodi, Clinton and Jefferson), 3-0 over Antigo and Lakeland before losing 3-0 to Marathon. They were then 4th at the Merrill Invite (wins over Athens and Rib Lake) before losing to Mosinee 3-1. At the first GNC Meet at Medford, they went 1-1 with a 3-0 win over Rhinelander and a 3-1 loss to Medford. Next came a 3-2 hard fought win over Northern Pines, followed by a championship at the Hatchet Quad (wins over Prentice, Wausau Newman and Lakeland). A 3-2 victory over Medford was followed by a 3-0 win over Rhinelander and a 3-1 win over Wittenberg-Birnamwood. At the second GNC Meet at Mosinee, Tomahawk lost 3-0 to Mosinee and then defeated Eagle River 3-0 and Lakeland 3-1. The regular season ended with a 3-0 win over Antigo, where Tomahawk came back from a 7-14 score in the third game for the victory. Mackenzie Scholz reached 1,000 assists during this contest.
Final conference standings were Mosinee 11-0, Tomahawk 9-3, Medford 8-4, Eagle River 5-6, Lakeland 5-7, Antigo 3-9 and Rhinelander 0-12. All-Conference honors went to Meghan Scholz First Team All-Conference, Alyssa Zehner and Mackenzie Scholz Second Team All-Conference, and Samantha Gebauer Honorable Mention All-Conference. Meghan Scholz was also voted 2nd Team All-State.
Playoff action started with a 3-0 victory over New London before losing to Waupaca 3-1 in the second round of playoffs.
Moving on to football, with Sam Hernandez in his third year as head coach. He was assisted by Andy Peissig, Jeremy Zimmerman, Jon Long, Aaron Evans, Nick Schertz, Dave Long and Tony Derleth. Team members were Bode Imm, Logan Bishop, Ryan Skees, Jake Kaminski, Mitch Jimenez, Caleb Dickens, Ryan Dietrich, Landon Hoff, Seamus Gorgan, Dakota Jelinek, Gavyn Palmer, Zach Hanse, Addison Peissig, Isaiah Stelling, Ben Schertz, Ashton Greil, Andy Samundsen, Kyle Norman, Ethan Trays, Pat Samundsen, Hudson Mattke, Sam Nelson, Ryan Larson, Cody Cox, Logan Seymour, Ben Schertz, Jaxsen Selissen, Lucius Kosakoski, Nathan Kurth, Jack Amelse and Marcus Patterson. Under Coach Hernandez, Tomahawk has gone from a 1-5 record (1-8 overall) as a member of the Marawood Conference to a 2-4 record (2-5 overall) as a member of the new Northwoods Conference last year and a 4-3 conference record (4-7 overall) this season. Even most conference losses were exciting games.
The season started with a 32-0 loss to Rhinelander, a 21-6 loss to Lakeland and a 28-24 loss to Crivitz (Crivitz controlled the ball for over 19 minutes in the second half for the victory). THS then defeated Crandon 19-14 (Jablonski was 13-20 for 207 yards and 2 TDs, Kaminski had 9 catches for 137 yards and one TD, and Evans returned a punt 34 yards for the winning TD.) The next game saw Coleman win 32-0 before Tomahawk ran off three straight victories in a 41-14 win over Menominee Indian (Tomahawk had 305 rushing yards. Evans had 14 carries for 137 yards and 3 TDs, while Dickens had 3 QB sacks), a 65-21 win over Northern Elite (Jablonski rushed for 9 carries for 105 yards and 5 TDs, while Evans returned a punt 77 yards for a TD. The victory gave Tomahawk their first playoff appearance since 2015), and a forfeit by Eagle River. The remainder of the season saw a game in place of the Eagle River forfeit with Wisconsin Dells resulting in a 42-6 loss, a 38-23 loss to Oconto Falls and a 54-12 loss to Wittenberg-Birnamwood in the playoffs. Final conference standings were Coleman 7-0, Oconto Falls 6-1, Crivitz 5-2, Tomahawk 4-3, Crandon 3-4, Menominee Indian 2-5, Northern Elite 1-6 and Eagle River 0-7.
In addition to improved conference and overall games, Tomahawk had the following All-Conference athletes: Jake Kaminski and Tyler Jablonski First Team All-Conference on both offense and defense, Mason Evans First Team on defense and Second Team on offense, Dakota Jelinek Second Team offense, Logan Bishop Second Team defense, Ben Schertz Honorable Mention offense, Kyle Norman Honorable Mention offense, Addison Peissig Honorable Mention defense and Ryan Skees Honorable Mention defense. With eight All-Conference honors in 2019, 10 in 2020 and 12 in 2021, the program appears to be heading in the right direction.
The last fall athletic program was girls’ swimming. Head coach was Melisa Niemann, assisted by Kurt Dekiep. Team members were Courtney Cecil, Joanna Phillips, Paige Dekiep, Abby Jaecks, Abigail Roberts, Maddie List, Brynnen Steffen, and Alexandra Schertz. The season started by placing 11th at the Merrill Sunshine Relays, 5th of 6 teams at the Marshfield Invite, 5th of 6 teams at the Colby/Abby Pentathlon, a dual meet loss to conference Rhinelander 128-35, victories of 82-59 over Mosinee and 76-63 over Colby/Abby and then losses to Lakeland 74-70, Medford 108-60, Ladysmith Co-op 106-54 and Antigo 85-59. Final conference standings were Rhinelander 7-0, Medford 6-1, Ladysmith Co-op 5-2, Lakeland 4-3, Antigo 3-4, Tomahawk 2-5, Mosinee 1-6 and Colby/Abby 0-7. Results of the conference tournament: Rhinelander 435, Medford 204, Ladysmith Co-op 183, Lakeland 176, Tomahawk 100, Antigo 87, Mosinee 61 and Colby/Abby 47.
Paige Dekiep was second team All-Conference, while Joanna Phillis, Abby Jaecks, Courtney Cecil and Paige Dekiep were All-Conference honorable mention in the 200 yd. Freestyle Relay. At the Menominee sectionals, Tomahawk was 10th of 13 teams with 108 points and Paige Dekiep placed first in the 100 yd. Butterfly and second in the 200 yd. Freestyle and qualified for State in both events. At State, she would place 9th in the 100 yd. Butterfly (New School Record of 0:58.88) and 10th in the 200 yd. Butterfly, which would place Tomahawk 22nd of 33 teams with 16 team points. This was a great performance by the sophomore in her first year of high school swimming. The state tournament was won by Edgewood, with Rhinelander placing second.
Hall of Fame, alumni who have passed
I would also like to take this time to thank the Hall of Fame Committee for all of their hard work. A changing of the guard is now in place, with younger blood taking over. Thank you goes to Scott Swenty for helping me get the HOF going and to Gregg Albert, Bonnie Kahn, John Krueger, Nate Mickelson and Terry Timm for all of their years of work. Best wishes go to Jeff Genelin, Tim Albert, Ryan Huseby, Scott Parsons and Jacob Jarvensivu, as they look to build upon what has been accomplished thus far. Our HOF has 61 inductees thus far and presently over 100 nominations to consider.
Last but not least, we would like to acknowledge the passing of some of our alumni. Bobbi Voermans, Class of 1997; Nick Szymanski, Class of 2018; Jeremy Barr, Class of 1997; Ricky Bartz, Class of 1982; Jeff Bartelt, Class of 1976; Jack Chvala,Class of 1944; Fred Schoettler, Class of 1974; and Mark Taylor, Class of 1969. Please keep these individuals and their families in your prayers.