2022 fall sports, activities summary
By Bob Skubal
Retired coach, historian, author of ‘History of Tomahawk Sports’
TOMAHAWK – It’s hard to believe, but the fall 2022 Tomahawk High School co-curricular activities have come to a conclusion.
But before this writer talks about the success of THS fall co-curricular teams, I would like to congratulate Maddie Marino on being selected as honorable mention All-District for the 2022 softball season. This was the second year in a row that she received such honors for her outstanding play on the softball diamond. I would also like to wish her well on the next chapter of her life.
I would like to thank Scot Neu, Connor Ahrens, Melissa Nieman, Keith Hanse and Alex Koch of WJJQ for sending in results, regardless of whether they were reporting a victory or loss. Their efforts make it easier to keep up the history of Tomahawk sports.
The first activity I would like to summarize is the football season.
Sam Hernandez was the head coach, and he was assisted by Andy Peissig, Jeremy Zimmerman, Jon Long, Dave Long, Aaron Evans, Tony Derleth, Nick Schertz, Scott Neu and John Repinski.
Team members were Ty Eckstein, Tyler Jablonski, Zach Friske, Mason Evans, Ryan Larson, Montgomery Framke, Mitch Jimenez, Kaiden Kapellusch, Hudson Mattke, Gavyn Palmer, Keagyn Schoone, Brayden Larson, Sawyer Hanna, Zach Hanse, Caleb VanDeWeerd, Addison Peissig, Logan Seymour, Caleb Dickens, Jack Derleth, Blake Younker, Marcus Patterson, Ethan Trayes, Brett Marheine, Landon Hoff, Lucius Kosakoski, Ashton Greil, Dakota Belgarde, Andrew Samundsen, Cooper Hetzel, Jack Amelse, Nathan Kurth, Patrick Samundsen, Mathey Walbeck, Kyle Norman, William Tombs, Ethan Gilbeault, Tyler Sundquist and Dominic Boos.
The season started with a 27-13 win over Rhinelander (Jablonski rushed 21 times for 203 yards and two TDs. William Tombs kicks two field goals. This was the first victory over Rhinelander since 2018.) Next was a 36-29 slugfest victory over Lakeland (Tomahawk rushed 48 times for 225 yards. This was the first victory over Lakeland since 2003.). The third game of the season was one where the game was called with four minutes in the first half due to lightning and storms. At the time of calling the game, Tomahawk led 21-3. After this game, the Wisconsin Football Coaches Poll ranked Tomahawk #10 in Division 5. This was the first time in school history that Tomahawk was ever ranked.
Key injuries would play a factor in future outcomes, but this did not stop Tomahawk from putting forth the best effort possible.
Game number four saw Tomahawk fall to Crandon 38-0 (Crandon rushed 51 times for 397 yards.) Next came a 20-17 overtime loss to Oconto Falls (Evans rushed 26 times for 136 yards. This was the first OT game since 2012.) Crivitz then defeated THS 44-13 (Crivitz had 456 total yards.) Tomahawk then was defeated by Coleman 36-0 before receiving a forfeit from Menominee Indian. In place of the Menominee Indian game, Tomahawk welcomed Ishpeming, Mich., for homecoming. Ishpeming put together a late fourth quarter drive and defeated THS 16-10 (Jablonski had a 98 yd TD run for a school record.) Finally, hopes for a playoff spot came to a close as Tomahawk was defeated 46-0 by Clintonville.
Final conference standings were Coleman 7-0, Crivitz 6-1, Crandon 5-2, Clintonville 4-3, Oconto Falls 3-4, Tomahawk 2-5, Eagle River 1-6 and Menominee Indian 0-7. All-Conference honors went to William Tombs-first team (offense/punter), Mason Evans-first team (defense/back), Mason Evans-second team (offense/wide receiver), Kyle Norman-second team (offense/lineman), Addison Peissig-second team (defense/back), Tyler Jablonski-honorable mention (offense/quarterback) and Tyler Jablonski-honorable mention (defense/punter).
The second sport I would like to summarize is boys’ and girls’ cross country.
Both teams were coached by first-year head coach Connor Ahrens, and he was assisted by Stephanie Ahrens, Bill Turgeon, Kurt Reinke, Rachel Miller and Kurt Cordova.
Team members for the boys were Presley Gutbrod, Sam Zastrow, Owen Dickrell, Ty Anthes, Brett Borchardt, Taje Casey, Jeremiah Johnson, Jacob Towle, Nathan Rosenmeier, Masen Towle, Bruce Peetz, Elliot O’Connor, Cayden Shepler and Eli Albrent.
The boys’ season started out with a 1st-place in the small school division at the Hodag Invite (they tied for 4th overall with Lakeland with 70 points). Next, they were 3rd at the Nine Mile Park 12-Team Invite at Wausau. This was followed with a championship at the Fall Creek “Cricket” Eight-Team Invitational (Gutbrod led the team with a 3rd-place finish). At the Smiley Invite at Wausau, THS was 11th of 23 teams in Divisions 2/3 with 285 points. Shorewood won with 71 points. Gutbrod once again led the team with a 36th-place finish. The next competition was the Three Lakes 11-Team Invite, where Tomahawk placed second with 54 points, while Marathon won the event with 53 points. At the Athens 18-Team Invite, THS placed 4th with 132 points. The last competition before conference was the 46th Annual Tomahawk Nine-Team Invite. The boys placed 4th overall and second in the small school division.
Conference was held at Medford with the following results: Lakeland 40, Medford 56, Tomahawk 72, Rhinelander 72, Eagle River 95, while Antigo and Mosinee did not field a complete team. All-Conference honors went to Presley Gutbrod, Sam Zastrow and Owen Dickrell, second team All-Conference; and Brett Borchardt-honorable mention. At the Black River Falls Sectional, Tomahawk placed 9th of 17 teams with a 208 score. Mauston won sectionals with a score of 72. THS was led by Presley Gutbrod with a 21st-place finish.
Members of the girls’ team were Morgan Hansmann, Rachael Reilly, Robin Schmidt, Serena Reinke, Alli Palmer, Izzy Lee, Halle Derleth, Marie Gorell, Kambyl Mattke, Faith Derleth, Abi Micke, Kailynn Hanse, Summer Gaedtke, Lysia Shaney and Jennie Frederickson.
The girls’ season started with a championship at the Hodag Invite in the small school division. THS was second overall with 76 points behind Wausau West with 59. Next, was the Nine Mile Park 14-Team Invite at Wausau, where Tomahawk won their second-straight championship by placing all six runners in the top 10. A third team championship was won at the Fall Creek “Cricket” Invitational. The team was led by Rachael Reilly, who placed 3rd. At the Smiley Invite, THS was 4th of 18 teams in Division 2/3 with 175 points. Rachael Reilly once again led the team with a 24th-place finish. Tomahawk next won the Three Lakes 10-Team Invite, with Rachael Reilly placing first. The Athens 18-Team Invite saw THS place 3rd overall. The last competition before conference was the 46rh Annual Tomahawk Nine-Team Invite, which saw THS place 3rd overall.
Conference was held at Medford with the following results: Medford 41, Tomahawk 74, Lakeland 77, Rhinelander 118, Mosinee 122, Antigo 139 and Eagle River 156. All-Conference honors went to Rachael Reilly-1st Team for the third year in a row, Alli Palmer-2nd Team, with Morgan Hansmann and Halle Derleth earning honorable mention. At the Black River Falls Sectional, Tomahawk was 3rd of 16 teams with a 91 score. Medford won sectionals with a 31. THS was led by Rachael Reilly, who placed 4th overall and qualified for state for the third-straight year. At state, she finished in 114th place.
Next, I would like to congratulate those students selected to perform at the GNC concert at Antigo.
Students chosen to represent THS in the band were Kailey Cerny, Max Jones, Kiona Smedbron, Sadie Miller, Robin Schmidt and Brynnen Stefan.
THS choir members who selected were Jenny Meza, Murphy Koth, Arawen Alberg, Kennedi Kromm, Greyson Marta, Nik Stefanich, Douglas Scott, Caisson McPherson, Israel Alberg and Xan Sutton.
Corey Colburn and Jon Marin are to be congratulated for their hard work with the band and choir students selected to perform at the GNC concert in Antigo.
Girls’ swimming is next.
Head coach Melissa Nieman was assisted by Kurt DeKiep.
Team members were Brynnen Stefan, Sophie Urmann, Greta Kurth, Joanna Phillips, Abigail Roberts, Emma Hoff, Morgan Kretzschmar, Maddie List and Paige DeKiep.
The season started at the Merrill Relays, where THS placed 10th. Next was the Marshfield Six-Team Invite, with Tomahawk placing 4th. Conference duals followed with the following results: THS defeated Mosinee 84-65 and Antigo 74-73 before losing to Medford 103-63 and Rhinelander 124-36. Tomahawk then defeated Colby/Abby 80-75, followed by a 95-72 loss to Trident (Ladysmith, Flambeau, Lake Holcombe, Bruce and Bloomer) and a season-ending victory over Lakeland 74-22 (Tomahawk won seven of 10 events.)
This gave Tomahawk their first winning conference dual meet season since 2018. Final conference dual meet results were Rhinelander 7-0, Medford 6-1, Trident 5-2, Tomahawk 4-3, Colby/Abby 3-4, Antigo 2-5, Mosinee 1-6 and Lakeland 0-7.
At the GNC Conference meet at Tomahawk, Rhinelander was first with 394, followed by Medford 247, Trident 203, Tomahawk 135, Colby/Abby 130, Antigo 64, Mosinee 61 and Lakeland 55.
All-Conference honors went to Paige DeKiep-first team in both the 100 yd. Butterfly and the 100 yd. Backstroke; The 200 yd. Freestyle Relay of Paige DeKiep, Maddie List, Morgan Kretzschmar and Joanna Phillips earned second team honors. Joanna Phillips also was honorable mention in the 100 yd. Freestyle.
Final overall conference standings was Rhinelander 30, Medford 26, Trident 22, Tomahawk 18, Colby/Abby 14, Antigo 10, Mosinee 6 and Lakeland 2.
At the Merrill Sectional, Rhinelander won their fourth-straight sectional title with 337 points, while Tomahawk placed 8th of 14 teams with 136 points and saw Paige DeKiep qualify for State in two events. She qualified in the 100 yd. Butterfly (58.97 sec.) as a sectional champion and in the 200 yd. Freestyle (2:00.39 min.) as a sectional runner-up. At state, she placed 8th in the 200 yd. Freestyle with a time of 1:58.50 min. and was state runner-up in the 100 yd. Butterfly with a time of 0:58.0 sec. for a new school record.
Paige would be the 4th THS entry to produce a state runner-up medal. The first THS entry to earn a state runner-up medal was in 2003 with the 200 yd. Freestyle Relay team of Ashley Swenty, Kim Kuber, Kristin Kuber and Emily Zuelsdorf. The second state runner-up entry was in 2014 with Lauren Hilt in the 50 yd. Freestyle. The third was in 2018 with the 200 yd. Freestyle team of Katy Volz, Kaylie Svacina, Shelby Benaszeski and Kylee Theiler.
Now, we’ll take a look at volleyball.
First year head coach Keith Hanse was assisted by Emily Pierce and Sarah Miller.
Team members were Cadee Benaszeski, Cayley Scholz, Emilie Scholz, Emerson Lange, Samantha Gebauer, Chloe Buckwalter, Ashley Beck, Meghan Scholz, Claire Albert, Alyssa Zehner, Macy Jankiewicz and Mackenzie Scholz.
Their season started at the UW-Whitewater Invite, where they placed 7th with wins over Merrill, Monona Grove, Beloit Memorial, Platteville and Shoreland Lutheran. Losses at the invite were to McFarland, Kenosha Indian Trail and Shoreland Lutheran. Next was a hard-fought loss to Ashland (24-26 26-28 17-25).
At the DCE Invite, Tomahawk went 3-1 with wins over Stevens Point, Wausau Newman and Merrill with their lone loss being to Wausau East (25-22, 12-25, 15-17). THS then defeated Antigo and Marathon (25-20, 25-20, 25-20) with Meghan Scholz having 20 kills and Mackenzie Scholz tallying 35 assists. The Merrill Invite was next, where Tomahawk won the bronze medal bracket with a 2-2 record. They defeated Rib Lake and Marathon while falling to Chippewa Falls and Edgar.
Counting the victories over Rib Lake and Marathon at the Merrill Invite, Tomahawk reeled off 20 victories in a row. They defeated Lakeland in a dual. Next, they defeated Medford, Eagle River and Rhinelander at the 1st GNC Meet at Eagle River.
Tomahawk then traveled to Mosinee and defeated the five-time conference champions 25-17, 25-21 and 25-19. This victory gave THS momentum heading into the annual Hatchet Invite. At the Hatchet Invite, Tomahawk had no problem defeating Antigo, Prentice and Wausau Newman. This was followed by victories over Eagle River, Medford, Rhinelander and Wittenberg-Birnamwood. At the GNC Meet #2 at Rhinelander, Tomahawk defeated Antigo, Mosinee and Lakeland, giving Tomahawk their first conference title since 2014.
Final conference standings were Tomahawk 12-0, Mosinee 10-2, Medford 7-5, Lakeland 6-6, Antigo 4-8, Eagle River 3-9 and Rhinelander 0-12.
All-Conference honors went to Meghan Scholz, Mackenzie Scholz and Samantha Gebauer-first team, while Alyssa Zehner was second team. Meghan Scholz was also voted GNC Player of the Year.
Tomahawk started playoffs with a victory over Medford (25-17, 25-13, 25-14, with Meghan Scholz getting her 1,000th career kill).
Regional finals saw Tomahawk defeat Shawano (25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 25-18) for the first regional title since 2014.
At Sectionals, Tomahawk defeated Oconto Falls (25-15, 25-17, 22-25 and 25-20) before their season was brought to a close by Appleton Xavier, who defeated THS (25-15, 25-13, 25-15).
Tomahawk would produce a 30-8 season, which was the most victories since 2014.
The last co-curricular activity I would like to mention is the one-act play.
Michele Balda was the director of “Wait, Wait Bo Bait,” and she was assisted by Nancy Herbison.
Members of the play were Arawen Alberg, Kailey Cerny, Nathanael Graeber, Cedar Hoffman, Clyde Kangas, Murphy Koth, Kennedi Kromm, Bella Marino, Jenny Meza, Trey Morrison, Nik Stefanich, Xan Sutton, Mariah Sparbel, Julia McGovern, Kiannah Mullen, A.J. Schertz, Audrey Graeber, Sadie Ruder, Galen Schmidt, and Ian Rigney.
The directors and students did a great job advancing to the state level for a seventh-straight year.
As one can see Tomahawk High School had a tremendous fall co-curricular season. Congratulations to everyone who was part of the mentioned activities.
Alumni who have passed
Finally, I would like to pay respects to members of our alumni who passed away this summer and fall.
They are Art Theiler, Class of ‘51; Tom Redmond, Class of ‘61; Dennis Hinterleitner, Class of ‘64; Bob Theiler, Class of ‘64; Ron Koth, Class of ’66; Jeff Koth, Class of ’76; Matt Venne, Class of ’83; and Brandan Biever, Class of 2017.
Our prayers go out to all of the families who suffered their loss.