BELOIT TOWNSHIP -- Two years ago, F.J. Turner High’s softball program took three sets of sisters with it to the WIAA state softball tournament.
The older siblings were all seniors, the younger siblings all freshmen.
And when the Trojans’ run ended in a Division 2 semifinal loss, many believed Turner would be back when the young sisters, themselves, reached their senior seasons.
There was only one problem. The Trojans weren’t all that interested in waiting that long.
EAST TROY -- The Trojan boys’ tennis team made history by qualifying for the WIAA Division 2 state tennis tournament in Madison.
The team tournament will be held Friday and Saturday, June 9-10, 2017 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The individual championship was held June 1-3, 2017.
WHITEWATER -- Before taking her immense talents to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Myriama Smith-Traore repeated as the player of the year on the 20th-annual All-Walworth County Girls Basketball Team. The honor for the 6-foot-2 senior continued a run of four years in a row for the Whippets having the POY.
“Myriama is a one-in-a-lifetime player -- one of the best in the entire state,” said Coach Judy Harms of Whitewater. “(She is) extremely unselfish, and celebrates the success of others more than anyone that I have ever coached.”
Smith-Traore is joined on the all-county first team by her running mate, 5-7 senior Rebekah Schumacher. Both have been first-teamers for the past three seasons. Also on the first team are: Olivia Briggs, 5-10, senior, Walworth Big Foot; Courtney Oomens, 6-1, junior, Lake Geneva Badger; and Kenna Timmerman, 6-0, senior, Delavan-Darien.
“(Smith-Traore is a) phenomenal player, amazing both on and off the court, and I can’t wait to see her play at the next level for Marquette,” said Harms.
The Whippets fell short of the state tournament this past season, but Smith-Traore and Schumacher helped the team to a state championship as sophomores. Smith-Traore, while garnering an array of top player honors, scored 1,393 career points (422 this past season in 25 games), grabbed 1,186 career rebounds (377), and had 214 career assists (72). She is a Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association all-star team selection and was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American team and as a Gatorade player of the year.
Before Smith-Traore, Whitewater players of the year on the all-county team were Sarah Schumacher in 2014-15 and Brooke Trewyn in 2013-14.
Rebekah Schumacher, team captain, was also chosen for the WBCA all-star game. The guard has 1,197 career points and 377 career assists. This past season she had 333 points, 96 rebounds and 106 assists. Her assists are a school record and she is second in steals (366) and holds the single-season marks in assists and three-point baskets. During her time, the Whippets were 94-7, including 56-straight conference wins.
“Rebekah is an exemplary player and has had a phenomenal career playing for Whitewater,” said Harms. “Rebekah exhibits a passion for the game, a hard work ethic, and is an absolute joy to coach.”
Briggs, a guard, had 884 career points, 454 rebounds and 169 assists, with 295 points, 132 rebounds and 90 assists this past season. She also added 70 steals this season and 229 in her career. The team captain and most valuable player was a first-team all-Rock Valley South Conference choice.
Oomens, a forward, averaged 11.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game this past season. She was named to the Southern Lake Conference first team. Oomens led the SLC in rebounding.
Timmerman was a wing/post player for the Comets. She compiled 344 points, 174 rebounds and 30 assists. Her coach said she covered the opponent's’ best post player every game.
The second team included: Brooke Wellhausen, 6-0, senior, Big Foot; Payton Courier, 6-0, junior, Big Foot; Erin Rice, 5-7, sophomore, East Troy; Jaida Speth, 5-10, junior, Delavan-Darien; and Jenn Freeman, 5-8, senior, Badger.
Receiving honorable mention were: Mackenzie Lindow, 5-7, sophomore, East Troy; Ali Ketterhagen, 5-10, junior, Whitewater; Miranda Reynolds, 5-11, junior, Whitewater; and Allison Heckert, 5-6, junior, Whitewater.
The 2016-17 all-county team was selected by area coaches and media.
EAST TROY -- Senior Jon Ciriacks of East Troy was named the best of the best on the 2016-'17 All-Walworth County Boys Basketball Team. The only return first-teamer on the 20th all-county team was Elkhorn senior Alex Easterday.
Ciriacks and Easterday each had teammates join them on the first team. Senior Ross Ingersoll of Elkhorn made the team, along with senior Beau Cary of Walworth Big Foot and freshman AJ Vukovich of East Troy.A year ago, the Trojans had then-senior Jake Nixon as the POY and then-senior Joe Ciriacks also made the first team.
Jon Ciriacks becomes East Troy’s sixth county player of the year in seven seasons, with only Lake Geneva Badger’s Lincoln Wieseman breaking the streak in 2014-15. Before that, Tanner Plomb won POY in 2010-'11 and 2011-'12, while Nate Dodge earned the honor in 2012-13 and Jake Growel led the way in 2013-14.
It was also the seventh time a player from East Troy was named the best player, as Alex Bondar was honored in 2007-'08. That tops the six times Elkhorn had the top player.
“Jon Ciriacks was one of the most improved seniors in the state of Wisconsin. Jon was getting recruited by St. Thomas, UW-Whitewater, MSOE, Viterbo and UW-Stout,” said Coach Darryl Rayfield of East Troy. He noted Ciriacks will attend the University of Wisconsin-Stout to play basketball.
The first-team all-Rock Valley Conference player had 485 points, 184 rebounds and 76 assists in 23 games. That included 12 games of 20-plus points and nearly averaging a double-double on the season. Ciriacks, a 6-foot-5 forward, had a career high of 39 points against Clinton. He shot 43 percent from three-point range.
Easterday, a 6-4 forward, scored 416 points, had 175 rebounds and 48 assists in 23 games this past season, while scoring 1,227 points and grabbing 597 rebounds, to go with 109 assists, in 86 career games. He was a first-team all-Southern Lakes Conference selection and was chosen for the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 2 all-star team.
Ingersoll, a 6-7 forward, gained 361 points, had 163 rebounds and dished out 18 assists in this past season. That gave him 512 points and 253 rebounds in 46 career games. He made the second team in the SLC.
Cary, a 6-6 forward, finished with 382 points, 206 rebounds and 76 assists in 23 games this past season, while totalling 962 points, 579 rebounds and 133 assists in 75 career games. He had 47 blocks and shot 44.8 percent. Cary, who will play basketball at Ripon College, has been first-team all-conference in the Rock Valley the past two seasons.
Vukovich, a 6-4 guard/forward, scored 347 points, pulled down 147 rebounds and dished out 48 assists in 23 games. He was named to the first team in the RVC. He has 12 games of 15-plus points and a career-high of 32 points against Evansville.
The second team included: Jerome Payne, 5-7, senior, Wisconsin School for the Deaf in Delavan; Bryce Parrish, 6-4, junior, Whitewater; Logan Rasmussen, 6-7, senior, Whitewater; Logan Eischeid, 6-3, sophomore, Big Foot; and Nick Bourdo, 6-5, junior, East Troy.
The honorable mention included: Caleb Thomas, 5-10, junior, Faith Christian in Williams Bay; Delavan-Darien seniors Jayce Crull (6-0), Ethan Cesarz (6-2) and Seth Kirsch (6-2); Cole Becham, 6-1, junior, Faith Christian; Jared Brehm, 5-6, junior, East Troy; Avery Lettenberger, 6-5, senior, Williams Bay; Michael Polakoski, 6-1, sophomore, East Troy; and Eric Norton, 6-2, junior, Williams Bay.
The 2016-17 all-county team was selected by area coaches and media.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Fish stories don’t necessarily require catching fish. But many anglers across the Stateline will begin pursuit of the latter in order to tell the former as Wisconsin’s inland fishing season starts Saturday, May 6.
Veteran guide Dave Duwe said opening weekend is like Christmas for fishing enthusiasts. And as a gift, he and other experts offer their best tips and locations for filling a live well or stringer while creating more memories.
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