WHITEFISH BAY GIRLS GYMNASTICS
It was a decidedly off year for the Blue Dukes last year.
That is, they finished only fifth at state.
Veteran coach Mary Liniewski said that will change this season in a big way, as she believes this crew can dream very big.
"We have four strong all-arounds and the fifth spot will be shared by several talented people," she said. "These girls want to regain the (state) title and I believe they can. I think that this is the strongest team we have had in 20 years and that includes the Elizabeth Weber (a record 10 individual state titles) teams.
"We're just going to be very deep. The key will be to be healthy at the end of the year."
The senior-dominated group will be led by captains Lily Hayes (all-around), Paris Limberatos (vault and bars), Eileen Demet (all-around) and Lucille Anzia (all-around).
Hayes has earned the trust of the team in her first year out for the high school team. A high-level club gymnast better known for her tennis and track exploits, she brings a strong level of leadership and confidence to the team. She already has turned in a 9.55 mark in floor exercise.
Others who will be counted on include sophomore Mary Claire Potter (all-around), sophomore Sarah Kenlay (beam, bars and vault) and freshman Aly Yurkowitz (all-around).
The Blue Dukes, who will host Port Washington on Thursday, have a back-loaded schedule that includes a very challenging January.
"We're going to take our time, and look to peak late in the year," Liniewski said. "We're going to be ready to kill it at (WIAA) sectional and state. We have just so much talent out here and a lot of leadership."
HOMESTEAD GIRLS GYMNASTICS
The defending North Shore/Greater Metro Conference champion Highlanders have had a lot of preseason hype, but coach Mike Gilles and the team are running into roadblocks of reality, including injuries and suspensions.
That issue led to a less-than-thrilling start for Homestead, when it took fifth in the Waterford Emerald Invite last Saturday.
"We have three injured and two out on suspension," he said. "It's been too bad, because we returned essentially the entire team except for one person. For us right now, it's a matter of getting them all in the right place. That probably won't happen until well after the holiday, maybe late January."
The team will be led by seniors Brittany Emond (all-around), Elyssa Tracy (three events), Amanda Hopkins (three events), Leigh Berman (two events), Monica Caputa (two events) and Andrea Rossman (two events). Also in the mix will be junior Tori Puhl (three events).
Others who will be part of what Gilles hopes to be a deep team, include junior Nia Feaster (two events), and sophomores Nina Peot (two events), Ellie Trau (all-around) and Gaby Geiger (two events).
The Highlanders turned in a 134.225 score at Waterford, as the three-time state runner-up Burlington co-op won with 145.325. Homestead was third at state last season.
Emond was fourth in the all-around with a 35.2 score.
SHOREWOOD GIRLS GYMNASTICS
Under coach Samantha Sullivan, the 30-plus athlete Greyhounds should be competitive this winter.
"Our team this year has a good core of returners and a nice infusion of talent with some of the younger girls," she said. "We should be very competitive this year in the meets that we compete in and look forward to working with this group of girls."
Seniors on the team include Abby Pech, Laura Gould, Carolyn Mahn, Anna Noble-Macherey and Caitlyn Nadar. The team has 15 sophomores and nine freshmen.
NICOLET GIRLS GYMNASTICS
The Knights have been battered by injuries so far this season. The top healthy performers right now are Ellen Liang, Allie Zimmerman and Rachel Rabenn. They took on Menomonee Falls/Germantown in a North Shore/Greater Metro Conference dual earlier this week.
HOMESTEAD BOYS SWIM
Despite missing one of their top performers, the Highlanders took second in the North Shore Conference Relays last Friday.
"We were missing Sylvester Schulteis, which would have made us stronger at the end of the meet, but it was still a good effort," said coach Mark Gwidt. "This is a good group. They want to work, they're disciplined and they know what's expected of them. We also have a solid group of freshmen with four of them on the varsity level already."
The Highlanders scored 76 points for their spot in the relay meet as Cedarburg cruised to the title with 106 points.
Homestead didn't claim any firsts but used a balanced effort for second place. Taking seconds were the 100-yard medley relay team of junior Danny Knuth, sophomore Jack Miller, senior Michael McCann and freshman Phillip Zuccaro (56.04); the 800 free relay team of freshman James Guskov, senior Borja Morales, senior Charles Broghammer and freshman Joshua Churchill (8:46.16); and the 300 breaststroke crew of junior Whelan Callahan, senior Josh Devorkin, Miller and freshman Christopher Eckhardt (3:26.97).
Team co-captains are Broghammer and Morales. Others who Gwidt will count on include junior John Happ, junior Nicholas Gess and Schulteis. State record-holding 100 backstroke ace Nick Petersen decided to focus on club swimming and did not come out this season.
The Highlanders host the Metro Swim Officials Invite on Dec. 27.
NICOLET BOYS SWIM
The Knights are off to a good start this season, including a tie for third in the North Shore Conference Relays last Friday.
'We're doing well so far," said coach Dwight Davis. "This group is really working hard. They're a really nice group of kids too, easy to work with."
The Knights will be led largely by underclassmen this season, including junior Mike Mills (distance freestyle), freshman Collin Siverhus (all-around), sophomore Jeremy Moeser (diving), freshman Dylan Hall (all-around), junior Ian O'Conner (sprinter), junior Taylor Hansen (backstroke and free), senior Ben Cook (all-around) and freshman Ricky Romersi (butterfly and free).
Senior Mike Hangsterfer moved from diving back into swimming this year and should be a big help in the backstroke and freestyle events, said Davis.
In the conference relays, the Knights tied for their spot with Whitefish Bay (70 points). Cedarburg won the meet.
The Knights won the 400 medley relay (3:55.95) and 200 medley (1:50.2). Participating on the winning relays were Hall, Siverhus, Cook, Mills, Hangsterfer and Romersi; Moeser, Wes Washington, Taylor Hanson and O'Connor.
Nicolet will visit Homestead in a dual meet at 6 p.m. Thursday.
WHITEFISH BAY BOYS SWIM
The Blue Dukes tied for second in the North Shore Conference Relays on Friday with Nicolet, scoring 70 points.
They won the diving relay (431.95 points) behind the efforts of two-time state champion Joe Kaszubowski and also took the 400 individual medley (4:06.9).
Seniors on the Blue Dukes this season include Sam Broadnax, Tyler Brudny, Robert Caspari, Michael Fiedler, Jacob Gustavson, Luke Henricks, Nick Prekosovich and Curt Walther.
BROWN DEER/UNIVERSITY SCHOOL SWIM
The Falcons struggled to a last-place finish in the Woodland Conference Relays on Dec. 11.
Best finishes for the Falcons included a fourth from the 200 free relay team of junior Josh Thompson, senior Horst Burmeister, senior Ben Zaydman, and sophomore Jacob Wine (1:44.14). The same group was fifth in the 800 free relay (8:41.91).
Shorewood won the meet.
Behind individual champions Zach Price at 145 pounds and Zach Lennon at 160, the Highlanders went a sound 3-2 in the New Berlin Duals last Friday night.
"It was a pretty good evening," coach Ernie Millard said. "If we can get by Nicolet (which was held Wednesday night), we should be a much better team after the break."
At the Duals, the Highlanders posted wins over Catholic Memorial (44-28), Delavan-Darien (48-30) and Racine Case (42-40). They dropped a tough 42-24 decision to eventual champion Oconomowoc and fell 40-34 to New Berlin.
Both Price and Lennon were 5-0 at the Duals.
WHITEFISH BAY WRESTLING
Miguel Gomez at 132 pounds and Ben Lehrmann at 170 won individual titles as the Blue Dukes earned third in the Marquette Tom Burns Memorial Invitational.
The Blue Dukes scored 128 points for their spot in the 11-school field as Oak Creek won with 233.
Gomez (10-0 on the season) won major decisions over opponents from Greendale, Oak Creek and Columbus for his title, while Lehrmann (8-2) defeated Oak Creek (pin), Milwaukee Riverside (major decision) and Pewaukee (pin) foes for his crown.
Cooper Fergus (6-3) was second at 113, falling in the final to a Greendale opponent (11-2), while thirds went to Justin Weil at 120 (3-1 on the day, 6-5 overall) and Steve Meyer at 195 (3-1, 8-3). Fourths were taken by Joe Lehrmann at 160 (3-5) and Joe Beck at 220 (6-4).
The Knights took a small group to the Sheboygan North Raider Duals last Saturday and were led by senior 120-pounder Jack Kalloch, who went 5-0. The team also earned a meet win over host North in the event.
Sophomores Adam Plotkin and Chris Azcueta turned in 3-2 records at 138 and 182 pounds, respectively, as did junior Armani Johnson at 285 pounds.
After a frustrating 4-3 loss to Cedarburg in a North Shore contest on Dec. 10, the Highlanders bounced back to record a pair of non-conference victories — 7-1 over Green Bay last Friday and 4-1 over De Pere last Saturday.
In the De Pere victory, the Highlanders scored three, third-period goals to break a 1-1 tie. Cole Simpson (Brady Bjork and Jon Weyker assists), Ryan Mezera and Weyker (Adam Hobbs and Mezera) all scored goals in that run. Joey Hobbs had Homestead's first tally in the first period (Bjork).
Killian Martin had 27 saves for Homestead.
In the rout of Green Bay, Michael Schulz and Mezera (three assists) had two goals apiece while Riley Dixon, Weyker and Adam Hobbs all had individual goals for the Highlanders. Ethan Levy made nine saves for Homestead.
WNS STORM HOCKEY
A rough season got a little better for the area co-op as they pulled out a 6-4 non-conference win over Stoughton last Saturday.
Brendan Nagle had two goals while Kyle Asman, Zach Asman, Nico Aguilar and Colin Downing had a score apiece. Downing had three assists while Kyle Asman had two assists.
Robert Ali made 37 saves for the Storm.
WHITEFISH BAY GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Blue Dukes evened their record at 2-2 with an easy 62-22 North Shore victory over Milwaukee Lutheran last Friday.
Bay broke out to a 22-5 first-quarter lead and never looked back as an impressive 12 players scored including Ashley Reed and Emma Jankowski with 13 points apiece, Maya Jonas with 10 and Maggie Brennan with six.
The Blue Dukes (1-1 in North Shore play) took on Grafton on Tuesday and host area rival Nicolet at 7:30 p.m. Friday. It will be the final game before the holiday break.
HOMESTEAD BOYS BASKETBALL
The Highlanders (5-0 overall) built on their critical win over Bay on Dec. 10 (see separate story) with a 57-45 victory over Grafton last Friday.
Homestead had a 34-33 lead at the half and a 47-43 advantage heading into the fourth quarter but then twisted the defensive vice up to excruciating in the final period holding the Blackhawks to just two points in the final eight minutes.
Jerrod Walton led the way with 22 points, while Jack Popp had 15 and Seth Cooley 11 for the Highlanders.
WHITEFISH BAY BOYS BASKETBALL
Back at full strength, the Blue Dukes evened their record at 3-3 with a 58-42 victory over Milwaukee Lutheran last Friday.
Bay outscored the Red Knights in every quarter, leading 17-11 after the first and 29-22 at the half. It was 49-35 heading into the final period.
The Blue Dukes had three players in double figures led by Isaiah Johnson with 14 and Miles Sigh and Joe Sherburne with 13 apiece. Jake Casey added eight. Johnson had three of Bay's six 3-pointers.
They play Menomonee Falls at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee.
Compiled by Steven L. Tietz
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