BOSCOBEL - As the 2019-2020 school year came to an end, Boscobel students of all ages, along with their families, were impacted by circumstances beyond their control. With school buildings closed due to COVID-19 virus, virtual/remote learning replaced the classroom, and spring fun with peers was restricted. For the seniors, alternative graduation plans had to be put in place to celebrate, as best they could—a key milestone signifying their passage to adulthood and taking their place in the community as citizens. Also lost to this year’s seniors, and all other Boscobel student/athletes, was the entire spring athletic season.
Not only were the spring seasons lost to those athletes, the disruption caused by COVID-19 impeded the traditional ending of the winters sports seasons, as those programs were unable to hold their awards banquets and acknowledge the efforts of those athletes.
With those thoughts in mind, we review for you the accomplishments of those Bulldog athletes who competed this winter and consider those athletes who, unfortunately, were unable to compete in track and field, or take to the baseball or softball diamond this spring.
Winter Sports Completed
Led by an experienced group of seniors, the Bulldog boys’ basketball team played competitive basketball in a tremendously talented SWAL. The conference featured three teams that held top ten status in the WBCA coaches state rankings poll for most of the season in Cuba City, Darlington, and Fennimore. As WIAA tournament play was cut-off due to COVID-19, Cuba City was the number 1 ranked team in the state and Darlington held the number 6 position. The Cubans eliminated Boscobel in the first round of the tournament 71-48, took out Fennimore 78-53 in the regional final then moved to one game away from the State Tournament by bumping Darlington 55-48 in the first round of sectional play, before the season came to its abrupt end.
The Bulldogs finished in fourth place in the SWAL with a 5-9 record, 11-13 overall under the direction of head coach Levi Esters, assisted by his JV coach Treston Davidson. Without question, the highlight of the season was the Bulldog’s thrilling upset victory over the Fennimore Golden Eagles 66-65 on the Bulldog’s home floor on January 30th, avenging an earlier 59-40 loss.
The 2019-2020 varsity roster included five juniors, Amari Asamoah, Nathan Beck, Rylee Bray, Tarek Fischer, and Nick Jenson. Sophomore Brady Smith joined the varsity roster late in the season, seeing his first action at that level. The core of the team consisted of six seniors who will be moving on due to graduation. That group was deep in guards, led by starters Mitchell Davis, who attacked the lane consistently, and provided energy on the boards, and Kolton Wallin, a steady presence on both ends of the floor and consistent long-range threat. That pair was supported by heady spark plug, Michael Wiegel. Swingman Jake Davidson provided scoring from long-range, and attacks to the rim. Daryen Heisz gave the team an athletic defender and player in the frontcourt, and Wes Erb provided energy off the bench.
The team was unable to hold its team banquet to announce award winners, who were;
· Jake Davidson was named to the All-SWAL first teamTeam Captains: Jake Davidson, Mitch Davis, Kolton Wallin, and Tarek Fischer
· MVP-Offense: Jake Davidson
· MVP-Defense: Kolton Wallin
· Most Improved: Michael Wiegel
· Hustle Award: Mitch Davis
Head Coach Jason Hill and his assistant Stan Grimm came into 2019-2020 season knowing the Lady Bulldogs were in a transition phase. The team finished 4-19, 1-13 in the SWAL, losing four games by seven or fewer points.
Several players were asked to take on new or expanded roles and a number of players would be seeing their first varsity action. In addition, due to low numbers, some players would need to split time between levels. Freshman Katie Kinney saw her first varsity action late in the season. Sophomore Sarah Knowles already had varsity experience, and provided consistent scoring from the perimeter, tying a school record with five treys in one game. Knowles was joined at the varsity level by fellow sophomores, Abri Brown and Tessa Riley. Both often saw double duty, playing at both the JV and Varsity levels on the same night. Juniors post player MaKayla Fritz, and guards Katlyn Seeley, and Ava Trumm were asked to assume key roles with limited varsity experience entering the season. All three provided energy and quickness to the lineup.
Seniors Treena Knowles, Shawna Newton, Rebecca Yahn, and Hanna Zieroth served as the leaders for a largely inexperienced team. Treena Knowles, a four-year varsity performer used her size and strength to be a force inside on both ends of the floor. Treena capped off her fine career by moving into third place on the Lady Bulldog’s all-time scoring list with 1,073 points. Treena also finished as the program’s all-time leading rebounder with 764, and set a record for blocked shots with 288. Shawna Newton was asked to take on a much more significant role this season, and responded by becoming a fine defender, using her athleticism she often defended the opponent’s primary threat, no matter that player’s position on the court. Newton also increased her offensive role, often teaming with one of the Knowles sisters in a high-low post scheme. Becca Yahn assumed a much larger share of the ball-handling and play-making responsibilities, along with providing a threat from the three-point line. Yahn also became
a solid defender, giving the team another option to use to defend the opponents’ primary threat. Hannah Zieroth, a hard working team player, provided depth inside for the young team. Hill stated, “Hannah was ready to go at any moment, and played in some keys spots throughout the year.”
Girls Basketball Team Awards:
· All-SWAL Honorable Mention: Treena and Sarah Knowles
· Offensive MVP: Treena Knowles
· Defensive MVP: Shawna Newton
· Team Player: Hannah Zieroth and Shawna Newton (tie)
· Most Improved: MaKayla Fritz and Katlyn Seeley (tie)
· Most Dedicated: Treena Knowles
· Captains: Shawna Newton and Treena Knowles
· WBCA “Team Player” Award: Rebecca Yahn
The Bulldog wrestling team was forced to overcome a shaky beginning when first year head coach and Activities Director Wayne Otto left the district just prior to the opening of the season. Jason Pickett, the father of senior Braiden Pickett, courageously stepped in to take the reins. Coach Pickett was assisted by Fennimore’s, Cody McCollough. Coach Pickett felt the team steadily improved throughout the season and was generally pleased with his wrestler’s efforts to improve and become more competitive.
The team had relatively low numbers, but three wrestlers joined after the season began as Pickett and McCollough provided stability to the program, and eventually were able to fill most of the weight classes. Freshmen Francis Hurley (1-6) and Ethan McCollugh (2-7) gained experience. Sophomores Ethan Hulce (3-16) and newcomer Kane Groom (21-17), along with Hunter Steiner (1-8), who joined late but showed promise as the season progressed, will each continue to improve. Juniors included Blake Sanders, who produced a winning record of 15-11, and Avery Faulkner (4-21). Those two will look forward to improvement in their senior seasons.
Senior wrestlers included James Troxel (1-11) who joined late but worked hard and provided depth. Cole Updike (0-4), a transfer student was an exciting addition late in the season. Logan Shriver (2-10) was a hard worker and provided a valuable presence. The most productive wrestler was senior Braiden Pickett, who finished a brilliant Bulldog career with 100 career victories, and trip to the WIAA State Wrestling meet in Madison.
Wrestling Award Winners:
· 1stTeam All-Conference: Braiden Pickett
· 2ndTeam All-Conference: Kane Groom
· Most Dedicated: Braiden Pickett
· Most Improved: Kane Groom
· Bulldog Award (Most Spirited): Francis Hurley
· Most Valuable Wrestler: Braiden Pickett
· Captain: Braiden Picket
The wrestling team found support from an energetic and spirited group of cheerleaders under the direction of Abbie and Shayla Pickett. That group consisted of sophomore Gwen Sutherland and juniors Alyssa Anderson, Hannah Anderson, Kristine Bidanset, Anysia Kulp, and Darien Ostrowski.