Bluejays earn All-Conference honors
By Nick Beversdorf
Another winter sports season done, another round of Merrill athletes that have received All-Conference honors in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. Below are the athletes that have been named to a team or received an honorable mention for the 2015-2016 winter sports season.
Maddix Bonnell and Anna Finnell of the varsity girls basketball team have received 2nd team honors in the WVC. Bonnell, a sophomore, is the current conference leader in individual assists with an assist per goal ratio of 3.5. She is also 4th in the field goal shooting category with a FG% of 0.478 and 8th in the 3-point field goal shooting category with a FG% of 0.345. She is 7th for individual scoring leaders with an average of 11.8 points per game and 10th for free-throw shooting leaders with an FT% of 0.686.
Finnell, a senior, placed 11th in the free-throw shooting category with an FT% of 0.639 and placed 14th in the individual assist leaders category with 1.8 assists per goal. She also placed 15th in the field goal shooting category with an FG% of 0.414.
Emily Page, a senior, received an honorable mention. She placed 4th in the individual assists leaders with 3 assist per goal. Emily also placed 12th in free-throws with an FT% of 0.632 and 13th in field goals with a FG% of 0.426.
“It was an honor to get the chance to coach them this season,” comments Coach Ross Reincke. “They worked incredibly hard all season and it was a lot of fun.”
Scott Wallace and Zach Mootz of the varsity boys basketball team received honorable mentions. Wallace, a senior, was the leader in individual assists with an average of 4.1 assists per goal. He also placed 13th in 3-point field goals with a FG% of 0.378 and 14th in free-throws with a FT% of 0.698.
“Scott led the Valley in Assists which is really impressive, but he wasn’t just an assist man, he was also one of the players we looked to for scoring,” comments Coach Troy Pieper. “Scotty was our leader on the floor without question, he was also the leader off the floor too. He is one of those guys that everyone gets along with, He’s the kind of guy you need to keep the locker room together during tough times. Scotty will be missed for sure, I know he will be successful in whatever he decides to do in the future, he is just an awesome person and role model on and off the court.”
Mootz, a sophomore, placed 2nd in the 3-point field goal category with a FG% 0.456 and placed 15th in the 2point field goal category with a FG% of 0.421. He also placed 12th for indivudual scoring leaders with an average of 9.8 points per game.
“Zach was our most consistent offensive threat this year, he could have easily been a starter for us but he understood we needed his energy and scoring ability to be our 6th man and to his credit he had no issue with that at all,” adds Pieper. “I’m really excited to see how his game continues to develop, he is the type of kid who will spend all summer in the gym getting better, and with the loss of five seniors he will be expected to be one of our team leaders and go-to guys next season.”
Bryce Broeking and Austin Burgener of the boys varsity hockey team received honorable mentions. Broeking, a junior, placed 8th in the goal-tending leader category with goals saved percentage of 0.858.
“Bryce never missed a day of practice,” comments Coach Bill Hauswirth. “He came to work hard every day and was very coachable. He was a major factor in the games we won this year. In the close games he always seemed to come up with one or two amazing saves that would keep us in the game.”
Burgener, a junior, placed 18th in the indivudual scoring leaders category with 11 points.
“Austin was one of the hardest working kids in practice and in games,” adds Hauswirth. “He was our leading scorer this year, but even though he put up points he wanted to win more. He really started to become the player he is capable of being. If he keeps working hard I think he can take his game to the next level.”
Devon Schultz and Tanner Pettit, both of whom went to indivudual state, were named to the 1st team for varsity wrestling. Schultz, a junior, placed fourth in the 126-pound weight class with a win % of 0.667. Pettit, a senior, placed 2nd in the 160 weight class with a perfect win percentage.
Brendan Leder, Aiden Ball, Christian Kleinschmidt and Collin Zoellner all received honorable mentions. Brendan placed 8th in the 132-pound class with a win % of 0.5, Aiden placed 7th at 138 pounds with a win % of 0.5, Christian placed 7th in the 220 weight class with a win % of 0.8 and Collin placed 4th in the 285 weight class with a win % of 0.833.