Girls golf: Viking golfers win Onalaska invite

The Stoughton High School girls golf team won the Onalaska invite last Friday at La Crosse Country Club with a 364.

Seniors Ashli Stolen and Kailey Taebel finished second and third overall. Stolen shot an 80, while Kailey Taebel finished with an 84.

Senior Tayler Wise was tied for fifth with a 93, and Sam Zweck finished the scoring with a 107.

Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau, led by Bailey Schmidt’s 79, took second with a 385, while Arcadia was third with a 397.

Stoughton continued the season last Wednesday at Portage Country Club. Results did meet the Courier Hub’s Tuesday deadline. Look for them next week.

Wisconsin Dells invite


HTL: Utica hit parade over Rockies

Utica lead-off hitter Andy Martin slides into home plate safely in the fifth inning. Martin scored four runs and knocked in another as the A’s rolled to a 23-3 win over Hollandale in the opening round of the Home Talent League Final Four. [Photos by Jeremy Jones]

Doug and Dale Vike probably remember better than anyone where they were the only year the Utica Association won the Home Talent League championship.

Now a veteran second baseman, 23 years ago Doug Vike had a much different role for the A’s and for his father/Utica manager as the Utica bat boy.

“Doug was a little guy back in 1991,” Dale Vike said. “He’s been around this diamond for a long time.”

Though neither father or son could remember just how long Doug has been a member of the team, everyone is aware of just how important both men have been to the organization.

Doug and first-year Home Talent player Ben Hildebrandt each drove in four runs in a 23-3 rout of Hollandale in the opening round of Sunday’s HTL Final Four in Utica.


Boys soccer: Vikings return six starters

The Stoughton High School boys soccer team improved immensely from the 2012 team last year, and it returns six of 11 starters.

After winning only one game two years ago, Stoughton improved to an 8-12-1 (1-4-1 Badger South) finish in 2013, and it looks to improve even more in 2014 with six returning starters, led by senior captain midfielder Devin Wermuth.

Devin Wermuth was a first-team all-Badger South Conference midfielder last season, and he finished with nine goals and four assists.

Seniors Max Freeman, Bailey Nolan and Dylan Wenker and juniors Nathan Doll, Ben Stefanic, Andrew Bezshak, Nathan Varese, Spencer Weeden, Alex Morris and Ethan Genter also return to the starting lineup this season, while senior captain Dylan Wenker joins them after significant minutes off the bench in 2013.


Football: Vikings’ run defense bowled over by Reedsburg on the road

Stoughton’s defense shutout the host Reedsburg Beavers throughout the first 12 minutes Friday only to allow 31 points over the remaining 36 minutes en route to a 31-7 loss in its season debut.

Running backs Dylan Peterson and Chris Jepson’s combined for nearly 250 yards rushing and each had a touchdown as Reedsburg racked up 353 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

The Beavers scored twice in the second quarter, once in the third and added a touchdown and field goal to ice the game in the fourth quarter.


Girls swimming: Versatility brings excitement to Vikings swim team

Returning letterwinners for the Stoughton High School girls swimming team (front, from left) are: Sophie Pitney, Averie Ness, Raleigh Schigur, Annie Hudkins and Shaylee Kooima; (back) Allie Niemeyer, Eva Anderson, Greta Welsch, Olivia Lenz, Savanna Smith and Alex Asleson. [Photo by Jeremy Jones]

Stoughton girls swimming lost two major contributors in Katherine Rude and Mari Grady and two-year letterwinner Victoria Griffin.

Vikings head coach Elise McLaury is confident this year’s team, however, has the talent to fill those gaps quickly.

In addition, the team welcomes the return of sprint standout Greta Welsch, who was a two-time state qualifier before opting for club swimming last season.

That should make the team’s sprint events that much stronger with Eva Anderson and Sophie Pitney healthy after essentially missing the last part of the season. 


Girls tennis: Stoughton looks to serve some upsets

Returning letterwinners for the Stoughton High School girls varsity tennis team (front, from left) are: Anna Nelson and Ting Thompson; (back) Kendra Halverson, Payton Kahl, Sarah Benoy and Kaitlyn Hedman. [Photo by Jeremy Jones]

Last year, freshmen Sarah Benoy and Payton Kahl became the first Stoughton girls doubles team to reach the WIAA Division 1 individual state tennis tournament since 2002.

Despite their success a year ago Benoy and Kahl won’t be playing together to start the season. 

Benoy, who head coach Ryan Reischel said spent the offseason working on developing a harder spot and more top spin, will make the move to No. 1 singles.

Kahl will remain at No. 1 doubles with fellow sophomore Kendra Halverson, who was the Vikings’ lone returning singles player at No. 4 singles.

Gone from last year’s lineup are No. 1 singles player Marissa Despins, No. 2 singles player Molly Staatz, and No. 3 singles player Natalie Clerkin. 


HTL: Utica looks for first title since 1991

Max Gartzke (24) celebrates driving in Utica’s game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday with teammates Dane Schultz, Bryan Wilberg (7), Mike Lund (5) and Andrew Zacharias (14). The A’s trailed 7-0 entering the bottom of the eighth inning but came back to win 8-7 in the 10th. Utica’s victory advanced the A’s back to the Final Four for the first time since 2008. [Photos by Jeremy Jones]

Max Gartzke didn’t reach base until the ninth inning, but the Utica left fielder made both his basehits count Sunday as he scored a run and knocked in the go-ahead run for the host A’s in the Southeast Section champion game.

Gartzke’s RBI single over shortstop in the bottom of the 10th inning highlighted a 8-7 comeback against Albion – a game which saw Utica trailing 7-0 through seven-and-a-half innings.

“I was looking to stay alive because I was down 1-2 in the count,” Gartzke said of his walk-off single against relivever Mike Nanstad. “It was a hanging curveball right at my eyes.”


Girls golf: Vikings still expect to be strong

The Stoughton High School varsity girls golf players (from left) are: Kelsey Taebel, Tayler Wise, Emma Crowley, Ashli Stolen and Kailey Taebel. [Photo by Dave Taebel]

adger South Conference title last season, the Stoughton High School girls golf team came five strokes shy of a state berth.

But this season will offer new challenges as three-time state qualifier and top-5 finisher Becky Klongland begins a new chapter with the University of Wisconsin-Madison women’s golf team.

But that doesn’t mean the Vikings aren’t ready to compete with Edgewood and teams in its sectional this year.

Stoughton still returns four of its five varsity starters from the playoffs, including seniors Ashli Stolen, Tayler Wise and Kailey Taebel. Sophomore Kelsey Taebel, who made the starting five in the final weeks of the season in 2013, is also back.


A beautiful day for a race

More than 160 people participated in the second annual Viking Booster Trek on Aug. 2.

The Stoughton Sports Booster held a community 5K fun run/walk, and more than 30 volunteers helped make the event possible. 

All proceeds of the event went to the Viking athletic programs of Stoughton High School.

The first five finishers were Ben Knapp, Pat Schneider, John McCune, Matt Meinke and Ryan Sperle. Jill Guenther was the first female finisher.

[Photos by Bob Christofferson]


HTL: Utica a game away from Final Four behind Bates grand slam

Kyle Bates hit a grand slam to propel the Utica Association to a 9-5 win over the Fort Atkinson Generals Sunday at Jones Park. Bates pitched seven innings and picked up the win Sunday. He struck out three and walked two, lifting Utica to the Southeast Section championship game. [Photos by Josh Smith/Jefferson Daily Union]

Kyle Bates powered the Utica Association to a 9-5 Southeast Section win over host Fort Atkinson.

Bates helped Utica jump out to a 9-0 lead with a fifth inning grand slam. He also tossed seven innings on the mound, striking out three.

The victory helped Utica avenge a 3-2 loss to the Generals at home in which two ill-advised throws cost the A’s a Southeast Section victory.

Albion’s 10-4 victory over top-seeded Stoughton earned the Tigers a showdown with the A’s at 1 p.m. Sunday. The winner advances to the Home Talent League Final Four. Utica advanced to the Sectional Final via a 9-5 victory at Fort Atkinson. 

In two games head-to-head during the regular season, both games went down to the wire. Utica handed Albion two losses during the regular season.