ASHWAUBENON - The last high school state tournament of the school year was played June 16, which means the 2011-12 prep sports season has come to an end.
Before looking ahead to 2012-13, it’s time to look back one more time on the year that was in high school sports. The following is a listing of the Top 11 high school sports stories of this past season, starting with 11 and counting down to No. 1.
Among the names included in the Top 11 are Jay Tollefson, Bonnie Draxler, Kennedy Blahnik and Kenzie Perttu. Here are The Top 11 High School Sports Stories of the year:
- 11. Notre Dame wins state titles in tennis and hockey. Two years after losing in the state finals, the Notre Dame boys tennis team made it count this time, dethroning 6-time defending state champion University School, 4-3, to win its first WIAA tennis title. Meanwhile, the boys hockey team won its first WIAA state title in its first championship appearance, beating Wausau West, 3-2, in overtime.
- 10. Luxemburg-Casco wins Division 2 state wrestling title. The Spartans became the third school to win 10 state wrestling titles when Luxemburg-Casco beat Ellsworth, 41-13.
- 9. Coleman baseball and wrestling win state titles. The Cougars added to their trophy case with their ninth state wrestling championship, but added a new sport to the case when Coleman erased an 11-4 deficit and won the Division 4 state baseball title, 20-11, over Johnson Creek. Many of the same kids who helped Coleman win the wrestling title played on the baseball team.
- 8. Little Chute-Xavier basketball controversy. Xavier beat Little Chute in a regional final but the day of Xavier’s sectional semifinal against rival Fox Valley Lutheran the Hawks were declared ineligible for the postseason for playing a player who had previously played in organized games outside of the high school team during the season. The situation was controversial and likely will linger to next season when the teams meet again.
- 7. Wrightstown, St. Mary’s Springs win state football titles. Trailing in the final minutes of regulation, Wrightstown scored a touchdown to tie the game with Somerset and then in overtime the Tigers sealed their third state title with a 28-26 victory. After Wrightstown scored in overtime, it went for a 2-point conversion and was successful. Somerset was then forced to go for two points after scoring a TD in overtime but was turned away, completing a thrilling win for the Tigers. As for Springs, after losing in the state title game a year earlier coach Bob Hyland predicted his team would return in 2011 and win the gold ball. Turned out he knew something. Springs returned and left no doubt, beating Shiocton, 24-0. It was the Ledgers’ 11th state title and second in three seasons.
- 6. Super Sophmores Draxler and Blahnik each pull off double-repeat. After winning two state titles as freshman, Wrightstown’s Bonnie Draxler and Algoma’s Kennedy Blahnik each repeated twice this spring, running their state title totals to four. Draxler set a Division 2 state record in the pole vault with a height of 12 feet, 7 inches, while also winning the 400-meter run. Furthermore, she placed third in the 100. Meanwhile, Blahnik broke her Division 3 state record in the shot put with a heave of 47-11 and she also won the discus again, despite competing on an injured knee.
- 5. Green Bay Preble’s Kenzie Perttu sets metro scoring record, 1,626 points. Perttu became the Green Bay metro’s all-time scoring leader in girls basketball this season, breaking Green Bay Southwest’s Trisha Ebel’s mark of 1,511 points. Perttu needed 28 points in a game at Sheboygan North on Feb. 20 and tied her career high with 33 points, surpassing the mark. She didn’t stop there as Perttu now is the only girls basketball player in the Green Bay area to top 1,600 points.
- 4. Brillion, Sheboygan Lutheran boys win state basketball titles. Known for its football success, Brillion won its first state basketball title when it beat Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, 40-35, in the Division 3 title game. The Lions finished their season on a 19-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Badger recruit Sam Dekker put on a show in the Division 5 state title game, scoring 40 points, and nailing the game-winning 3-pointer with six seconds to play as Lutheran beat Racine Lutheran, 67-66, and in the process erased a seven-point deficit with 45 seconds to play.
- 3. De Pere and Kewaunee girls win state basketball titles. De Pere defeated Milwaukee King, 60-57, in the Division 1 title game to win its third state title. The Redbirds, who won their final 20 games, withstood a shot at the buzzer that went in and out that would’ve sent the game into overtime. A few hours earlier, Kewaunee made up for 2010’s disappointment when it lost the Division 3 state final, by beating Oostburg, 50-41, for its first girls state basketball title. The Storm tied a Division 3 state tournament record with
eight 3-pointers, including four from Jill Kleiman and three from Nicole Geier. 2. New London repeats as state champs, goes undefeated. The Bulldogs ran their winning streak to 42 games by beating New Berlin Eisenhower, 43-39, in a battle of unbeaten teams. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer Tara Knapstein scored 12 points, while Bridget Pethke put on a defensive clinic with nine steals. 1. West De Pere repeats as state champs. Behind the supreme play of quarterback Jay Tollefson, the Phantoms ran their winning streak to 28 games by winning their second straight Division 3 state title game by beating Wisconsin Lutheran, 39-24. Tollefson rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns, passed for 61 yards and two touchdowns and added a 71-yard kickoff return. Overall, Tollefson had 3,213 yards from scrimmage on the season.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay