WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Kenseth named State's Pro Athlete of the Year
MILWAUKEE -- NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth of Cambridge was named the state's pro athlete of the year last night at the third annual Wisconsin Sports Awards in Milwaukee. Kenseth was the runner-up a year ago in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. Badgers' linebacker Chris Borland was honored as the college athlete of the year. Lance Leipold of U-W Whitewater received the college coach of the year award, after leading the Warhawks to a national Division-Three title. Matt Ferris of Appleton Xavier received high school football player honors. Luke Fischer of Germantown and Arike Ogunbowale of Milwaukee Divine Savior were the boys-and-girls' prep basketball players of the year. Germantown boys' basketball was named the top Dream Team, and Germantown's Steve Showalter was the top high school coach. Eddie Lacy of the Packers was honored as the A-T-I player of the year, and ex-Badgers' quarterback Russell Wilson of Seattle won the Homegrown player honors. The Green Bay Packers was named the top Fan-Friendly team. The Pack's 33-28 come-from-behind victory at Chicago in the regular season finale was the state's game of the year. Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers was the "Community-involved" player of the year. Verona girls' basketball player Ebony Nettles-Bey, who's battling cancer, was honored as the state's inspirational player-of-the-year.
The Milwaukee Brewers will open a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs tonight at Miller Park. The Brewers were off yesterday, after taking 2-of-3 from San Diego this week. The Cubs split a four-game set against Arizona, losing 5-to-2 yesterday at Wrigley Field. The Brewers lead the National League Central Division with the Majors' best record at 16-and-6. The Cubs are last in the Central at 7-and-14, eight-and-a-half games behind the Crew. Right-hander Matt Garza will try again to get his first win in a Milwaukee uniform. He's 0-and-2 with an E-R-A of four-and-a-half. Ex-Brewer Carlos Villanueva will start for Chicago. The veteran right-hander is 1-and-4 with a bloated E-R-A of 10-point-nine-three. Milwaukee is one of just three big league teams to be undefeated when scoring four runs or more. The Brewers are 13-and-0 in that department. Kansas City and Saint Louis are both 10-and-0.
In golf, Jerry Kelly of Madison is tied for 54th after the first round of the P-G-A's Zurich Classic in New Orleans. Kelly shot a one-under-par 71 yesterday, at an event he won back in 2009. Kelly is nine strokes behind first-place Ben Martin. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson is tied for 143rd, after shooting a four-over-76.
The Milwaukee Admirals will begin their American Hockey League playoff run tonight, with a best-of-five Western Conference quarter-final series against Toronto. Game-One is this evening at the B-M-O Harris Bradley Center, and Game-Two will be played there tomorrow night. Third-seeded Toronto won the North Division crown, and chose to play their first two games on the road at Number-six Milwaukee. Admirals' coach Dean Evason said the Marlies are apparently hoping to split on the road, then have three chances at home to win the series. The sixth-seeded Admirals have had a solid home record lately, winning all but two of their last 12 games there. However, Milwaukee has not won the first two games of any playoff series since 2009.
Wisconsin was eliminated yesterday in the first round of the Big Ten tennis tournament at Michigan State. The Badgers ended their season with a 4-nothing loss to Michigan. Michael Sinha was the only Wisconsin player to finish ahead in a set. He was up 1-0 in his second set against Alex Buzzi of the Wolverines before the match went unfinished.
The Badger women's tennis team was one-and-done in its Big Ten Tournament at Northwestern. The 11th-seeded Badgers fell to Number-six Minnesota in their first round match yesterday, 4-to-3. Julia Courter scored the deciding point for the Gophers with a 6-1, 7-6 singles' victory over Wisconsin's Lauren Burich. Two Badgers received All Big-Ten honors yesterday. Lauren Chypyha was named to the all-conference first team -- a first for the Badgers since Liz Carpenter in 2009. Anastasia Triposkaya of Wisconsin was named to the all-league second team.