Wednesday State Sports Briefs: Two prep sophomores from Wisconsin invited to national mini-campWisconsin Sports
-- Two Wisconsin high school sophomores will take part in USA Basketball’s developmental mini-camp next month.
Two Wisconsin high school sophomores will take part in USA Basketball’s developmental mini-camp next month.
Diamond Stone of Whitefish Bay Dominican and Henry Ellenson of Rice Lake are among 24 sophomores invited to the camp, which will be held October 6th-and-7th in Colorado Springs. Don Showalter of USA Basketball says the mini-camp will evaluate the top sophomore players, and give the best ones a chance to play in the Under-16 Tournament of the Americas. Showalter says the weekend should produce a lot of great competition, and give all the players a chance to improve their skills.
The Milwaukee Brewers have the best record in the Majors since August 20th, at 21-6. And tonight, they’ll play the team with the second-worst record in the big leagues during that stretch. The Pittsburgh Pirates are 7-a18 since August 20th. They’ve lost five straight to Milwaukee, as the teams get ready to face each other at six this evening at PNC Park. The Pirates have dropped 13-of-their-last-17, after getting shut out by the Brew Crew 6-0 last night. Manager Clint Hurdle will try to shake things up by giving right-hander Kyle McPherson his first big league start. He’s had seven relief outings, but none have lasted more than two innings. McPherson has no record with a 1.54 ERA. The Brewers are sending right-hander Marco Estrada to the mound. He traded places with Yovani Gallardo last night, to give Gallardo an extra start at the end of the regular season should the Crew need a win then to get into the playoffs. The Pirates, meanwhile, are trying to stay above .500. They’re 74-73 right now. Milwaukee is 75-72, trailing Saint Louis by two-and-a-half games for the final National League Wild Card. The Pirates are now three-and-a-half back.
The Green Bay Packer players are off today, a day later than normal. That’s because the Pack doesn’t play until Monday night, when they take on the Seahawks in Seattle. The Packers practiced yesterday, and they reviewed film from both their Week-One loss to San Francisco and their Week-Two win over Chicago to see what they have to improve upon. Coach Mike McCarthy said his offense is making progress, and it’s not far from where he wants it to be. He says it’s too early to make major evaluations with just two games under the team’s belt. McCarthy says those kinds of reviews don’t come until after Weeks Four-or-Five – when they can really identify themselves in each of their major units. The Green Bay running game expects to get a boost when James Starks returns from a lingering turf-toe injury. However, he might not able to play against the Seahawks. The Packers do expect to get receiver Greg Jennings back, after he missed last Thursday’s win over Chicago with a groin injury suffered against the 49’ers. Both Jennings and Starks practiced yesterday. Practice resumes tomorrow.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ training camp does not start for 13 days – but players are already getting together to work out, and try to get into a rhythm on the floor. Forward Ersan Ilyasova was among those toning up at the Bucks’ training facility in Saint Francis yesterday – along with second-year pro Tobias Harris and this summer’s draft picks John Henson and Doron Lamb. Ilyasova said other veterans would show up in the next week, and they’ll be ready for the rigors of camp. Ilyasova emerged as a leader in the Bucks’ frontcourt last season, and he signed a four-year, 32-million-dollar contract to stay with the team. After last year’s lockout, Ilyasova said he could see the importance of doing as much as possible to get ready for the season. Last year, teams scrambled through a two-week training camp when the lockout ended, so they could begin their season right after Christmas. Besides the draft picks, the Bucks have other newly-acquired players who need to get into the mix – including centers Samuel Dalembert and Joel Przybilla.
The UW-Green Bay men’s soccer team is now 2-4-1, after being shut out 3-0 by Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at home yesterday. The Phoenix were down by two at the half and could not recover. Christian Volesky scored twice for Edwardsville, which improved to 6-2. The Phoenix are now heading to Oregon State for a tournament. Game-One is tomorrow against the host Beavers.
Mitch Beau of UW-Stevens Point, Ryan Wenkman of Whitewater, and Nate Ray of Oshkosh are the WIAC’s football players-of-the-week. Beau, a junior quarterback, threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns in the Pointers’ 55-14 pounding of Dubuque. Beau also ran for 51 yards, and scored a pair of TD’s on the ground. Wenkman, a senior defensive back, had two interceptions and a pass break-up for Whitewater in its 7-6 upset loss to Buffalo State at home. Wenkman also made the national Division-Three Team-of-the-Week for those accomplishments. Ray, a sophomore kicker, won the league’s special teams’ honors with three field goals and an extra point in a 16-7 Oshkosh win over La Crosse.
The WIAC also recognized Tim Nelson of U-W Stout and Christy Cazzola of Oshkosh in cross country – Ryan Hanna of Oshkosh and Ian Christensen of Platteville in men’s soccer – Gina Williams of Eau Claire and Saskia Taylor of La Crosse in women’s soccer – Brittany McNett-Emmerich of Stevens Point in women’s golf – Erin Green of River Falls in volleyball – Sydney Divelbiss of Whitewater in women’s singles tennis – and Megan Kasten and Jackie Vitale of Whitewater in doubles’ tennis.
Two athletic legends at Lakeland College in Sheboygan have been named to the NAIA Hall-of-Fame. Pat Curran will be inducted January seventh at a national meeting of football coaches in Nashville. The late Duane “Moose” Woltzen will be inducted posthumously next March 12th at the NAIA’s Division-One basketball championship in Kansas City. Woltzen was Lakeland’s athletic director and men’s basketball coach from 1964-through-’88. And his Muskie teams won 536 games with an impressive winning percentage of .700. Woltzen was a coach for several international teams, and he took his Lakeland teams all around the globe to play. He died in 2009. Curran set eight Lakeland football records as a running back in the 1960’s, and he went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and the former Los Angeles Rams. Curran still holds nearly every school scoring record.
Wisconsin runners swept the weekly cross country awards in the Midwest Conference. Sam Stevens of Lawrence won the men’s performer-of-the-week award, after he placed second at the UW-Whitewater Invitational. The senior completed the eight-thousand-meter course in 26-minutes and 19-seconds. Megan O’Grady of Carroll in Waukesha took the women’s honors. The senior placed first among all NCAA Division III runners at the Concordia-Mequon Invitational. O’Grady placed second overall, with a time of 22:50.