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THE YEAR IN SPORTS

Eagles Battle Storm for Three Packerland Titles

Southern Door battled Kewaunee for the league titles in boys basketball, baseball and football. Southern Door took the basketball title behind phenom Drew Daoust, finishing 15-1. Kewaunee won the matchups in both football and baseball. 

Daoust reached the 1,000-point mark in his sophomore season, and then stayed hot to start his junior campaign by scoring a county-record 53 points against Sevastopol Dec. 5. 

Sevastopol’s girls basketball team poses for pictures after winning the Feb. 25 WIAA Division 5 regional championship at home against Lena, 56-19. File photo by Kevin Boneske.

Pioneer Girls Go Undefeated in Conference

Two titles made 2023 one for the record books for the Sevastopol girls basketball team. The Pioneers went undefeated in the Packerland Conference at 16-0 to win the league title, and won a regional championship for the first time since the 1980s, behind Packerland Player of the Year Bailey Rikkola.

Gibraltar’s Carl Burgess (center) drives inside while being guarded by Newman Catholic’s Isaac Seidel (23) as Gibraltar’s Braden Sitte (0) looks on in back during the March 11 WIAA Division 5 sectional championship game at Seymour. File photo by Kevin Boneske.

Viking Fall One Win Short of State

The Gibraltar boys basketball team nearly returned to the WIAA state tournament for the second straight season. 

The Vikings fell 66-54 to eventual Division 5 champion Wausau Newman Catholic in the sectional final.

Players for the Sister Bay Bays pop out the champagne after defeating Washington Island 5-2 in the Door County League playoff championship game this summer. The Bays have also won six regular-season league titles in the last nine years. File photo by Rachel Lukas.

Bays Complete County League Sweep

The Sister Bay Bays completed a Door County League championship sweep this summer to win their sixth title in 9 seasons.

In the championship game against Washington Island a league-record 820 fans filled the stands to watch Pitcher of the Year Sam Forkert lead the Bays back to the top.  

Sturgeon Bay’s Ben Stephens (1) advances the ball with Gibraltar/Sevastopol’s Brandon Mayorga (10) in pursuit during the Oct. 21 WIAA Division 4 regional championship match at Clark Field. File photo by Kevin Boneske.

Clippers Win 15th Straight Regional Title

Seasons change, the sun comes up, and Sturgeon Bay soccer wins regional titles. The Clippers won their 15th straight regional title in 2023 and another conference championship as midfielder Ben Stephens was named Packerland Player of the Year.

Sevastopol’s Bea Dramm (370) and Naomi Rikkola (372) and Sturgeon Bay’s Julia Kurek (392) run at the front of the pack during the start of the Oct. 12 Packerland Conference girls cross country race at Cherry Hills Golf Course. File photo by Rachel Lukas.

Pioneer Girls Win Packerland CC Title

Sevastopol’s girls cross country team edged past Peshtigo to take home the Packerland Conference championship. The Pioneers’ top-five runners all placed in the top 14 to receive All-Conference honors. 

The Door County United girls swimming team qualified in seven events for this year’s WIAA Division 2 state meet at Waukesha South High School. (From left) Kailyn Neville, Isabella Jimenez-Seyfer, Julia Michalski, Cassie Rankin, Caitlyn Hasenjager, Natalia Michalski, Danica Neville, Chloe Bissen and Shaeffer Rass. Submitted.

DCU Girls Swimmers Place 10th at State

The Door County United girls swimming team placed 10th at the WIAA Division 2 state meet. DCU’s top individual finish at state was recorded by Cassie Rankin, who placed sixth in the 500-yard freestyle.

University of Minnesota men’s swimmer Max McHugh, a 2018 Sevastopol High School graduate, won his third consecutive NCAA Division I national title March 24 in the 100-yard breaststroke. University of Minnesota photo courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn.

McHugh Threepeats as 100 Breaststroke National Champion

Max McHugh, a 2018 Sevastopol High School graduate, won the NCAA Division I national title in the 100-yard breaststroke for the third year in a row.

McHugh, who was in his fifth and final season on the University of Minnesota men’s swimming team, won the event in 50 seconds – the third-fastest time of his career and six-tenths of a second ahead of the rest of the field.

McHugh, who won the 2021 national title in the 200 breaststroke, closed out his collegiate career March 25 by placing third in that event. McHugh also won his third straight Big Ten titles in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke.

Gunnar Tebon. Photo courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Tebon Goes on Scoring Tear at UW-Eau Claire

Gunnar Tebon, a 2020 Sturgeon Bay High School graduate, scored more than 30 points twice this year as a guard for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men’s basketball team. Tebon’s 37 points on Nov. 25 were the most scored by a Blugold player since 2018.

Sturgeon Bay’s Espen Walker tied for third in Division 2 in the boys high jump during this year’s WIAA state track-and-field championships in La Crosse. File photo by Kevin Boneske.

Walker Third, Reisen Fourth at State Track Meet

Two Door County track-and-field athletes earned medals during this year’s WIAA state meet in La Crosse.

In Division 2, Sturgeon Bay’s Espen Walker tied for third in the boys high jump after clearing 6 feet, 2 inches.

In Division 3, Gibraltar’s McKailey Reisen finished fourth in the girls 100-meter hurdles in 15.72 seconds. Reisen also competed in the girls high jump, finishing 12th. Sevastopol’s Bea Dramm placed 13th in the girls 3200 run (12:22.7) and 14th in the 1600 run (5:42.45).

Veeser Fourth, Roman Fifth at State Wrestling Tourney

Two Door County wrestlers medaled at the WIAA wrestling tournament.

In the girls division, Southern Door’s Hailey Veeser placed fourth at 138 pounds. 

In the boys competition, Sturgeon Bay/Sevastopol’s Ben Roman placed fifth in Division 2 at 285 pounds.