This past spring high school sports was not short on success stories, whether it was Kimberly and Lourdes Academy winning state track and field titles or some teams going the extra mile to win a state title.
Along the way, though, some special athletes stood out and for their performances this season they were named FOX 11’s spring athletes of the year.
Here they are:
TRACK AND FIELD
Algoma’s Kennedy Blahnik and Wrightstown’s Bonnie Draxler are two of the most-decorated athletes the area has ever seen. Blahnik, a Wisconsin recruit, won Division 3 state titles for the fourth year in a row in the shot put and discus, as she never lost a state competition. Meanwhile, Draxler, a San Diego State recruit, became the fourth girl in state history to win 10 state titles when she won the pole vault and 400 for the fourth straight year and won the 100 for the second straight year in Division 2.
In boys track and field, Seymour’s Alex Bloom is honored after he showed tremendous heart at the state meet. Bloom suffered a stress fracture while competing in the high jump and he placed still second in the event after winning it a year ago. Then, while jumping with his injury Bloom won the long jump in Division 2 as the Thunder placed second as a team.
Kimberly sweeps the pitcher and position player awards. The Papermakers won the Division 1 title mainly because junior pitcher Megan Kleist was awesome all season, including in the 15-inning (225 pitches) win in the state title game against Westosha Central. Kleist finished 16-2 this season with an ERA under one run per game.
Teammate Jenna Smarzinski, a junior, is the position player of the year after hitting .409 with 4 home runs and 17 RBIs from the leadoff spot. Smarzinski had a big game in a state semifinal win over Germantown with four hits, including two triples and a home run.
In baseball, the position player award goes to Kimberly’s Scott Schreiber, who hit over .400 this season and led the Papermakers to the Division 1 state title game. Schreiber was the most-feared hitter in the area and will play collegiately at Nebraska.
As for the top pitcher it’s Oconto’s Grant Frazer, who was 7-1 with an ERA under 1.50 and he pitched his team into the Division 3 state title game with an eight-inning complete game. It was the second year in a row Frazer recorded an eight-inning win in a state semifinal.
In girls soccer only one local team made it to a state title game and that’s where the player of the year comes from. New Holstein’s Laiken Meyer scored 23 goals, including one in the Division 4 state title game.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay