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Let's go to the replay: 2012

Jan. 2, 2013

A look at the sports stories that made sports headlines in the Lake Country Reporter:

Return to title town

Few football programs have made such a habit of reaching Camp Randall Stadium as Arrowhead.

In just the second season under new head coach Greg Malling, the Warhawks dominated through the 2012 season, cruising to their fifth state championship and 10th appearance in the Division 1 title game.

Arrowhead (13-0) left some good teams in its wake. The Warhawks delivered a record-setting performance in racking up 35 points in the first half against undefeated Sun Prairie and kicking in a running clock in a 35-14 state-title victory. The Warhawks also dropped undefeated Hudson (43-20) and eventual Division 3 state champion Catholic Memorial (50-7) along the way.

Watt you want

Pewaukee's J.J. Watt had already become a great local story, rising from a walk-on at the University of Wisconsin to the 11th overall choice in the 2011 NFL Draft for the Houston Texans.

After a successful rookie season, Watt opened the 2012 calendar year with an interception returned for touchdown against Cincinnati in the NFL playoffs, helping Houston advance to the next round. The real fun began in the 2012 regular season, with Watt emerging as a Pro Bowler and frontrunner for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The Cinderella story of a pizza delivery boy trying to pay his way through his first season at Wisconsin is over. Watt is now a national star.

Seidel caps career

University Lake School phenom Molly Seidel capped her running career in style, winning the 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs at the WIAA Division 3 state meet in La Crosse.

Seidel, who also won four cross country state championships during her spectacular high school career, won both events all four years, as well. She also qualified for state in the 800 for the first time but missed a chance to add more gold to her mantle when she sustained a foot injury at the state meet.

David out-kicks Goliaths

The Lake Country Lutheran/University Lake School co-op girls soccer team achieved the first state title in LCL history, doing so in improbable fashion.

With a roster of several players with limited experience, and occasionally not enough bodies to even field a full complement on the field, it was amazing that the Lightning were even able to make the state meet. But that's not all they did, as Jamie Schnuck delivered an overtime goal to lift the team past St. Mary Central in the semifinal, 3-2, and the Lightning (21-2) defeated The Prairie School for the state title, 3-1.

How low could they go?

At some point during the cross-country season, it became apparent that the Arrowhead girls cross country team was going to win the state championship for the second straight year. But by how much?

Recording an insanely low score of 41, Arrowhead won the annual showcase in Wisconsin Rapids, with three runners in the top 15, five in the top 26 and seven in the top 84.

It was the second-lowest score in Division 1 history, behind only Neenah's tally of 37 in 1981.

Members of the team were Jackie Dubnicka, Lea Patek, Payton Wesley, Natalie Burant, Morgan Hobbs, Alyssa Nigh and Maggie Dawes. All seven return next season.

The Arrowhead boys team took fourth in Division 1, and the Pewaukee girls took sixth place in Division 2.

Would you like some tee?

The Arrowhead boys golf team repeated as state champion in Madison, with Matt Ross and Matt McIntosh tying for 11th place (150) to lead the way.

Arrowhead, the gold standard in state golf for several years, won with a two-day score of 611, seven strokes ahead of second-place Holmen. Others on the team were John Langhoff, Paul Lyons and Connor Thiel.

The Kettle Moraine girls golf team established its best-ever finish at the WIAA Division 1 state meet, shooting 682 and finishing behind only Homestead (671). Senior Leighann Cabush, who edged out rival Emily Joers of Waukesha for the conference title, took third place individually behind Jessica Reinecke of Verona and Joers.

Others on the team were Ally Amadon, Lindsay Schmidt, Kathryn Tavares and Carlee Dawson. The Pewaukee boys also qualified for state in D2.

Second silver

Kettle Moraine ran into unstoppable Marquette for the second year in a row in the WIAA state championship game. This time, the 2-1 loss in the Division 1 title match was much closer than the 6-0 outcome one year earlier.

Marquette hasn't lost a match inside the state in two years and had a 26-6 edge in shots. Kyle Ihn made 10 saves.

The Lasers topped Kenosha Bradford in the semifinals and Neenah in the quarterfinals, both by 1-0 counts. Bret Perinovic and Brandon Strobel scored the game-winning goals.

The Lasers didn't win the Classic 8 Conference this year, with Arrowhead taking that honor while an injury-plagued Lasers nursed themselves back to health. Meanwhile, the Pewaukee boys also made the state tournament for the second time in school history, falling 2-1 to Mount Horeb.

End of two eras

The Arrowhead girls basketball team reached the WIAA Division 1 sectional final, falling to eventual state champion De Pere at Sheboygan North, 57-46.

The game marked the final performance for one of the program's greats, Jenny Smith, who scored a school-record 43 points in a February win over Germantown, recording unofficially the highest single-game total in Lake Country girls basketball history.

It was also the end of the line for coach Heidi Hamilton, in her second go-round as Arrowhead coach, who stepped down. Assistant coach Rick Witte took the program reins.

Rerun episode

The state track and field meet ended on a controversial note, with the Arrowhead 4x400-meter relay team forced to rerun its race after officials ruled interference costing teams behind the front of the pack.

Arrowhead won the event but finished off the podium after the race was run a second time.

Alex Sharrock of Kettle Moraine won the 300-meter hurdles for a gold medal, and members of the Arrowhead girls team (the 4x800 squad of Tayler McCormack, Teagan Seneczko, Taylor McDowell and Jackie Dubnicka, as well as Cami Gilson in the pole vault) took second. T.J. Watt of Pewaukee placed fourth in the shot put.

Semi sweet

The Kettle Moraine boys volleyball team matched its deepest postseason run ever with an appearance in the state semifinals at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Wauwatosa. Led by the senior front line of Adam Martell, Sean Leahy and Alex Koenig, the Lasers advanced to state for the third time and upset Wauwatosa East in the opening round before falling to Burlington in four sets.

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