Fuzz Previews Winter Sports Teams

Ryan (Fuzz) French, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

As the fall sports season has ended, it is time to take a look at this year’s winter sports and see who could make a run for a state championship.

Fall sports teams saw great success and accomplished much, but it is time to move on.

This winter’s sports include boys basketball, girls basketball, boys hockey and dance team.

Let’s take an in depth view of what these teams will look like come game time.

Boys Basketball

Boys basketball has seen much change. The team’s old head coach was let go, and now they have hired a new young man by the name of Aj Alexander. Alexander is from the Green Bay area and went to college here. So the new coach probably knows the type of competition the Tritons will face and is already game planning for it.

The team lost all of their senior starters and will be relying on their younger players in order to make another run in the playoffs. The team will feature only three seniors:  Johnny Ehlinger and Josh Cribben.  Both were on the varsity team last year.

Other notable players for the season will be junior Sam Schmid and sophomore George Kress. Both saw playing time last year at the varsity level.

Girls Basketball

The girls basketball team will once again be coached by Sarah Rohde. Rohde has been with NDA for some time, having won won two state championships in three trips to the tournament. An impressive record.

However, this year’s team is facing a loss of many senior standouts, including Lizzie Opichka, Kaycee Gierczak and Ashley Laskowski. The team had a solid season last year and will hope to do the same this winter.

Many seniors will be on the court, including Keighley Blindauer who is hoping to have a big senior year. Other contributors will include Sammy Opichka and Sami LeFever.

Boys Hockey

The boy hockey team had a very successful year last year. The team won the conference championship and made it to the state championship tournament before suffering a devastating loss to Verona.

The Tritons also endured allegations of cheating and recruiting violations, which stripped away their conference title and made them forfeit all wins that occurred before the playoffs.

The team lost many seniors, including Mickey Gregorie, John Fry, Matthew Kini and Logan Braun. However, the team has a strong roster of juniors who are hopeful that they can repeat last year’s success. These juniors have been on varsity since their freshman year and could be seen daily in the weight room during the offseason.

The team has only two senior players, Cole Whatley and Ethan Motquin. The team will be led again by Corey McCracken who has had a very successful career with the Tritons.

Coach McCracken has led the Tritons to back-to-back state title appearances and one state championship. He has coached many Tritons on to the pros, including Chris Nell and Mason Appleton. That does not include the countless players sent to Division one and two college programs.

Dance Team

The Triton Dance Team will once again be performing at basketball halftimes. The team will also be doing many competitions against other area teams. The team has been very successful in the past with multiple trips to the state final competition.

The team is led by seniors Grace Balison and Helen Trenkler. The team also has a bright future as participation has gone up with the uptake in NDA enrollment.

The dance team has a long season. They start in the fall with dancing at halftimes at the football games and continue all the way through February.