THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Honors To Larsen And Mergener
State Champion Wrestler Continues Colemans Tradition, Earns Co-MVP In Baseball; Berth 2nd
Mason Mergener is a name familiar to anyone who has paid the least bit of attention to the M-O Conference this season. A tremendous athlete and student, Mergener's cumulative resume as a competitor at the prep level, capped by a sensational 2012-13 campaign as a senior have earned him the Peshtigo Times' Athlete of The Year.
"Mason is an outstanding student with a 3.8 GPA, just a tremendous athlete and leader. He is the guy you want on the mound for you in the big games," said Kent Casper, head baseball coach at Coleman. "He's a winner on and off the field with a great work ethic. Mason always strives for the very best."
The very best is right.
Mergener has participated in the state wrestling tournament in each of his four years at Coleman, tasting victory in three of his four outings to the big show in Madison. A career record of 141-38, Mergener kept up a merciless pace throughout the 2012-13 campaign on the mat and finished 46-3, which earned him a unanimous pick as the league's most outstanding wrestler. And he couldn't have closed his high school wrestling career any better as he came home from state a champion this year following a win by decision over Josh Cormican of Boyceville in the 152-pound Division 3 finals.
"Mason's just an all around great athlete," says Coleman wrestling coach Kevin Casper. "He really got to dominate in his senior season, turning up to a new level, especially on his feet, to make him such a complete wrestler."
Mergener's presence on the Cougar baseball diamond was equally ominous. An intimidating pitcher, Mason went 28-2 in his career with the Cougars, the pair of losses coming in extra-inning tournament games. As a senior, he finished 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA, 60 strikeouts and just 18 walks over 53 innings of work.
Not bad at all when you line it up next to his .433 batting average and 29 RBIs.
Peshtigo's Jordan Berth, a junior three-sport, highlight-reel kind of player, was the runner-up on this year's Athlete Of The Year list. Last fall, Berth's tenacious play on the gridiron earned him lineman of the year honors and a spot on the first team, playing the line on both sides of the ball. Nothing new for Berth there though, the 6'3, 235 pound Bulldog was picked for the same first-team assignment as a sophomore.
"(Jordan's) as good of a football player as I have had in all my years of coaching," said Peshtigo head coach Sam Komp. "There is nothing he doesn't do well on the football field. A good leader, a very strong leader by example and also by all the things he does to become a better player like camps, the weight room, etc."
Berth was also the heart of a Bulldogs' basketball team that went 16-0 in the M-O, adding to the school's storied conference win streak under coach Ryan Spaulding that now stands at 52 straight and could get to who-knows-where as the team is poised for further success this winter.
He averaged 15.7 points a game last season and pulled down an average of 7.8 boards per contest on his way to the M-O Most Valuable Player award.
This past spring saw Berth put the finishing touch on his junior year's first-team trifecta as he was selected as one of two pitchers to the elite M-O diamond squad. It was a busy spring for Berth, who also flipped the discus and shot put in track.
Bryan Hines, a senior this past year at Menominee was another area athlete who couldn't seem to stop collecting awards over the course of the 2012-13 athletics campaign. Hines was recently presented with the Barbara Silverthorne Award, significant in the fact that the vote for the award comes from his fellow athletes. Hines was picked as the first team punt returner in the GNC as well as as an all-UP selection this past football season. He was selected to the GNC and UP first team as a basketball standout for the Maroons. As a track and field athlete, Hines was a UP Champion in the 110 and 300-hurdles events as well as being a part of the winning 400-relay squad.
Suring's Cody Christensen made a huge move up the balloting list during his senior campaign and certainly left his mark on the 2012-13 football season. The senior standout was a unanimous selection to the first team as a tight end and was named to the second team as a linebacker. Christensen also garnered first team honors in basketball and went to the state track and field event in the 110-meter hurdles event.
Jaden Boivin, a senior this past season at Marinette, had a very solid three-sport finale to his high school athletics career. Wrestling at 160 pounds, Boivin went 42-3 on the year and brought home a fourth place finish from the state event in Madison. For his efforts on the gridiron, Boivin was named a first team running back in the Bay Conference and this past spring, he finished 11th in the Division 2 pole vault event at the state meet and ran the first leg for Marinette's gold-medal winning 400-relay team.
Adding to the list of stellar seasons on the wrestling mats was Jacob Morrissey of Oconto Falls, who was a state champion for the third time at 170-pounds and will be heading to Indiana next year to attend Purdue University on scholarship. Morrissey's cumulative mat record over his career with the Panthers finished at an unbelievable 173-3, which includes three golds and a silver medal.
Back to those most memorable performances in the M-O from last year, which would have to include Jake Wiedemeier of Crivitz and his continued success in the pole vault event. Wiedemeier just wrapped up the 2013 track and field season by clearing 14-feet to take home a third consecutive gold medal from the state meet.