Packerland Names All-Conference AthletesIssue Date: November 17, 2021
Kodric & Conn Top List of Bulldogs
Five Blue Devils Earn First Team
After one of the best seasons in Peshtigo soccer history that led the Bulldogs to the second round of the playoffs, six members of the team earned all-conference Packerland honors.
Team captain and star forward Johnny Conn earned a first-team spot. He finished the year with 10 conference goals and seven assists. Including non-conference plays, he found the net 18 times and provided nine assists.
He quickly pointed out that while it's nice to lead the team statistically, it's most fun to do it as a team.
"You've got to build up with the whole team. You can't just have one person lead the whole team. It starts with everybody. You have to build up with everyone," Conn said. "It was a fun season. I wouldn't have wanted to have it with anyone else." Peshtigo Coach Joe Denny had this to say about his first teamer, "His creative abilities with the ball make it very hard for opponents to contain."
Next to Conn in attack was All-Conference honorable mention player, Christian Boyle, who smashed 16 total goals (nine conference) with eight assists (five conference).
He said after playing with the same teammates for a long time,"you just kind of get in the same rhythm and understand each other's game." Denny called Boyle a "very physical player and you know what you're going to get from him every game."
Behind Conn and Boyle were midfielders Grant Bauman and Muaz Salem. Both were team captains. Bauman played in a more central role, while Salem was more of a defensive midfielder.
This season was Salem's first time playing midfield. He had previously played defender, earning second team honors there as a sophomore. He was a second-team midfielder this year.
"This is my first year ever playing midfield, so it was new. It was hard to adjust at the beginning, but as the season went on, it improved a little bit," Salem said. "A lot of the time, I'd play midfield, holding or attacking, so I could make those runs. A lot of times, my coach thought it was better for me to have a presence in the defense and the midfield so we can bring it up and start the attack from the back."
Bauman was an honorable mention. He scored four goals and had five assists.
"He did a great job running the midfield," Denny said. "Everything filtered through him. He has great ball control and very good field vision."
Then it was on to the defense, where senior center defenders Landon Lemke and Jake Berth each earned honors. Lemke was a second-teamer, while Berth earned honorable mention.
Together, they kept five shutouts and helped integrate newer members of the team, such as Will McMahon and Peyton Demmith.
"We were all vocal. Me, [goalkeeper] Mason [Denny] and Jake, we're all vocal in the back and we just worked with our younger guys, just telling them not to stab and to stay in their place," Lemke said. "Defense, you're not going to score goals. You're not going to do a lot of flashy things; it's about getting the ball out of the danger zone, so I thought we did a good job of working with those younger guys, getting everybody together just to work as one team and keep the ball out of the net."
Coach Denny described Lemke as "an outstanding athlete whose leadership in the defense accounted for five shutouts" and "a very physical player who anchored our defense." Berth stated that "a good defense is all about communication and keeping every one together."
On Berth, Denny said, "another great athlete who developed into a very good defender. His speed, good ball control and work ethic made him a great leader on this team."
Sturgeon Bay, which knocked Peshtigo out of the playoffs on penalty kicks, had the player of the year in senior midfielder Ben Luders. In total, Sturgeon Bay had seven players earn conference honors.
The Oconto volleyball team was another team with a great season, as the Blue Devils made it all the way to state.
Senior Lianna Baxter was named the conference player of the year, and four other Blue Devils earned all-conference spots, including two first-teamers.
Baxter finished the year with 107 kills, leading the Blue Devils with a hitting percentage of .413 and averaging 1.4 blocks per team, in addition to serving as a team captain with Hannah Moe, McKenna Seidl and Leah Allan.
She was a unanimous first-team selection, no surprise considering she was voted best player in the conference. Moe and Kate Bahrke were also unanimous first-teamers.
Moe led the Blue Devils with 134 kills over the course of the season and was second in digs with 113.
Bahrke provided 273 conference assists, averaging 8.8 per set. She cleared the 2,000 assist plateau this season. She was second on the team with 16 aces and 80 service points.
Seidl, a libero, and Allan, a back-row player, were honorable mentions in their senior year.
Seidl led the team with 144 digs.
"Great considering how big our block presence was," Oconto coach Adrian De la Cruz said. "She had numerous serving runs and was third in service points."
Allan was third on the team with 95 digs and fourth in service points.
For Peshtigo, senior front-row Samantha Kodric was a first-team selection. She led the team in hitting at .377, with 61 kills, 14 aces and 12 blocks in conference play.
Peshtigo coach Robin Gilligan said Kodric was the "strongest, most consistent hitter on the team," adding that she was "very good at mixing up her hits and tips, our go-to person when we needed a big play."
Senior teammate Tori Jandt made the second team, while junior Allison Peters and senior setter Emma Gilligan were honorable mentions.
Jandt led Peshtigo with 20 aces in conference play and 251 digs.
Gilligan said Jandt was the team's best defensive player over the last three years, calling her an "excellent server who could go short or deep in the court and place it anywhere."
Peters led the team in kills with 77 and was second in digs with 182.
Gilligan said Peters was a "powerhouse hitter, excellent passer/defensive player and strong all-around player."
Emma Gilligan led the team with 122 assists. She was third in digs with 108.
"Great vision of the court and knew when to take over on the second hit to score," coach Gilligan said. "One of the best defensive setters I have coached."
For Oconto football, Lucas Schroeder made the first team for his work as an offensive and defensive lineman.
"Lucas was our most consistent offensive lineman," Oconto coach Dave Ruechel said, noting that Schroeder was a unanimous first-team defensive lineman. "On defense, he was a force that helped our defense be successful this season."
Senior linebacker Luke Krueger earned a first-team spot as well, also making honorable mention at tight end. He led the team in tackles and was the team captain on defense.
Senior running back/linebacker Riley Anderson made the second team for offense and defense. As a running back, he excelled without the ball, Ruechel said.
"Riley earned second-team RB because of his blocking skills," he said. Defensively, Anderson played flex linebacker, moving from nose tackle to linebacker throughout the game.
Alex Fuller was a second-team defensive back.
"Alex was our best shutdown corner," Ruechel said. "Alex was matched up on our opponents' best wide receiver."
Running back/defensive end Houston Rude was a double honorable mention. Connor Christensen and Caleb Good were honorable mention offensive lineman, Gage Bartlett was an honorable mention on the defensive line and punter Devon Bostwick earned an honorable mention as a freshman.
Peshtigo did not have any all-conference players, having played just one conference game this season.
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