The two high schools that are competing in sports this fall sure must be satisfied so far.
Christian and Lutheran have done extremely well in three sports, and The Beacon takes a look at the highlights:
Crusaders own county: Dominic Willadsen has bragging rights for the year.
The Lutheran senior won the 43rd annual Sheboygan County Cross Country Meet last Tuesday thanks to a time of 16 minutes 58.0 seconds.
“Dom works really hard and pushes himself,” his coach, Jeff Jurss, said. “He takes this extremely seriously with his diet, his sleep patterns, and everything. Even though our meets are maybe smaller in nature just because of COVID and all, his times are some of the top times. He deserves to win those races because he’s put up some great times.”
The Crusaders also took first as a team with 38 points, which is 26 more than runner-up Kohler.
It was their third county title in five years – the event was not held last season because of three straight days of rain.
Jonah Jurss came in fourth in 17:24.1, Hans Gruben placed eighth in 17:43.7, Logan Zak finished ninth in 17:49.4 and Travis Tock was 16th in 18:20.6.
“They just kind of ran as a group the whole time and really pushed the pace,” Jurss said. “We’ve been talking about trying to race the last mile, like ‘who’s going to win the third mile?’ So we keep splits and that really motivates them at the end of the race to really kick it, so it’s been fun.
“Our team is doing very well. We just hope and pray we can continue on in the season.”
Nice first impression: Kohler/Lutheran/Christian made its debut in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference and defeated two-time defending league champion/reigning Division 4 state runner-up Kiel, 50-42, Sept. 25.
“It was pretty cool, because they came in like they were going to beat us and just steamroll us,” receiver Colin Girdaukas said. “We were so excited after the game. We just showed Kiel who we were.”
The co-op was even nominated for http://www.wissports.net’s team of the week after erasing an 18-point deficit in the third quarter.
“I’m proud of how our guys responded to the adversity of getting down early and being down two scores in the second half,” coach Ryan Eigenberger said. “And our guys made plays when it mattered most. Everybody worked harder than ever before this offseason and it showed that night.”
The Raiders held a 42-34 advantage in the final quarter when Robby Michael threw touchdown passes to Girdaukas (54 yards) and Casey Verhagen (49 yards) to cap the rally and give the Crusaders their first lead of the evening.
Michael finished with six touchdown passes – he rushed for on as well – and 375 yards on 13 completions.
Girdaukas caught eight passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and Verhagen had 112 yards receiving and all four of his catches went for TDs.
“The first half, they kind of shut me down,” Girdaukas said. “I was like, ‘okay, we’ve got to change something in the second half.’ I found the soft spots in the defense and Robby found me open.”
Controlling its destiny: After only three Big East Conference games, Christian/Lutheran can already decide its fate.
The first-place Eagles beat Kohler and tied Oostburg, and those two teams still have to face one another.
Last year, the Flying Dutchmen took first with a 10-0-1, the Blue Bombers were second (9-1-1) and Christian/Lutheran was next (8-1-2).
The Eagles entered their game Monday with a 5-1-1 record after a 2-2 decision against Oostburg last Tuesday, as Caleb Hendrikse scored the tying goal late in the second half.
“Quite honestly, we probably didn’t deserve to even tie that game,” Eagles coach Dan Oppeneer said. “We did not play a good game. Oostburg came out ready to play, and we were a little bit flat. We were missing some guys, which has kind of been a theme for us all year, but we played good enough to get a tie I guess.”
In a 4-1 win against Kohler Sept. 22, Sam Hendrikse had two goals and Aiden Diener and Nathan Richardson each added one to erase a 1-0 deficit.
“We battled back and I think it was the best passing we did all year,” Oppeneer said. “We just played really composed, which was good to see.”