Lutheran turns page


Sheboygan Lutheran has moved on.


The Crusaders open their boys basketball season tonight and dwelling on how their quest to claim back-to-back Division 5 state championships came to an abrupt halt because of the Coronavirus last season is no longer an option.

“I’m happy and excited that we have turned the page, if you will,” coach Nick Verhagen said. “We’ve got a group of young men who are so excited to be together in the gym. We’re focused on going forward, that windshield instead of the rear-view mirror as best we can.”

In March, Lutheran won a sectional semifinal game only to find out some 2½ hours later that the WIAA cancelled the rest of the season, leaving the Crusaders just three wins shy of another title. The following day after school, Verhagen met with his shocked players.

“That was rough. That was rough stuff,” senior Jonah Jurss said. “I’ll remember that the most. Being with the guys as we heard just terrible news. But we were all there for each other, and that was really cool.”

The Crusaders have also moved on from Jacob Ognacevic, who is now playing for Valparaiso.

The two-time reigning Big East player of the year became the fourth boy in Wisconsin history to have a 1,000-point season last year, as he led the state in scoring (39.4 points per game) and was second in rebounding (16.1 per game) to earn first-team all-state by the Associated Press.

“Obviously he scored a lot, but the biggest thing we’ll have to replace is his rebounding,” Jurss said. “We didn’t really have to worry about that. So now we’re going to have to shift a lot of our focus to the rebounding aspect of the game to make up for that.”

However, Lutheran has to replace just one other player from its 25-1 squad.

Junior Casey Verhagen is back after earning all-state honorable mention by the AP thanks to averages of 20 points, nine assists and four rebounds. He also earned first-team all-conference after getting second team as a freshman.

The guard recently received his first offer, from Northern Michigan, after visiting the campus.

“It’s his dream to play at the next level,” Verhagen said.

Jurss averaged 9.4 points and 4.0 assists for a spot on the all-conference second team, and junior Robby Michael added 10.7 points to receive honorable mention.


Last year: 25-1, 18-1 in BEC

• Three all-conference players are back, including junior Casey Verhagen (first-team). He also earned AP honorable mention all-state after averaging 20 points and nine assists. He got second-team all-BEC in 2019.

• Senior Jonah Jurss was on the all-league second team (9.4 ppg) and junior Robby Michael (10.7) was honorable mention.

• Jacob Ognacevic, the two-time reigning conference player of the year, is a freshman at Valparaiso. He made first-team all-state after leading Wisconsin in scoring (39.4 ppg) and ranking second in rebounding (16.1).

• Oostburg, which shared the Big East South crown with the Crusaders, has to replace its two all-conference players.


No.     Player Yr

2         Robby Michael Jr

3         Andrew Verhelst So

4         JT Schultz Sr

5         Tony Schmitz So

10       Andrew Meador Sr

11       Matthew Witte Sr

15       Jackson Holzheimer  Jr

21       Jonah Jurss Sr

24       Casey Verhagen Jr

25       Zach Glewen So

32       Matt Walz Jr

34       Elijah White Jr


Dec. 1 at Hilbert 7:15

Dec. 4 at Random Lake 7:15

Dec. 10 Ozaukee 7:15

Dec. 12 at Randolph 7:15

Dec. 15 Kohler 7:15

Dec. 17 Oostburg 7:15

Dec. 19 at Sheb. Christian 2:30

Dec. 23 St. Mary Catholic 7:15

Dec. 30 Young Coggs 7:15

Jan. 4 at Mishicot 7:15

Jan. 8 CG-Belgium 7:15

Jan. 9 at Reedsville 7:15

Jan. 12 Kewaskum 7:15

Jan. 14 Elkhart Lake 7:15

Jan. 16 at Valders 3:00

Jan. 19 Howards Grove 7:15

Jan. 22 at Kohler 7:15

Jan. 26 Sheb. Christian 7:15

Jan. 28 at Ozaukee 7:15

Feb. 1 St. M Springs 7:15

Feb. 4 at CG-Belgium 7:15

Feb. 6 at Oostburg 7:15

Feb. 8 Random Lake 7:15

Feb. 11 at Man. Lutheran 7:15

Categories: Sports

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