Let's go to the replay: 2013
Nate Goecks, of the Sussex Hamilton boys golf team drives the ball during practice this season. Goecks qualified for the state meet in the spring. Photo by: Gary Porter
Hamilton's 2013 included a pair of basketball teams enjoying another year of considerable success. Take a look back at some of the year's biggest stories:
Once in a generation
For the first time since 1979, the Hamilton boys basketball team could call itself conference champion, sharing the honor with Brookfield Central and finishing the year 20-4. Though Hamilton lost a double-overtime battle with Central in a game that could have given the Chargers the outright crown, Hamilton did win a double-overtime battle with Marquette one game earlier to secure at least a share of the title. Sharp-shooting Brady Ellingson, one of the top players in the state in his class, earned a scholarship to play at the University of Iowa and became the school's all-time leading scorer.
Been there before
It didn't come down to the same dramatic finish as the year before, but the Hamilton girls repeated as conference champs, finishing the year 21-3 overall. The Chargers split a pair of close games with Divine Savior Holy Angels, going to overtime in the win, and lost to Division 4 state champion Algoma and eventual state qualifier Arrowhead.
Mackenzie Latt, the all-time leading scorer in Hamilton girls history, cleared 1,000 points and earned All-State accolades during the 2012-13 season, but she did not return to the school for her senior season after moving with her family to Michigan. Coach Dan Carey had already left the program for a spot on the UW-Milwaukee women's basketball coaching staff, and Hamilton hired former DSHA coach Bill Scasny to lead the way. Scasny's squad landed its biggest win of the new year when it topped Algoma, which returns several key players from that title-winning team, in a holiday tournament.
Drew Patterson resumed his career as one of the best running backs in the state, and Hamilton had another productive showing on the football field. going 7-4 overall, tying for second in the Greater Metro and giving powerhouse Homestead a serious scare in Level 2 of the playoffs. Patterson, who committed to play for Western Illinois, was named first-team All State and finished his career with 4,876 yards and 68 touchdowns. The season included dramatic wins over Brookfield Central in both the regular season and postseason.
Including a late-season 8-7 win over the Brookfield Blue Sox, the Sussex Cardinals Land O'Lakes baseball team won the Western Division of the wooden-bat league. With a 15-3 record, the Cards were afforded double-elimination status in the Land O'Lakes playoffs, but losses to Menomonee Falls and Pewaukee kept Sussex from the Grand Championships. The Pewaukee Muskies went on to win the whole thing.
Birdies of a feather
Brookfield Central, the eventual state runner-up, was the team to beat in the Greater Metro Conference, but for one day, the Hamilton Chargers were equal to the task, and it happened to be on a big stage. Playing at Silver Spring Golf Club in Menomonee Falls in the WIAA regional, Hamilton shot 316 to match Central for top honors (316), then won the title on a one-hole tiebreaker. Austin Kendziorski was co-medalist, and Hamilton reached the sectional for the first time in school history under long-tenured coach Stan Grove. Hamilton didn't make state, though Nate Goecks qualified as an individual.
Blazing a path
Running in the final race of the day, Hamilton's 4x400-meter relay team of Chais Blackburn, Brett Buehler, Josh Desorcy and Drew Patterson finished a surprising fourth place at the WIAA Division 1 state meet, running 3 minutes, 19.97 seconds to shave three seconds off the old school record and made for an exciting finish to the year. Getting there was a crazy feat in itself, with the Chargers grabbing the 10th and final qualifying spot from earlier heats. All four return this season.
In 32 years of girls soccer, Hamilton had never defeated perennial powerhouse Brookfield Central, but that changed in the spring when the Chargers delivered what retiring coach Tom Konkol considers the best in school history. The Chargers went 12-5-1 and received all-conference honors for a school-record seven players.
Junior Cassidy Pilo placed fourth in November at the WIAA Division 1 swimming state meet, competing in diving for Menomonee Falls/Hamilton at the UW-Natatorium in Madison. Teammate Kate Haznaw reached the diving semifinals.
Laying down the Law'
Hamilton softball coach Jim Lawinger, who has been a part of several programs at the school, stepped down as head coach after 36 years coaching the sport at HHS. Tom Schlueter, his assistant since 2008, will replace him at the helm. Konkol also retired after nearly four decades of coaching at the school.
·Nick Knoebel returned to the state wrestling meet, winning two of his four matches in Madison, including an upset of Muskego's Connor Price in the opening round. Knoebel finished his career with three state-tourney appearances and also won this year's conference title.
·Hamilton's softball team upset Homestead and fell in a 2-1 heartbreaker to eventual state qualifier Germantown in the sectional semifinal.
·Recent Hamilton graduate Tony Koepnick won a national football title in NCAA Division III as a freshman starting offensive lineman for UW-Whitewater, and Hamilton alum Eric Reimer wins the NCAA Division II title with Northwest Missouri State as one of the team's top defensive players.
·John Seiler placed eighth in butterfly and 11th in 50 free at boys state swim for Falls/Hamilton.
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