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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Chloe Gruszynski Tops Area Athlete List for 2017-18

Issue Date: April 18, 2019

The TimesLand Athelet of the year selections have finally been realeased for the 2017-18 seasons and heading up the list for last years sporting season is Crivitz's Chloe Gruszynski.

Gruszynski's sophomore year saw her do just about everything for the Wolverines. Wheter it was driving home a kill on the volleyball court or sinking a behind the arc bucket, Gruszynski never came into a match without giving it 100 percent.

She began the 2017-18 school year on the volleyball court for the blue and gold.

By season's end she had amassed 21 aces, 170 kills, 293 digs and 25 blocks and was awarded the cobnferecne's Co-MVP in the M&O for her efforts

"Chloe is an exceptional player, student, and person. She works very hard to improve every aspect of her game and works to make our team better. She is dedicated on the court during the season and in the off season. In addition, Chloe's good work ethic shows up in the classroom. She is a true student athlete that our young players can look up to," said Crivitz head volleyball coach Molly Meyers.

Meyers continued, "Chloe was a very well-rounded player who works hard every day to improve herself and her team.  She did a great job this of playing many roles including middle hitter, outside hitter, and one of the top passes on the team."

After the co-MVP effort that helped solidfy the Wolverine volleyball team, Gruszynski began what some would argue as her strongest sport, basketball.

"Chloe is one of the best players I've coached in close to twenty years of coaching. ," said Crivitz Baksteball head coach Brett Meyers. "The most humble person I've seen play the game. She wants her teammates to play well and her team to win. That being said she has just this season scored over 1000 points and has recently passed Julie Piasecki as the girls scoring leader. She comes from a great family with hard work and support as two constants in her daily life. I'm very proud to coach her."

By season's end Gruszynski had piled up enough points to be the conference's scoring leader at 18.7 points a game

She also led in assits with 4 a game and ended the year 3rd in steals with 94. She also earned the conferecne MVP for her stellar play.

Her third sport of the year was Track and Field. Coach Ryan Reichardt couldn't say enough about just how amazing it is to have Gruszynski as part of his squad.

"Chloe is just an awesome all around person, not just a talented athlete, but also an excellent student in the classroom," said Reichardt. " Chloe is also a great team leader even though she is very quiet, she leads more by example."

Some of Chloe's Track accomplishments last year includes scoring 27.5 points out of a possible 40 in the M&O conference meet. She won the high jump and the triple jump events that day as well.

The regional was held at Oconto Falls (hosted by Suring) where Chloe was part of the 1st place 800 meter relay team. She placed 2nd in both the long and triple jump events there as well. Chloe won the Triple Jump at the Division 3 Marathon Sectional breaking her own school triple jump record with a jump of 34'7". Chloe placed 10th at the WIAA State Track Meet last year.

Marinette's Katelyn Kitzinger bagged the second spot on this season's list.

As a sophomore in one of the toughest girls basketball conferences in the state of Wisconsin Katelyn averaged 11.4 points per game shooting 41% from the field. Katelyn has a motor that never stops which allows her to play at a high level for extended periods of time, game in and game out. She utilizes her quickness to pressure opponents relentlessly.

"Katelyn was selected to be a Captain in only her sophomore year, based on her work ethic, attitude, effort, and leadership skills. She is usually the first one in the gym, and always the last one to leave. Her commitment to athletics is unmatched by anyone I have ever coached before. It is not uncommon for Katelyn to "go for a run" (5 mile) if our practice is cancelled, just so she can get her workout in. Katelyn is an exceptional leader who has improved her communication skills to help our younger players adjust to the speed and complexity of the Varsity game. Her smile and encouragement to her teammates, as well as her knowledge of the game allow her to be a coach on the court for the rest of the players. She has the ability to change the game at any moment, but it is her role in the Marinette school community that embodies the ideal of student athlete. Katelyn is in the top 5 of her class as well as active in our school's student government," said Robert Smith, Marinette basketball head coach for the girls.

Kitzinger also took part in the years track and field season for Marinette, where she was the third-fastest runner at the conference meet on Oct. 14, thus earning a spot on the first team, while teammate Kim Carviou earned an honorable mention spot.

In DII, Marinette had an underclassman place in the top ten as well to earn a medal, with sophomore Katelyn Kitzinger taking ninth of 150 with a time of 19:39.36.

Marinette Coach Jenni Campbell said of Kitzinger's race, "Katelyn ran a smart race from start to finish, moving up places throughout the race," while saying, "Katelyn is a great competitor. She leaves it all out on the course and if it comes down to a battle to the finish line, Katelyn finds another gear."

Kitzinger was in 13th place after the first mile, moving up a spot by the end of the second mile and leaping to ninth by the finish line.

Taking the third post on the list for the school year is Gillett's Sylvia Hansen who eanred the spot with her top notch finihes in area running events.

Gillett's Sylvia Hansen was the top finisher of nine local runners at the Wisconsin State Cross Country Meet held in Wisconsin Rapids taking third in Division III.

Hansen, a freshman, ran a 19:35.21 to take third of 151 state-qualified runners, behind only Edgar sophomore Marissa Ellenbecker and Lancaster junior Lydia Murphy.

Hansen became the first Gillett Tiger to make it onto the podium at a state meet. Gillett Coach Emily Young was obviously impressed with the result.

"Sylvia, over the course of the season, has learned how to race, not only with her body, but also with her mind," Young said. "She knows her abilities and she knows when to use them."

Young said she sees a bright future for Hansen, saying, "She's a smart racer and has a hunger for winning. She's a well-rounded athlete and with everything that she holds within her, she has a bright future."

Our fourth selcetion at the times for the 2017-18 seasons was Coleman's Annabelle Kotecki.

Anyone that played the Coleman Cougars during the 2017 volleyball season knows Annabelle Kotecki was a headache to gaurd. Kotecki did plenty of damage at the net, while also showing her athleticism from the back row.  Throughout the season, she had 106 kills, 17 blocks, 143 digs and 26 aces.  

Cougar coach Christine Zielinski couldn't say enough of her senior, "Annabelle was Coleman's most valuable player for this year.  She gave 110% at every practice and her strive for perfection is unmatched.  While striving to be the best, she is a quiet player who sets the bar high for her teammates and leads by example.  She's a very soft-spoken young woman who has a sharp competitive edge.  No athlete is more coachable than Annabelle."

But where Kotecki really shined was on the diamonds of the area softball fields. There was no doudt during the 2018 softball season that Kotecki was the area's top ace. She would frequently send teams home with nothing but a single handful of hits, if that.

Not only could she pitch one of the meanest softballs in the area she also swung a mean bat, ending the saeson with a batting average of .617. She had 29 hits, 24 RBI's. Her OB% was .648. Slugging % .915

Her field % - 1.000. She committed 0 errors defensively.

In the circle pitching for the Cougars Kotecki had an: ERA of .916. She allowed only 15 runs. while allowing 66 hits and 112 strikeouts. She pitched one no hitter game during the season.

She was also a four year starter. and a team captain her junior and senior year. She ended the 2018 season with a Team MVP while also earning the M&O All Conference MVP two years in a row.

"She was selected to play in the Wisconsin Fastpitch Coaches Association All Star game which in held in Wisconsin Dells each summer," said Jean LeVash head softball coach in Coleman. "She received the WFSCA academic award. She earned a spot on the WFSCA All District Team. She was also second team All State. What a great accomplishment as she competed against other great pitchers from around the state for a place on the team."

LeVash continued, "Annabelle is a fierce competitor, has great work ethic and was a respected field leader. Her teammates showed great respect for her. A very humble person. Annabelle created an environment of great team chemistry. The integrity she displayed gained her leadership with her team. She would give her teammates credit before acknowledging herself. A great role model, a great player. She is one of the hardest working players I've had the opportunity to coach and her desire to win is second to none. Her work outside of the normal practice days is what sets her apart from most, she is always working endless hours both hitting and pitching outside of practice and for her it was year round."

Finshiing up the list was Oconto's Mara Allen who earned the fifth spot.

"In 2017-18 Mara Allen finished in 20th place in Wisconsin Division 4 scoring with a 17.2 average, tied for 5th place with 11.4 rebounds per game. In terms of the Packerland Conference, Mara was named to the first team as a junior, having finished second in scoring with 17.2 points per game, first in rebounds averaging 11.4 per game and tied for 10th with 2.3 assists per game. Overall Mara helped lead Oconto to a 14-10 season

Junior center Mara Allen made the girls' first team, with senior Sydney Koch taking a second-team spot.


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