|3/3/2017 7:28:00 AM
Lakeland athletes honored with All-GNC
Many Lakeland Thunderbird athletes were recently honored with All-Great Northern Conference awards. Every sport received at least one member in Honorable Mention or higher.
Only one member of the boys' basketball team made 1st team - Connor Evenhouse. Evenhouse led the Thunderbirds in scoring with 213, average 19.3 per game, with a team high 18 3-pointers. Evenhouse also led with 68 rebounds.
Tavian RisingSun-Doud was the only 2nd team selection. He scored 152 points, behind Evenhouse for second on the team, while securing 55 rebounds and had a team high 40 assists.
Both Brant Beukema and Gunnar Weitz made Honorable Mention.
Both, statistically, had similar seasons. Beukema scored 126 points, while Weitz shot 128. Beukema had 58 rebounds to Weitz's 55, while Weitz had 36 assists to Beukema's 28. Beukema averaged 11.5 points per game, while Weitz averaged 11.6.
The Lakeland girls' basketball team had more than just All-Conference players. Head coach Melissa Ouimette was unanimously selected as GNC coach of the year, leading her team to a 16 game winning streak.
The Thunderbirds had two 1st team selections - Sydney Ziebart and Lilith Schuman.
Ziebart was top 5 in the state in steals with 88, average 7.3 a game. She also scored 144 points with 58 rebounds. She led the team in assists with 55.
Schuman scored 207 points for second on the team, with 20 3-pointers and 39 rebounds, along with 61 steals.
Melissa Bruckner earned 2nd team, leading the team in scoring with 223 points. Bruckner tied Ziebart with 58 rebounds. She also had 63 steals.
Zoey Ziebart and Riley Curtis both earned Honorable Mentions.
Zoey Ziebart scored 91 points with 58 rebounds and 31 steals, while Curtis scored 33 points with 19 rebounds and six steals.
The gymnastics team only had one All-GNC award with Kaitlin Hayes received 2nd Team All-Conference in the small division for vault, with her score of 8.550.
"Kaitlin was battling a hip and back injury that increasingly got worse as the season progressed, but she didn't back down," head coach Laura Hayes said. "She worked very hard improving and perfecting her vault all season. Her dedication, hard work, and determination really paid off. I am very proud of all her efforts this year. She didn't give up even when things got a little rough. She loves to compete vault and it shows."
Kaitlin Hayes also received Division 2, 2nd team All-State for her vault.
The Lakeland boys' hockey team had three players grace the Honorable Mention list - freshman Bret Benson, junior Nathan Pitek and senior Kyle Wuestenhagen.
"Bret led our team in scoring, with 14 goals and 7 assists for 21 points," head coach Ken Thanig said. "This is quite an accomplishment for a first year player. He had a great season for us, working hard and contributing as a leader in his first season. Bret has a passion for the game and does everything he can to improve."
Pitek, the team's goalkeeper, finished the season with a .919 save percentage and an average of 2.79 goals against average.
"He was a big reason why we kept our opponent scores lower, giving us a better chance to win games down the stretch,"?Thanig said. "Nathan always gave us a chance to win and will continue to work hard in the off season to improve for his senior season."
Senior captain Wuestenhagen scored six goals and had 10 assists for 16 points.
"He was one of our hardest workers on the ice. He and his linemates always gave us a chance to stay in games because of his tough defensive mindset and hustle," Thanig said. "Coaches from the other teams noticed his non stop work ethic. His leadership was second to none."
Goalie Erin Sparks was unanimously selected as the Player of the Year, in addition to 1st team All-GNC goalie.
Sparks had 159 saves throughout the season for a .946 save percentage. Her goals against average was 1.47.
Maggie Wohlleber also earned 1st team as a forward, scoring seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points.
Lakeland earned two 2nd team spots as well - defensemen Kailey Godfrey and forward Asucena Boyer. Godfrey scored four goals, along with seven assists for 11 points, while Boyer led the team with 10 goals and seven assists to tie with Wohlleber for a team-high 17 points.
Makayla Fultz and Lauren Godfrey also were among the Honorable Mentions. Fultz shots seven goals with eight assists for 15 points. Godfrey made one goal and four assists for five points.
The Lakeland swim team earned a slew of awards with Jack Garcia taking Swimmer of the Year, with his third and fourth place finishes at the state meet.
For 1st team All-Conference, two of Lakeland's relay teams were awarded - Garcia, Tyler Teichmiller, Jacob Hamerla and Grant Gibson for the 200 yard Medley Relay and Gibson, Alex Tucker, Teichmiller and Garcia for the 400 yard Freestyle relay.
Garcia also earned 1st team for the 200 and 500 yard freestyles. Gibson took 1st team in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events.
Lakeland also earned several 2nd team places.
Hamerla and Teichmiller both took two second team places - Hamerla for the 50 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly; Teichmiller for the 200 yard Individual Medley and 100 yard Breaststroke.
The team's 200 yard freestyle relay of Brandon Boh, Tucker, Scott Bresnahan and Hamerla earned 2nd team.
Tucker earned an Honorable Mention for the 200 yard freestyle, along with Boh for the 100 yard freestyle.
Despite sending two wrestlers to state, the wrestling team only had one 1st team All-Conference recipient - Jack Scandin at 138.
At 145, Jason Hilgart earned 2nd team and Jake McClintock at 152 also took 2nd team. Ieon Diver took 2nd team at his 182 weight class.
"We are very happy about the All-Conference recognition for our team members, especially because it is earned through competition and not by voting,"?head coach Adam Bremer said of his wrestlers.
Ben Gauger may be reached via email at .