The Bay Port Baseball team will look to build off it’s FRCC title winning team from a year ago, and compete for a State Championship. However, it will be tough to do so.
Ten of eleven starters from a year ago will have to be replaced, but Coach Mike Simeons has confidence in the system in place. “We believe that we have a system in place with our youth program and our Freshman/Junior Varsity teams that we will have lots of competition from the new players to fill the holes.” Sophomore Quinn Pierner, Pitcher and Infielder, is the only returning starter.
Last year, the Pirates had three Division 1 pitchers, each which earned All-Conference honors, Connor Hock, Joe Baier, and Dakota Klein. It was certainly a luxury for the Pirates, but will have to replace a lot of production. “We have young pitchers that are eager for the opportunity to carry on the tradition of strong pitching in our program.” Bay Port has won the conference each of the past three years, and a four-peat will need a huge amount of success out of the fresh faces to the varsity squad.
As always, Coach Simeons has the same goals as always, “Work hard to improve every day so that by the end of the season we can compete for a State Championship.”
The Pirates have been to the state tournament four straight years, as well as back to back championships in 2009-2010. Bay Port has a strong and successful reputation for their baseball program, and will aim to bring home another conference title.
Coming off of a record-breaking season, the Bay Port Pirates look to continue their recent success into a new year.
For the first time in school history, the Bay Port Pirate Softball team advanced to State a season ago. Despite the loss of just two seniors from that squad, another run through the postseason will be tough. “We have talented girls that I have no doubt will step up and be a force to reckon with,” said Head Coach Jenna Woepse.
The Pirates won their first game in Madison over Kenosha Bradford 12-8, before falling to eventual State Champions Westosha Central in the State-Semifinals
Last year Bay Port went 15-1 in claiming a conference championship for the fifth time in school history and finished the year with a school-record of 21 wins.
Gone from that Pirate team is Co-Player of the Year and All-State Pitcher in Bailey Smaney. Now a UW-Green Bay player, Smaney carried the Pirates with a 0.63 earned run average (ERA) in pitching nearly every inning of the season. “As a coach or player, it's very unique to coach a player like Bailey. We can coach a girl to pitch, field and hit, but an attitude like that is difficult to replace” added Woepse. Smaney currently leads the Phoenix in wins, ERA and innings pitched.
Replacing Shortstop Alyssa Cooper will be another obstacle for the Pirates. Now playing for UW-Stevens Point, Cooper was 2nd-Team All-FRCC and drove in the lone run in a 1-0 win for the Sectional title. "I think we will be playing around with lineups and positions throughout the first part of the season trying to figure out what combination of girls work the best together," said Woepse. "We have already told the girls to be prepared to potentially move positions as we are always looking for the best combo."
Bay Port returns seven starters and other players who saw varsity action last year. Woepse said that having that experience from last year is big. “Any time you have quite a few girls that have played together a bunch always makes them more comfortable, but it also makes the coach more comfortable.”
The Pirates will lean on Sydney LaPoint in the circle this season.The Sophomore saw some action at the Varsity level a year ago, and she has prepared herself to be the new Pirate starter. Her intended target behind the plate is Ally Jacques. The Senior Catcher led the team with a .412 batting average.
Woepse, 2015 Coach of the Year in the Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC), says that they play in a tough conference. “Green Bay Preble and Ashwaubenon are always tough teams. They both are always well coached and disciplined,” said Woepse. The Pirates edged Green Bay Preble by one game in the conference standings a season ago, but the Hornets return a lot of key players from a young squad.
After a rain soaked first few days of the spring season, Bay Port is scheduled to open up the 2016 season on Tuesday, April 12 when they host Ashwaubenon in conference play.
Following a second place finish in the Fox River Classic Conference, just one game out of first place behind De Pere, the Boys basketball team has high expectations for the upcoming season. Coach Nate Rykal is hoping his team can compete for the top spot in the FRCC. “As always, our goal each year is to win conference, and we believe we can make that happen this year with the team that we have.”
Last year, Senior point guard Craig Minzlaff led the team in scoring with 11.8 PPG, as well as earning a First Team All-Conference selection. “Craig was a great player for us last year, but we have a few guys who can handle the ball, Logan White being one of them.” White, a senior this year, only played in 8 games last year, but has high expectations for this year. With De Pere losing the reigning conference player of the year, Brevin Pritzl, Coach Rykal thinks the conference will be more even than before. “With De Pere losing Brevin, the conference race may be a little more open than last year, especially with two less teams in the conference.”
The change to the conference this year is that Green Bay East and Green Bay West have both left the FRCC to join the Bay Conference. The Pirates have never lost to East or West, so Coach Rykal thinks it might lead to a more balanced schedule. “With East and West out of the conference, it makes each of the ten [FRCC] teams play each other twice, so there are no advantages of playing a team once or twice.”
The biggest rule change the WIAA made this season is making the games two 18-minute halves instead of four eight-minute quarters. “It definitely impacts the pace of play of the game,” said Rykal. “We usually press when we play defense in practice, so it gives our guys a chance to handle the pressure. We have great depth and sub freely, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.”
The Pirates open the season on the road against Appleton West on November 28.
When the Girls basketball team took to the gym at Bay Port High School for the first day of practice, there was some eagerness around the program to get the season underway. “We were really excited. Basketball helps winter go by fast.” said coach Kati Coleman. “I love to be in the gym with these girls.”
The Pirates return five different players who played in every game last season, including four of their top five scorers. They are led by Maddie Re who averaged 10.7 points per game and 8.7 rebounds a year ago, earning her 2nd Team All-Conference.
After finishing sixth in the Fox River Classic Conference last year with a 9-7 record, the Pirates fell in the Regional Final at De Pere 71-55. The Pirates finished 13-10 overall in Coleman’s first year. “My team goal is to always do better than we did last year,” she said. “I would love to see these girls get to sectionals.”
Along with a better postseason finish, Bay Port also has lofty goals for the new-look conference. “I really think that we have the team to finish in the top 3 in the conference. I think Pulaski and Notre Dame are going to be tough”, added Coleman. Pulaski returns 1st all-conference performer in Mariah Szymanski, the lone 1st teamer back in the FRCC. Also, both Green Bay East and West are gone from the now ten-team league.
With a new year come a few rule changes. The WIAA has changed the game format from four individual eight-minute quarters to two 18 minute halves. There will now be no break in the middle of the first and second halves and four extra minutes of total game time. Coleman said that she is not quite sure how it will affect the game. “I don’t know yet. We lose a time out almost with no break at the end of each quarter. It will be an adjustment for everyone.”
Bay Port begins the 2015-16 season with a home game November 21st against Menasha.
Fall sports coverage has come to an end with Bay Port Radio at NEWsportsradio.com. We have begun our second year of online broadcast coverage of Bay Port Pirate Athletics. Like last year we covered Pirate Football, but we added Volleyball to the broadcast coverage.
The Pirate Volleyball team finished the season at 16-18 overall, in fourth place in the Fox River Classic Conference at 5-4. Dakota Kropp finished the season leading Bay Port in kills and blocks, earning her First Team All-Conference honors in her senior campaign. An improved Pirate attack and an aggressive scheme helped the team reach the Regional Finals before falling to Appleton East in four sets.
The Pirates were able to knock off a couple of big FRCC opponents along the way this season; teams that had given Bay Port troubles for a number of years. They defeated De Pere in a five-set thriller during the season, marking the first time that Bay Port defeated the Redbirds in more than 12 years. Green Bay Preble also lost a conference match to the Pirates for the first time since 2007. Bay Port also swept the Hornets in three sets in the Regional Semifinal, which advanced them to the second round of postseason.
Just three seniors will graduate from the young Pirate squad that looks to improve under Brendan Baier, who finished his third season as Head Coach.
For the 15th straight season, the Bay Port Football team advanced to postseason play. After graduating 16 starters from a year ago, Bay Port rebounded nicely with a top two defense in the FRCC. Inside Linebacker Evan Bindas was one of 14 Pirates to earn All-Conference recognition, with the Senior being named the Defensive Player of the Year in the ten-team league. The Pirates finished 7-3 overall and second in the FRCC at 7-2, dropping a Level 1 playoff game to Eau Claire Memorial. On a soaking wet evening, the Pirates struggled to move the ball and were defeated 29-0 by the Old Abes.
On the offensive side of the ball, Bay Port ran heavily all season behind Tackle Cole Van Lanen. The future Wisconsin Badger was named Offensive Lineman of the Year in the conference for the second consecutive year. He helped pave the way for a rushing attack that gained 2200 yards on the season, led by Running Back Austin Sylvester, who ran for 857 yards and ten touchdowns. Both Quarterback Quinn Pierner and Halfback Paxton Pelegrin contributed seven touchdowns each on the ground to pace a Pirate team that averaged 29.3 points per game in Head Coach Gary Westerman’s fourth season as Head Coach.
Defensively, Bay Port was led by 8 All-Conference performers in the starting 11. Each of the four defensive backs were named, as well as three different linebackers. Drew Schleis led the way with three of the five interceptions for the team, while Bay Port sacked the opponent 30 times throughout the year.
That was the coverage for Bay Port Radio broadcasts on NEWsportsradio.com for the Fall season. Seven volleyball matches were carried, along with each of the ten Football games. We move to Winter sports, beginning with Girls Basketball opening the season on November 21. There will also be broadcast coverage of Boys Hockey and Basketball, totally more than 40 live games through early March. Follow the Bay Port Radio feed on Twitter @VoiceofBP, like Voice of BP on Facebook & follow along the action of Bay Port Athletics online at NEWsporstradio.com.
Thank you for the Fall Season following,
N.E.W. Sports Radio
The Pirates took on Sheboygan North this past Friday in Sheboygan. Bay Port was looking to start off 2-0 on the young season. From the first snap of the game, the Pirates were in control. Austin Sylvester ran for a 6 yard touchdown to open up the scoring early in the first quarter to make it 7 to 0. The Golden Raiders scored on the next possession, but missed the PAT to make it 7-6.
The defending FRCC champion Bay Port Pirates took the field Friday night for the first time since their loss to Arrowhead High School in the WIAA State semifinals last year.