The 2016 fall sports season gets underway with golf tournaments this week, and Waukesha schools have reason to be excited about what awaits. Here’s a look at some of the names to know in 2016.
Grace Dargiewicz, Waukesha South. As a sophomore, she placed 11th at the state cross-country meet last year, with freshman Kate Jochims of Muskego finishing just ahead of her at Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids — foretelling quite the competition in the next couple years in the Classic 8 Conference. The extremely young Blackshirts did not suit up a senior at the sectional, and each of the team’s top five runners were freshmen or sophomores. Dargiewicz took second at the Classic 8 meet, just ahead of Kaylee Beyer of Mukwonago — another talented freshman in 2015.
Michael Juarez, Waukesha North. On the boys side of the cross-country scene is Juarez, who ran a personal-best time of 16 minutes, 17.88 seconds at the Classic 8 Conference meet to take second place as a junior last year, just behind Arrowhead junior Cole Sandvold. Juarez was again just behind Sandvold, taking third place at the Mukwonago sectional, but he finished ahead of Sandvold at the state meet in Wisconsin Rapids when he ran 24th in 16:38.25.
Jessica Kuzniewski, Waukesha West. Last year as a junior, Kuzniewski shot a second-day 77 and finished with an overall score of 156 at the state golf meet at University Ridge in Madison, tied for eighth place in a field of 78 golfers. It was a thrilling finish for the Waukesha co-op player, who made the state field by a single stroke with a round of 81 in the sectional at Edgewood Golf Course. The Classic 8 could be hers for the taking now that 2015 Player of the Year Kate Martin of Mukwonago has graduated.
Jaylen Campbell, Catholic Memorial. Truthfully, there are several players who could be acknowledged on the loaded Crusaders football team — Max Cooper, Josh Karfonta, CJ Goetz, Tevin Smith, Mike Oechsner and Eric Fridl just to name a few — but the returning All-State linebacker will be a big-time presence on defense. He’ll also be one of the team’s top ball carriers if last year is any indication, when CMH reached the Division 3 state championship and lost in heartbreaking fashion. It will be among the favorites to get back to Madison.
Maddy Rondeau, Catholic Memorial. As with the football team, there are a number of options who could fill this space, including top hitters in Maryland recruit Lexi Alden and Northwestern recruit Ivey Whalen. Rondeau, who split time at setter last year for the state-champion Crusaders, is the straw that stirs the drink, leading the team with 6.2 assists and 1.5 kills per set, posting a strong .319 hitting percentage. There’s no question any team that can keep CMH from the gold ball in 2016 will have earned it.
Rina Niehoff, Waukesha South. She’ll be the favorite to win the Classic 8 Conference singles crown after falling in last year’s final to now-graduated Teagan Hipp of Arrowhead, 6-2, 7-5. She finished the year 25-9 overall, ending the season with an appearance at the state tournament. Also returning is South’s top doubles team, junior Jaeda Walsh and senior Carley Schreiber, after taking second at the Classic 8 meet and winning an opening match at state.