Sean Jung has heard the talk at Union Grove High School about his boys soccer team, and he’s a bit surprised.
“Around the halls, it’s like ‘Where did that come from? All of a sudden, we have a soccer team,’ ” said Jung, the Broncos boys and girls head soccer coach.
“We’ve been grinding away for five years — it was just a matter of time.”
The boys are 8-0-1, the best start in school history, and are ranked ninth in Division 2 in this week’s Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association state poll. Union Grove was No. 8 last week for its first-ever state top-10 ranking.
That comes on the heels of the success of last spring, when the girls team set a school record for victories by going 16-3-2.
In fact, there’s a family feel that is purely intentional.
“The boys help the girls and the girls help the boys,” Jung said. “It’s like family, and it’s starting to pay off.”
The boys set a record for victories by going 11-8-3 last year and they are just three wins away from resetting that milestone. Their biggest test comes at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, when they play on the road at top-ranked and defending WIAA Division 3 champion Delavan-Darien in a Southern Lakes Conference match.
A big part of the success are the Broncos’ 12 seniors, including nine returning letterwinners. Among them are forward Cole Anderson, who leads the team with 16 goals, and goalkeeper Michael Polzin, who has five shutouts.
Jung said as a sophomore, Anderson was the last player to make the varsity, but has worked his way into a lead role on offense.
“He’s a workhorse,” Jung said.
Angels get the call
Thanks to a conflict involving another team, the St. Catherine’s boys soccer team got a chance to play against two of the top teams in Illinois last weekend.
Milwaukee Marquette plays annually in a four-team meet at Hinsdale (Ill.) Central, but wasn’t able to play this year. The Angels were referred to Hinsdale’s head coach by Stan Anderson, a former coach with UW-Milwaukee and Marquette, and were invited to play.
St. Catherine’s, ranked No. 1 in Division 4 in the latest WSCA poll, lost both matches, 2-0 to Hinsdale Central Friday and 5-2 to Peoria (Ill.) Notre Dame Sunday, but consider Notre Dame is ranked fourth in Illinois and 27th in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer and Hinsdale Central has been ranked nationally in recent years.
“For us, I think it is a big deal to play against other high school teams from a region like this which has had long-lasting accomplishments,” Angels coach Ben Lake said.
Making an immediate impact
Many teams in many sports have a hotshot newcomer who makes an immediate contribution.
The Burlington Co-op swim team has one in Catholic Central freshman Morgan Dietzel.
In the Demons’ first meet of the season, the Early Bird Invitational at Wauwatosa West Aug. 20, Dietzel won the 100-yard backstroke in 1:01.71, winning the race by nearly two seconds, and she anchored a pair of third-place relays.
On Aug. 24, Dietzel swam on three winning relays at the Southern Lakes Conference Relays, and Sept. 2, Dietzel took third in the backstroke (1:01.41) at the Shorewood Invitational.
Dietzel swims with the Express Swim Club of Waukesha, one of the top clubs in Wisconsin, and Burlington Co-op coach Denita Jones said she has been a welcome addition.
“It is different swimming in high school vs. club,” Jones said. “She gets great leadership from my captains and seniors, who have helped her with the adjustments to the new team.”
Grajera rolling for Broncos
The boys soccer team isn’t the only success story at Union Grove.
The girls tennis team is 10-5, including a 4-0 weekend at the Spartan Invitational.
One of the main reasons is the play of senior Nixie Grajera, who has just one loss this season. She is 9-0 at No. 2 singles, her regular spot in the lineup, but she has also gone 2-1 at No. 1 singles and has also won at No. 1 doubles.
Broncos coach Mike Brannen said Grajera has been doing whatever it takes to make the team and herself successful.
“She’s very versatile and she’s doing a great job,” Brannen said. “She is definitely a leader on the team. She’s so each to coach — she listens to instructions and plays hard. She puts her heart and soul into every point.”
In addition to the St. Catherine’s and Union Grove boys soccer teams being ranked, Prairie dropped to No. 2 in Division 4, behind St. Catherine’s, in this week’s WSCA poll.
In the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin state girls golf poll, Union Grove is ranked eighth.
WIAA Award of Excellence
Each year, the WIAA recognizes schools which meet all the criteria to receive the Award of Excellence.
Put Horlick on that list.
The award honors member schools for “their efforts and achievements in the areas of sportsmanship, ethics, integrity, leadership and character,” according to a press release.
Only 15 of the 514 WIAA member high schools received the award. The only other teams from southeast Wisconsin on the list were Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels, Franklin and University School of Milwaukee.
To see all of the criteria that Horlick met last year, go to www.wiaawi.org and click on the link on the Home page.