Boys Basketball: Witt-Birn hoping to build around returning trio

Tigerton, Bowler have new coaches
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

WITTENBERG — Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School boys basketball coach Garrett Rogowski is optimistic heading into the 2019-20 season.

“I expect us to be competitive on a nightly basis throughout the season, as we have a solid, balanced group of returning players and newcomers to the varsity level,” said Rogowski.

“I think we’ll have good balance, along with depth at a number of positions. We won’t be tall, so we’ll have to create opportunities on both ends of the floor by playing hard and fast for the duration of each game.”

The team is coming off an 8-14 season and 4-8 run through the Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division, but lost several seniors from that team.

Rogowski, who is entering his second year as the head coach, still has seniors Brendan Resch and Simon Stewart and junior Austin Gibson back from last year’s starting lineup to build around.

“To have a successful season on the court, we have to have each other’s backs and never give up,” said Resch. “We also need our younger guys to step up. We have some very talented players that can definitely handle their own on the varsity level. We won’t have a successful season with just one star player. We need everyone to realize this is a team sport and we all need each other.”

Witt-Birn is scheduled to open the season on Dec. 3 on the road against Tomahawk.


In the CWC-North, Tigerton is hoping to turn things around under new coach Kent Wheeles.

The Tigers are coming off a 4-18 season in which they went 0-12 in conference play.

Tigerton is hoping a new mindset can help turn things around this winter.

“One of our team’s main goals is to have a positive record this year,” said senior Austin Hoffmann. “We want to be a new team this year and come out on the court with a good attitude. That is a main part in having a successful season. We’ve had some rough games and some rough seasons, but we’ll just have to put those in the past and work to do better this year.”

Hoffmann and junior Kaeden Miller are both back after starting games for the team in the past.

Seniors Landon Prey and Allen Jobe and junior Mitchell Zimdars also return with varsity experience.

“I expect our athletes to be a more disciplined team and be in each game this season,” said Wheeles. “Most importantly, I want them to have a good time and learn how to work with each other and do what’s best for the team. Hopefully our hard work will translate into a decent record and maybe challenge to be one of the better teams in our conference.”

Tigerton is scheduled to travel to Almond-Bancroft for its first game on Nov. 26.


Bowler will also be under the direction of a new coach this season.

Ted Kietlinski will coach the team, which is coming off a 7-16 season. The Panthers finished 5-7 in conference play, but lost several impact seniors from that team.

“A new coach with a new system will present the need for a sharp learning curve,” said Kietlinski. “Athleticism and the ability to score are our strengths. Our depth will be a concern.”

Leading the team on the court will be senior Zach Fehrman, who was a second team all-conference pick last season.

“Our goals for this year are to be on the top half of our conference,” said Fehrman. “For this team to have success, we have to push the ball and we need to get many steals.”

Juniors Lane Schultz and Logan Thiex also are back after starting games for the team last year. Junior Adin Brei also has varsity experience, and will be likely be asked to fill a bigger role to help fill in some of the voids.

Bowler is set to begin its season on Nov. 26, hosting Oneida Nation.