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Fall sports previews: Zimmerman Thunder
Last year – 7-3 overall
Coaches – Tom Kish (head), Chris Riley, Mark Hayes, John Budreau, Tommy Boyd, Jim Gornick, Adam Pelot, Dan Melquist, George Kratee, Branden Lemke
Captains – Haydon Miller, Isaac Fordahl, Alex Riley, Brian Rajchel
Returning regulars – Miller (sr, RB/LB), Fordahl (sr, TE/LB), Riley (sr, QB/DB), Ben Schnellman (sr, RB/DB), Rajchel (sr, RB/DB), Calvin Waterhouse (sr, OL), Trey Chambers (sr, WR/DB), Carter Janu (jr, RB/LB), Kolby Peacock (sr, DL)
Also in the mix – Andrew Thompson (jr, TE/LB), Justin Robinson (jr, OL/DL), Ben Kuker (jr, OL/DL), Alex Brown (jr, OL), Andrew Olinger (jr, DL), Nate Boyer (jr, OL), Nate Carlin (jr, OL/DL), Dylan Larrabee (jr, RB/LB), Jake Pensinger (jr, WR), Cole Gould (jr, WR), Carter McEachern (fr, WR), Jesse White (fr, DL), Dylan Thull (sr, LB), Landon Berroa (so, RB/DB), Tommy Laabs (jr, QB/DB), Jacob Dahl (sr, OL), Ben Ortberg (jr, RB/LB), Blake Howard (jr, LB/DL), Damien Pearce (sr, WR/DB)
Fast facts – Riley and Schnellman combined for 31 rushing touchdowns last season. Fordahl is Zimmerman’s leading returning tackler with 57 tackles in 2015. Miller recorded six sacks last season, which was among the league leaders.
Coach says – “We lost a lot of very good players due to graduation, but we do have some excellent players with a lot of varsity experience returning. We lack experience and depth at a couple position groups.”
Outlook – The key to the season for Zimmerman will be if its junior class can step in and play successfully at the varsity level. If those players can, and the Thunder’s seniors – who have had a great deal of success the past two seasons – perform at the level Kish expects of them, his team should be competitive.
Last year – Both the girls and boys teams finished in the Top 10 of the section. “As the smallest size school, I felt that was a good showing for us,” head coach Michael Back said.
Coaches – Michael Back (head), Lynda Bouley (volunteer)
Captains – Wyatt Pramann, Kelsie Tufto, Alex Karnes
Returning regulars – Two all-conference returnees in Cheresa Bouley (so), and Sophia Smith (8). Tufto (sr), Grace Kerzman (jr) and Kaitlyn Whemeyer (8) are also all returning varsity runners. The Thunder only have seven girls, so Back is hopeful that some more join once school starts.
On the boys side, Pramann (sr), Alex Karnes (sr), Jacob Gagne (jr) and Aaron Coons (fr) are all returning varsity runners. The Thunder have several new runners, as well as some returning middle school runners.
Also in the mix – Jacob Waalk (sr), A.J. Martin (jr), Jon Sam (jr), Joey Manthey (fr), Joe Diegnau (fr), Aaren Varana (fr) and Jordan Nauber (fr) are all new runners. “We have more boys than ever with 18 registered so far,” Back said. “Twelve is the biggest number of boys we have had in the past. I expect to have complete teams at all three levels for the first time in our six-year history.”
Coach says: “One of our team goals has been to increase our numbers, and this is the biggest team that we have ever had. I hope to get more all-conference runners than last year (three) and to finish in the top half of both the conference and section meets.”
Outlook – Bouley and Waalk should be poised for big seasons, and Bouley’s only a sophomore, so her future is bright.
Last year – 5-16
Coaches – Cassandra Olson (head), Nate Christensen (junior varsity), Jessica Sagan (ninth)
Captains – Kaydia Dewey, Danielle Williams, Ilea May
Returning regulars – Williams (sr, OH), May (jr, OH), Natalie Miller (so, S), Alyssa Daughtery (so, OH)
Also in the mix – Camryn Keymes (sr, DS), Naomi Hagstrom (jr, MH), Eilysha Rosario (so, MH)
Coach says – “We have some athletic girls on our team, so we are looking to run a quicker offense this year and play some scrappy defense.”
Outlook – The Thunder play in a tough conference, but this group has the potential to improve upon last year’s campaign and finish more toward the top.
Last year – 3-13 overall
Coaches – Jeff Downing (head), Lynk Downing, Rich Bond, Hannah Fordahl
Captains – Morgan Bronken, Jackie Charles
Returning regulars – Demie Bond (sr), Leah Benz (sr), Kylee Johnson (jr), Val Kieliszewski (jr), Lexi Laurent (jr), Alivia McNulty (jr), Karissa Heyer (so), Katie Jacob (so), McKenna Miller (so), Josie Janu (fr), Hannah Nelson (fr)
“They all saw a season of varsity play last year, and as we continue to rebuild they will be key to our success,” Downing said. “Positions are undefined at this point, as we are still trying to see who works best in a variety of competitive scenarios.”
Also in the mix – Bella Crego (jr), Deja Dudley (jr), Lizzie Roberts (jr), Beth Steinke (jr)
“These four juniors were (junior varsity) leaders last year and are more than ready to contribute to the varsity team. We also have two eighth-graders that are likely to break into the varsity lineup at some point in Shannon Mattson and Miranda Schwieger.”
Fast facts – The Thunder have players from all four grades who will get consistent playing time.
Coach says – “Our program continues to grow as more and more players are finding club teams to play on in the offseason. It is exciting to see the development accelerate as more players are choosing soccer as their primary sport or activity. Everyone has given their all in every task they have been asked to do, from fundraising to packing meals for Feed My Starving Children to fitness and skill work. I feel blessed to be the leader of such a high potential group of young ladies.”
Outlook – The Thunder will have some games in which they will struggle, but they’ll have a chance to improve upon last year’s record.
What We Do
The Zimmerman Booster Club would like to thank the many volunteers currently involved, now and from the past. It takes many volunteers coming together to make a difference.
As a Booster Club we are interested in any ideas you may have to better our student’s experiences here at Zimmerman middle school and high school.
Getting involved in your school through the Booster Club is fun and a great way to meet other adults and faculty. We are always looking for people to help with ideas and the planning of Booster Club activities. Everything we do benefits the students of our school and community. We support our Academics, Arts and Athletics. Come check out what we are up to!
Booster Club meetings are always the 2nd Monday of each month, except when there is no school that day. Then it will be the following Monday. Meetings are at 7:00 in the ZHS media center. Please Come and Check It Out!
We are always interested in your thoughts, please come to any meeting and help make a difference.
Mike Crego - email
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