Friday, August 29, 2014

Crusader Boys Soccer continues fight against leukemia

from today's Waukesha Freeman - 

CMH continues fight against leukemia

WAUKESHA — The Catholic Memorial High School boys soccer team continues its fight against leukemia. Today marks the 10th Annual Sam Beres Soccer Tournament at Waukesha South High School. Proceeds raised at the tournament will be donated to the Medical College of Wisconsin for leukemia research.

The tournament is held in memory of Sam Beres, the nephew of CMH coach and alumnus John Bisswurm and brother of 2009 CMH graduate Jordan Beres, who lost his battle with leukemia in April 2000 at age 6. Over the past 10 years, the soccer program has donated over $10,000 to leukemia research.

Tournament play begins at 4:30 p.m. today as CMH plays Southeastern Wisconsin Christian Home School, followed by a game between Racine St. Catherine and Hartford. On Saturday, there will be a consolation and championship games. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior and children under 6 is free.

More gridiron dominance from CMH

from today's Waukesha Freeman - 

CMH 35
West Allis Central 0

More dominance from CMH
 Gromacki heads Crusaders defense with shutout

By Mark Hutchinson, 
Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA — Bill Young says his team is getting better. ... and healthier.

That presents a formidable challenge to upcoming opponents of the Catholic Memorial High School football team.

The Crusaders, who dominated Milwaukee Riverside in their season opener last week, shut out West Allis Central 35-0 on Thursday at Carroll University to run their record to 2-0 heading into next week’s Classic 8 Conference opener against Waukesha North.

“West Allis Central has tough kids, and (coach) Dax (Rodriguez) does a really good job with them, but we were a little bit better up front,” Young said. “This was a team we should have beaten, and we did, but we can always get better.

“I like how we’re playing, and we have a great chance to get three kids back next week.”

Young is optimistic that junior Nick Schulze, sophomore Josh Karfonta and senior Chris Rupel, who have been nursing injuries, will be back in the lineup when the Crusaders open Classic 8 Conference play against Waukesha North next week.

Senior defensive lineman Sam Gromacki, who helped spearhead the CMH defense’s shutout Thursday, likes the idea of having a complete lineup intact.

“That’s going to give us even more motivation going into our next game,” Gromacki
 said. The Crusaders were plenty motivated Thursday and seized control of the game in a hurry.

The CMH defense forced Central into a quick threeand- out, and the offense quickly took care of its business,
 too. Senior running back Tommy Garza ripped off runs of 10 and 24 yards, then junior quarterback Alex Bray hit senior wide receiver Robbie Gogin over the middle with a 34-yard touchdown pass at the 9minute, 36-second mark of the first quarter.

Garza, who rushed for a game-high 133 yards on 19 carries, liked the tone his team set.

“We played well,” Garza said. “Tony Balistreri and Bruce Mesa, and the other guys up front did a great job. We came out wanting to run the ball, and those guys made it happen.”

Young echoed Garza’s comments.

“Give our offensive line a lot of credit — Tony Balistreri, Bruce Mesa, Jake Strelka, Chandler Bargielski, Gabe Bautz and ‘Schmidty’ (Mike Schmidt),” Young said. “We’re going to have multiple running backs changing up and getting after it. Garza is a real steady hammer, a pounder guy. Jaylen Campbell has the ability to use his size, and Matt Lechner gives us some speed.”

After the Crusaders stonewalled the Bulldogs again, CMH embarked on a 10-play, 45-yard drive that culminated in a 7-yard touchdown run by Garza with 4:03 left in the opening quarter.

CMH accumulated 228 rushing yards on 38 carries, but was far from one-dimensional.

On the team’s first drive of the second quarter, Bray connected on three passes, including an 8-yard scoring strike to Gogin with 7:24 left in the first half.

Bray finished 13 for 18 for 166 yards and two scores.

“I like what we’re doing with Alex Bray and our receivers,” Young said. “(Offensive coordinator)
 Bobby Hall called a great game.

“But we have to keep everything in perspective. We have a long season ahead of us.”

Garza scored his second touchdown of the game on a
 1-yard run and junior Matt Lechner added a 12-yard touchdown jaunt in the third quarter as the Crusaders extended their lead to 35-0 and set the continuous clock in motion. 

The Crusaders’ seniors and their parents were recognized during a halftime ceremony that seemed a bit surreal to Garza and Gromacki.

“It’s definitely crazy being my last year,” Garza said. “I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as I can.

“We have a great senior group that has stuck together since we were little kids and we get along so well. It’s great to be out there with them for one more year.”

Gromacki concurred.

“It’s a lot different being a senior, because all of the underclassmen are looking up to you to be one of the best players,” he said. “I like it. We have a really good senior class with a lot of leaders. We’re trying to set an example for the underclassmen.”

Gromacki also likes the way the Crusaders are pushing each other in practice.

“We always work ones versus ones in practice, so we get good work from our offensive line against our defense and viceversa,” Gromacki said. “It’s great that we work hard against each other to make both our offense and defense better.”

The players are getting the idea, Young said.

“There’s an old adage in football: ‘Run the football and stop
 the run,’” the coach said. “Offensively, you want to be able to say you can run the ball in all kids of weather. If your defense stops the run, it makes teams onedimensional.

“We’re built for that. We just have to keep working on it.”


Photo credits: Top - Catholic Memorial senior Tommy Garza runs up the sidelines as West Allis Central sophomore Xavier Mullins moves in during Thursday’s game at Carroll University. Charles Auer/Freeman Staff 

Bottom - Memorial senior Mike Schmidt runs along the sideline trailed by West Allis Central junior C.J. Edwards during Thursday’s game at Carroll University. Charles Auer/Freeman Staff 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Freeman Football Preview - Crusaders

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Catholic Memorial’s Sam Gromacki, left, and Jaylen Campbell 
stand up a ballcarrier during a playoff game last season.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

CMH stout on defensive line
Freeman Staff 

WAUKESHA — Catholic Memorial players have most likely have read the Book of Revelation
 in the Bible. It’s not the end of the world when seniors Sam Gromacki and Ronny Driscoll, junior Zack Taylor and sophomore Tevin Smith are on the field — but they will end the opposing offense’s push as the Crusaders’ stout interior defensive line.

“We always talk offensively to run the ball and defensively stop the run,” coach Bill Young said. “We were pretty good with that last year, but that was last year. We will see if we can improve on that.”

Gromacki (6-foot, 275 pounds) was a second-team all-state and first-team all-conference pick.

“Sam is just an old-time football player,” Young said. “He’s a physical kid that loves to compete and loves the game. He’s just really fun to coach.”

Taylor is the biggest of the group at 6-3, 288. Driscoll is 6-0, 249, and Smith is 5-11, 245.

Sophomore Jaylen Campbell (6-1, 185) will play drop end. Junior Niko Medina (5-11, 192)
 can also play at the drop end, while junior Nick Schulze (6-1, 205) and Mike Schmidt (6-5, 226) will play as rush ends.

Senior Mikey Wurster (6-1, 201) returns as the top linebacker. Senior Chris Rupel (5-10, 197) missed last season with an injury during the scrimmage, but played as a sophomore.

Junior Matt Lechner (5-11, 183) returns at safety along with senior corners Jack Crain (6-0, 175)
 and Jett Siegenthaler (6-0, 171). 

Junior Alex Bray (6-2, 175) will step in under center.

“We have high expectations at the quarterback position,” Young said. “I think he’s got good intelligence and the ability to throw the football.”

Senior Robbie Gogin (6-2, 180) will be Bray’s top target, and Young said Gogin did
 well in July camp. Senior tight end Schmidt at 6-5, and junior Fletcher Metz (6-4, 198) offer tall targets. The Crusaders also have sophomores Eric Fridl (5-7, 140) and Josh Karfonta (5-7, 155) as slot receivers.

Senior Tommy Garza (5-10, 188) will be the featured back, while Schulze looks to be the fullback and junior Pat McKnight (5-11, 210) and Campbell are in the mix.

“We’d like to throw it about 12 to 15 times a game and run the ball 30 times a game or more,” Young said. “If you
 can get to 55 plays or more, you are doing really well.”

Senior center Tony Ballistreri (6-4, 285), a threeyear starter, is the top returner on the offensive line. Sophomores Bruce Mesa (6-0, 258 pounds) and Chan Bargielski (6-0, 263) have made an impression and look to play at guard. Junior Gabe Bautz (6-3, 290) will start on the line, but Young doesn’t know if he wants him at tackle or guard.



The Freeman’s area football rankings 


1. Arrowhead — Two-time defending state champs

2. Waukesha West — A lot of talent returns for state semifinalist

3. Catholic Memorial — Crusaders always find a way to reload

4. Hamilton — Chargers primed for GMC title run

5. Mukwonago — State semifinalist has some holes to fill

6. Lake Country Lutheran — Team was a state semifinalist a year ago

7. Oconomowoc — WLT champs have some retooling to do

8. Pewaukee — Pirates are postseason regulars

9. Brookfield Central — Lancers were second in GMC last year

10. Brookfield East — Spartans have some question marks

Catholic Memorial’s 25.8 Composite ACT Highest in Recent History

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                           

Catholic Memorial’s Composite ACT Highest in Recent History

Waukesha, WI—August 20, 2014- A recent report from American College Testing (ACT), shows the composite ACT scores at Catholic Memorial High School (CMH) have jumped in the past year from 24.6 to 25.8. CMH’s 25.8 composite score indicates the high extent to which our students are prepared for college-level work.

At CMH, all students take either the SAT or ACT.  All segments of students saw an increase in composite scores.  In Waukesha County area, most schools have about 80% participation.  At CMH, we are proud that our top 80% have increased to 27.2.  But, we are most excited that the segment of students which might not otherwise take the ACT, averaged 20.3 which is a 2.6 point gain in three years.  

“This accomplishment is an indicator of the exceptional efforts of our students, parents, faculty and staff,” said CMH principal Dr. Robert T. Hall. “Over the past five years, our community has continued to intensify our efforts in helping all students grow academically and spiritually.” 

The ACT report provided five year trends of the average scores not only at CMH, but in other Wisconsin schools. While the highest score on the ACT is a 36.0, the Wisconsin state composite score is 22.2, 2nd highest in the country.   CMH students averaged above a 25 in ALL subjects tested, reflecting the strategic learning imperatives of our school.

CMH President, Fr. Paul Hartmann, ’84, praised not only the hard work and efforts of the students in this accomplishment, but also the dedication of all CMH faculty and staff.  He also noted that the faith and educational partnership that CMH has with parents and its partner (elementary and middle) schools contribute to all of the school’s many successes.  “CMH has always been a school for the entire family.  A student’s varied needs, learning styles, and skills are all developed so that every member of a graduating class contributes to an objective success as significant as this.”

At Catholic Memorial High School, we educate students as individuals, intellectually and spiritually.  We guide students to work to their God-given potential.  We prepare them for postsecondary education and to become leaders who serve the Church and world.

For more information about our school’s outstanding educational programming, such as Memorial Propel, PLTW, International Baccalaureate Diploma and Career Certificate Programs, Academic Resource Support and Student Growth Plan, please contact the school.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CMH tops Vikings in boys soccer

from today's Waukesha Freeman - 


CMH tops Vikings in boys soccer 

WAUKESHA — Junior midfielder Connor Alba scored in the 70th minute to lead the Catholic Memorial High School boys soccer team to a 1-0 nonconference victory over New Berlin West at Waukesha South on Tuesday.

Senior forward Eric Brown assisted the goal for the Crusaders.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Catholic Memorial’s Eric Brown is among several seniors returning to the team this season.
Freeman file photo

Crusaders ready for challenge 
CMH coach expects usual battles in Classic 8

Freeman Correspondent

WAUKESHA — If you’re the smallest school competing in the mostly Division 1 Classic 8 Conference, you’re usually in big trouble.

But get outside of the conference and, well, let’s see.

If you’re the Catholic Memorial High School boys soccer team, you then get to compete in WIAA Division 2 state tournament series.

And the John Bisswurm coached Crusaders have advanced to the state tournament 10 times, winning one championship.

Bisswurm enters his 35th season as Memorial’s only soccer coach with a record that is simply gaudy: three state titles overall, including two in the now-defunct Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association, and 24 total state tournament appearances – eight of them in the last 11 seasons as a WIAA member.

His teams have had only one sub-.500 record and have amassed 473 victories.

So projecting how the team will perform this season is easy: The team will once again be highly competitive — its ranking in the Classic 8 notwithstanding.

Current Classic 8 teams have advanced to the state
 tournament seven straight years and 10 of the last 12 with Muskego the defending Division 1 state champion.

“We have a lot of starters
 to replace, six or seven, so we have a lot of holes to fill,” Bisswurm said. “We have to revamp our backline with senior graduations, but our young men are working hard and the sky’s the limit. 

“In our conference, every night is a dogfight but I think we’ll be in the thick of a lot of games. I thought the Classic 8 was the best league in the state last season, and this year I think it has the potential to be the same.”

One of Bisswurm’s early concerns is, “Our possession game has to be better than it was last season.”

Arrowhead was the league champion last season, but league members Muskego and Kettle Moraine advanced to the state tournament.

Six of Memorial’s seven total losses last season were by a single goal.

Returning from that team are junior first-team all-conference midfielder Connor Alba, honorable-mention senior forward Eric Brown, senior midfielder Matt Morris, sophomore midfielder Lucas Morris and senior defender Jon Setzke.

The team will have one huge addition: sophomore goalkeeper Josh Balicki, who played for the Chicago Fire Academy club team last season. His father, Jon, and brother, Joel, played for Bisswurm and his mother, Julie, is also a CMH graduate.

Others returning and
 expected to be major contributors are: senior defender Will Dirksen, senior midfielder Liam Crain, senior forward Drew Kohler, junior midfielder Luiz Lima, junior midfielder Austin Uhl, junior defender Nick Davis and sophomore midfielder Charlie Huber.

Sophomore defender James Major is another player that Bisswurm says “is a special talent” and many players will be moving up from a junior varsity team Bisswurm labeled as “solid.”

Sunday, August 17, 2014


from Friday's Waukesha Freeman -

Crusaders look to improve as a team

Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA — Steve Plechaty knows there are some holes to fill — well, at least one big one.

The Catholic Memorial High School girls golf team lost its No. 1 golfer to graduation, and Lauren Klubertanz left some big shoes behind. Klubertanz averaged 40.7 per nine holes in being selected first-team All-Classic 8 Conference and receiving honorable mention all-state honors.

But Plechaty, who enters his 18th season as the Crusaders coach, isn’t overly worried. While he doesn’t have a golfer who reached Klubertanz’s level last season, he has a veteran group
he is banking on taking a step forward and improving the team.

“Although we will miss the low scores of Lauren, I believe our overall team scores will be lower,” he said.

Memorial finished third in the Classic 8 Tournament last season and finished sixth in the league’s overall standings. CMH was second in its WIAA Division 1 regional and finished sixth at the sectional level.

Senior Dana Ahlstrom is the team’s top returning golfer after averaging 45.6 per nine holes as a junior. She was a third-team All-Classic 8 pick.

Junior Jessica Heyrman averaged 48.2 per nine holes last fall.

“Jessica and Dana have worked hard on their golf game this summer,” Plechaty said. “They have shown great improvement.”
Also returning from last season are seniors Hannah Petre, Mary Kate Sauer, Val Zanotelli and Tatum Schieck along with sophomore Claire Prager.

Plechaty is also looking to freshmen Sydney Brandt and Brianna Nevins to step in.

“Hannah, Val, Claire, Mary Kate and Tatum are stronger than last year,” he said. “Sydney has a lot of tournament experience and will fit in immediately.”

The Crusaders will have to battle some top competition throughout the season. Arrowhead was ranked No. 2 in the state in a preseason poll by the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin. The league also includes Mukwonago and Waukesha, which both received honorable mention in the state poll.

“Each year our goal is to gain experience and make improvements week to week to be successful in the postseason,” Plechaty said.



from Saturday's Freeman -

Taugher’s turn to lead Crusaders 
Senior a two-time state qualifier

Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA — Marissa Taugher has a chance to achieve a trifecta.

The Catholic Memorial High School senior is pursuing a third consecutive trip to the WIAA Division 2 state individual tennis tournament, having competed in Madison with Elizabeth Diedrich in 2012 and Kelly Quartaro in 2013.

Taugher, a captain, is one of six letterwinners back from last season’s team, which finished fourth in the Classic 8 Conference at 4-3.

“Our team goal will be to finish second or third in conference play,” CMH coach Carl Veenendaal said. “I hope to advance two or four players to state.”

The Crusaders’ other varsity veterans are senior Melissa Akre, sophomores Catherine Raster and Kate Mrochinski and seniors Bridget Fredericks and Ann Marie Raster, who both
played some varsity matches last season.

CMH is working to replace a talented 2013 graduating class that included Catie Fredericks, who went 25-5 at No. 4 singles; and Diane Heighway and Michaela Hoffman, who were 22-6 at No. 2 doubles. Quartaro and Nicole Schmit have also graduated.

“Kate Mrochinski and
Catherine Raster are a couple players we will be looking at to make an impact this year,” Veenendaal said. “Seniors Millie Akre and Marissa Taugher will hopefully be able to make it to state as a doubles team. Juniors Sarah Rosecky and Maureen LaMarche may also be a strong doubles team.”

The Crusaders prepared themselves diligently for the fall.

“Most of my players participate in the Waukesha Tennis Association at Heyer Park during the summer,” Veenendaal said. “Several attend the Whitewater Tennis Camp and take lessons at either Western Racquet Club in Elm Grove or Lake Country in Hartland.”

As Memorial pursues its goal of finishing second or third in the conference, it will take aim at another challenging objective.

“My other goal is to try to
stop Arrowhead from running the table on the Classic 8 Conference,” Veenendaal said. “They are a force that is going to be next to impossible to stop.

“We could combine all seven teams, cherry pick the top players from each team and I still don’t think that team could stop Arrowhead. They return everyone from last year’s 48-1 team. (Coach) Gina Resch should be able to lead Arrowhead to its first state title this year.”

Photo:    Catholic Memorial’s Marissa Taugher reaches for a shot during last year’s Classic 8 Conference Tournament. Freeman file photo