These four Division 2 Previews completes the 14 survey forms that were returned. That return rate from Division 2 coaches on a statewide basis is just 17.7%.
Division 2 – Enrollment this school year is 723 – Sectional 3 Group B Final is at Evansville
Conference – Badger South
Nickname – Cheesemakers
Head Coach – Joe O’Leksy – 3rd after 22 as an assistant coach t Monroe under Dale Buvid (40-12) (337-75 as JV coach) – Under O’Leksy the Cheese has claimed one conference title and a regional title.
Assistant Coaches: Noel Herbst (19 years) and Donna Skogen (12 years after being head coach at MT Horeb for years.)
Head Coach Joe O’Leksy took over the Cheesemaker program after the retirement of Hall of Fame coach Dale Buvid. This will be his third year at the helm in Monroe. His teams remain as competitive as they were when he was an assistant. This season he welcomed back all-conference players senior Olivia Bobak who provided solid work in the circle with 221 strikeouts, 46 BB, 1.92 ERA and a batting average of .387 with 10 doubles, 3 homers and 35 rbi; sophomore Sydney Updike who will moving to Shortstop from the Outfield this year and had a batting average of .420 to go along with 2 homers and 35 rbi; Senior center-fielder Hailey Betthauser who hit for .360 with 4 homers, 14 rbi, scored 38 runs and swiped 16 bases without getting caught stealing; Grace Tostrud a junior first sacker who batted .388 with 3 homers and 22 rbi; sophomore second sacker Alyse Maurer who hit .383 with 9 doubles, 12 rbi, scored 32 runs, walked 17 times and was a perfect 12/12 in stolen bases. Bobak, Updike, Maurer an Betthauser were all named All- District while Bobak and Updike earned All State honors.
“We return Oliva Bobak in the circle so our pitching will be an anchor for the upcoming season,” said O’Leksy.” “Our offense is well grounded as can be seen with our returnees and their numbers from a year ago. Defense, like it always is for everyone is a work in progress as we are young at most positions.” The Monroe schedule features 21 of 26 games against Division 1 schools and the he says the Badger South will be much tougher this spring. The Cheese will be playing doubleheaders against Arrowhead and Oak Creek, D.C. Everest and Waunakee while the Monroe tourney will feature Verona, Tomahawk, Orangeville, IL, and Freeport, IL. O’Leksy sees his own team along with Fort Atkinson and Watertown as the strength at the top of the Badger South however, the rest of the conference has solid programs. At the sectional level the Cheese will have to compete with the likes of Whitnall, Turner and East Troy and of course Portage in the other sectional group.
Division 2 – Enrollment this school year is 834 – Sectional 32 Group A - Final is at Evansville3
Conference – Badger North
Nickname – Eagles
Head Coach – Shane Been – 11th Year
The Eagles return all-conference player Regin Suchla from last year’s club. “We will be young after graduating last year’s battery along with other position players,” stated the head coach. “We will have to improve as we gain varsity experience this season. To do that our defense is going to be tested so we have to focus on that aspect. If we can bring a bit more energy to the program this year we will improve quickly.” The coach views conference favorites as Portage and Beaver Dam while the sectional strength lies in Portage, Evansville and McFarland.
Division 2 – Enrollment this school year is 483 – Sectional 1- Group A – Sectional Final is at Baldwin-Woodville
Conference – Middle Border (Baldwin-Woodville, Ellsworth, New Richmond, Osceola, Prescott, Saint Croix Central, Somerset)
Head Coach is: Tara Rose in her 5th year - Has claimed one regional title
Assistant Coaches: George Fowler, Robin Rivard, Katlyn Zieman and Megan Jensen
Amery with just 483 students has to be one of the smallest Division 2 schools in the entire state. The largest Division2 schools have upwards of 700+ students. They will have to compete against conference rivals Ellsworth and Prescott (a Division 3 Final Four club from last season). At the sectional level in Division 2 in that part of the state Amery head coach Tara Rose views Ellsworth, Rice Lake and Onalaska as the toughest foes. She returns all-conference players Madelyn Granica, Autumn Rivard and Julia Egebretson this season. “We return some good hitters but we must work hard on being more consistent. As we gain more experience I believe we will be stronger,” said Rose. Pitching of course is a concern for this club.
Division 2 – Enrollment this year is 692
Head Coaches are: Tony Porath 24th Year (341-171)and Melinda Hull 2nd Year
Assistant Coaches: Kaitlyn Thompson and Brianne Beyer
New London has won six conference championships in Tony Porath’s years as head coach and claimed 8 regional titles, added 6 sectional titles, been to the Final Four 6 times and won a state Title
The Co-Head coaches welcomed back all-conference players Kate Christian and Elise Sturgil. The two coaches view the conference favorites as Seymour and West De Pere.