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A version of this story first appeared in the Preps Alcove column in Lake Country Sunday (that version also included Mukwonago athletes). With the summer baseball season ending last week for area teams, the 2016-17 school year in athletics is officially in the books.

Take a look back at the top athletes and more in the Lake Country coverage zone.

Team of the year

Arrowhead girls golf

I was tempted to cheat and just say "Arrowhead golf in general" after both the boys and girls teams won state titles this season. But the Arrowhead girls were particularly dominant, firing 624 and finishing a staggering 51 strokes ahead of second-place Middleton at the state meet in Madison.

The story is pretty good, coming one year after Middleton topped Arrowhead by a single stroke for the 2015 title. The Warhawks set a new state record with a Day 1 round of 308, followed by a 316, and won by the largest margin of victory in Division 1 since the WIAA went to multiple divisions in 2003.

Sophomore Emily Lauterbach won the individual state title and was named the Journal Sentinel girls golfer of the year.

But don't forget about the boys: Freshman Piercen Hunt won the individual state title for Arrowhead, and the boys topped Marquette for the team title after missing out last year — and a whole lot of Warhawks will return next spring.

Other team state titles in Lake Country include the Arrowhead girls lacrosse team, the Kettle Moraine boys lacrosse team and both Arrowhead ski teams.

Coach of the Year

Craig Haase

Arrowhead boys basketball 

It's not as though the Arrowhead boys were ever struggling, per se, but after losses to talented Milwaukee Riverside and Oshkosh North in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout in late December, it certainly didn't appear as if Arrowhead was a state-championship contender.

But Arrowhead found another gear down the stretch, led by seniors Ben Seefeld and Trevell Cunningham, and the Warhawks pulled off a series of upsets in the postseason over Bay Port, Kimberly and Brookfield Central to reach the Division 1 state-championship game.

Red-hot Stevens Point took it from there, but it was an exciting run for the Classic 8 champion. Seniors Marko Matejic, Alec Hamilton and Tommy Durand also played huge roles.

Athlete of the Year (multisport)

MacKenzie Schill

Pewaukee

This year, the honor goes to Pewaukee senior MacKenzie Schill, who led the girls basketball team to another brilliant season and guided the soccer team to the sectional final.

The hoops team finished 20-4, with Schill averaging 18.3 points per game, helping her earn unanimous first-team All State selection in Division 2.

But the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee soccer recruit is even more at home on the pitch, where she is the school's all-time scorer and helped her squad finish 16-3-2 with a Woodland Conference championship, to boot. She scored an incredible 47 goals in 2017, with eight assists. She was conference Player of the Year in both sports.

Athlete of the Year (single sport)

Ben Nienhuis

Oconomowoc

The quarterback's rapid improvement between his sophomore and junior year helped the Raccoons boast one of the state's top aerial assaults. The first-team All State choice threw for 2,902 yards and 29 touchdowns one year after Oconomowoc finished 11-1. This year's team finished 8-2. Pewaukee wrestler Jacob Raschka won this last year and was deserving again; as with the multi-sport nod, we'll give him emeritus status.

Game of the Year

Arrowhead boys basketball vs. Brookfield Central

The Arrowhead boys basketball team won a zany state semifinal over Brookfield Central, officially clinching a spot in the state final when a last-second Central layup rimmed out.

The 63-62 win in overtime featured a basket by Tommy Durand — his only make of the game — with 6.3 seconds left to provide the winning tallies and a rally from 12 points down in regulation with 5 1/2 minutes left.

Trevell Cunningham finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in the epic battle, and Marko Matejic hit three 3-pointers in the final five minutes of regulation to aid the comeback.

Story of the Year

Greg Malling returns

The former Arrowhead football coach, who led the Warhawks to four straight state title games, will return to the area in 2017-18 as head coach at neighboring Oconomowoc, which also happens to be joining the Classic 8 this season.

Malling was hired by former Arrowhead athletics director and current Oconomowoc AD Kevin Flegner. 

Graduating with Honors

Blaze Beltran, Pewaukee. The wrestling heavyweight couldn't quite defend his state championship, but he did take second and added one more honor to a career that also saw him perform as one of the Woodland Conference's fiercest linemen on both sides of the ball. For the first time in program history, Pewaukee reached Level 4, falling to eventual state champion Catholic Memorial.

Haddie Carlson, Lake Country Lutheran. The senior forward posted 37 goals and six assists and she led her squad to a sixth straight appearance in the state tourney, and then back to the state final. She'll play at Central Michigan next year.

Zach Clayton, Oconomowoc. His incredible career comes to a close after he was named All State multiple years in football and baseball, not to mention his two first-team All Conference selections in basketball. He'll play baseball at Oregon State next year. 

Sam DeLany, Kettle Moraine. A member of the 4x400-meter relay that won the state championship, he will walk on to play football at Wisconsin next year after a huge year on the football field for the Lasers as a receiver (939 yards after converting from quarterback).

Eleni Egelseer, Oconomowoc. The Wisconsin Little Ten girls soccer Player of the Year led OHS to a conference title and the first trip to the state tournament in program history.

Parker Ellis, Oconomowoc. He took ffith in the state 800-meter run, but his big showing came as the anchor of the 4x800-meter relay team, when he combined with Alexander Carter, William Ullrich and Taishi Ikeda to win the state championship. 

Grace Gilmore, Arrowhead. The first-team All Conference choice in girls basketball helped Arrowhead rope in the Classic 8 title, and she's been a key component of the varsity for three years. She also ran on the second-place 4x400-meter relay team at the state track and field meet. Teammate Lizzy Bejna also enjoyed a strong four years in the Arrowhead track program, with four top-10 finishes at state on relays. She and Gilmore also took second on the 4x4 in 2016.

Ezra Heinritz, Lake Country Lutheran. He was named the Midwest Classic Defensive Player of the Year as he led his squad to another conference title. He was also named first team on the offensive line and also earned All Conference mention in baseball.

Maggie Held, Arrowhead. She has six top-10 finishes in her career at the state swimming meet and was a part of the Warhawks team championships in 2014 and 15.

Brian Jacques, Oconomowoc. He overcame injury to finish third at the state cross-country meet before adding eighth place in the 3,200 at the state track meet.

Jared Jones, Kettle Moraine. Now a member of the U.S. Marines, Jones took second in the pole vault at the state meet for a second straight year. Jones came into the meet with the top seed height of 15 feet, 7 inches.

Bennett Knapek, Arrowhead. He's finished in the top 12 at the state golf meet three times, and this year he was part of a state-championship team performance. Arrowhead also won the team title in 2015.

Sommer Kunstmann, Kettle Moraine. The Classic 8 Player of the Year led her team as a hitter and pitcher to the sectional final and a Classic 8 Conference softball championship in the spring. The Lasers will lose a number of powerful seniors, including Carlee Balk, Kaitlyn Kane, Michelle Salomone, Katelyn Yute and Abby Varick.

Adam Mielke, Lake Country Lutheran. The first-team All Conference selection at receiver and defensive back in football was part of three state-qualifying relays in track and field, including the third-place 4x200 and fourth place 4x100.

Ben Psicihulis, Kettle Moraine. He ran a memorable anchor leg to lead his team to the 4x400-meter relay championship at the state track meet, and he took second in the open 400. He was also a key part of the exciting football team's solid showing under first-year coach Justin Gumm and the boys basketball team, which pulled an upset in the opening round of the playoffs.

Jacob Raschka, Pewaukee. After an undefeated junior year, the Missouri recruit made it two straight state wrestling championships with a dominant senior campaign.

Carl Renz, Pewaukee. Now with multiple no-hitters to his name, Renz has been a standout pitcher on the baseball team that led his squad to the sectional final last year. He's also been an important part of the football team that reached its first Level 4 game this past season.

Cole Sandvold, Arrowhead. The third-place finisher in the 1,600 at the state track meet was also part of the second-place 4x800 two years ago and also took 10th at the state cross-country meet in the fall.

Jordan Schmid, Kettle Moraine. The Classic 8 boys lacrosse Player of the Year led his team to state titles as a junior and senior.

Nicole Shanahan and Natalie Perrault, Oconomowoc. Both were key components of an undefeated conference championship in volleyball and run to the sectional final, where the Raccoons fell to eventual state champion Neenah. Shanahan was named second-team All State in 2016. The Raccoons reached the state title match in 2015.

Patrick Tomfohrde, Pewaukee. The pitcher was named Woodland West Player of the Year, helping Pewaukee win the regular-season and tournament title. He was joined by Conner Goodman on the first team and will be joined by Goodman at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Zak Wegner, Arrowhead. The Marquette University recruit in soccer was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Wisconsin after scoring 32 points in the fall.

Tanner Williams, Arrowhead. One of the top hitters on the boys volleyball team that made a surprising run to the state tournament, Williams also batted cleanup for the baseball team that reached the state semifinal, en route to being named second-team All State. He was also part of last year's state runner-up baseball squad.

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