By Rich Palzewic
ASHWAUBENON – From undefeated seasons, to head coaches resigning, it was an interesting 2018 year for Ashwaubenon High School athletics.
The following five stories were the most read during the calendar year, with input from the staff at The Press Times.
Guarascio commits: Anthony Guarascio, a 2018 Ashwaubenon graduate, picked Lakeland University to continue his education and basketball career.
Guarascio also shined on the football field his senior year as a quarterback.
“Right after the high school football season ended, I was all in to play college football,” said Guarascio. “I had several Division 2 offers. However, once the basketball season started and I was in the gym, everything kind of changed for me. My heart said to continue on the hardwood.”
He passed for over 2,000 yards, garnered first team all-conference honors and led the Jags to the playoffs in football.
On the hardwood, Guarascio was a three-year varsity performer who averaged 21 points and over eight rebounds per game his senior year.
He was named first-team all-conference and had eight games in which he scored 25 points or more.
Jonas resigns: Ashwaubenon High School head football coach Mark Jonas resigned Nov. 9 after 10 years at the helm.
The Jaguars, who have made the WIAA state playoffs for 21 consecutive seasons, lost in the WIAA Level 1 playoffs this past season to Marshfield, 34-14. They ended the year with a 5-5 record.
Jonas will continue his role as English teacher at the high school.
“I’ve been a head coach for 25 years and 34 years in coaching overall,” said Jonas, who in 102 games at Ashwaubenon, was 64-38 overall. “I’d like to still coach, but with all the stuff that goes along with being a full-time head coach and teacher, sometimes it’s just time to step back.”
Jonas began his coaching career at Reedsville and then moved to Hilbert and Oconomowoc. Most recently before his Ashwaubenon gig, he was the head coach at Kaukauna.
“The Ashwaubenon job is a really good job to have,” Jonas added. “There are a lot of really good kids coming up through the ranks that work hard and understand the aspect of winning.”
Undefeated Jags: The 2017-18 Ashwaubenon girls’ junior varsity basketball team finished a perfect 22-0 with a 49-29 victory over Bay Port Feb. 15, 2018.
“This group of girls has accomplished something that few schools ever get to feel in a single year in the state of Wisconsin – no matter the level,” said head JV coach Erin Gresen. “They worked very hard in practice, in games and should enjoy it now that the season is complete.”
Ashwaubenon A’s state-bound: The Ashwaubenon A’s Legion baseball team headed to the 2018 AA state tournament with a 12-2 victory over Ahnapee July 22, 2018.
“I’m just so proud of these guys right now,” said Ashwaubenon head coach Ben Perry. “We’re not done yet. I’m happy that we are one of eight teams down at state, but we feel like if we play well on both sides, we can compete with anybody.”
The A’s lost their two games at the state tournament later in July to end their season.
Jags come back to beat Redbirds: Scoring with just 14 seconds remaining in its football game with De Pere, Ashwaubenon posted a 15-8 victory over the Redbirds in a Fox River Classic Conference game at Ashwaubenon High School Aug. 30, 2018.
Sophomore quarterback Cadian Vang hit Cam Wheeler from 5 yards out to seal the win.
“I think it’s safe to say that this win pretty much saved our season so far,” said former Ashwaubenon head coach Mark Jonas. “We had talked about the playoffs before this game and pretty much said we had to get a win. Our kids never quit and I was really impressed by the integrity of our team.”