TOSA WEST PROMOTES SOFTBALL COACH
The Wauwatosa West softball team will have a new coach this season, but a familiar face. Tori Franz, who was an assistant coach last season, as been promoted to the No. 1 spot.
Franz began her coaching career at New Berlin West, being an assistant varsity softball coach and head JV volleyball coach in 2008-09. She moved to Tosa West to take over as freshmen head volleyball coach in 2011-12 and moved on to assistant softball coach in the spring of that year.
Franz also is involved in club sports. She has been the club director for the Wauwatosa Shock Girls Fastpitch program since 2012 and has been with the Spike Milwaukee Volleyball Club since 2011.
Franz, a New Berlin Eisenhower graduate, moved on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned degrees in Spanish and Political Science. She earned her teaching certification for Spanish and ESL at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She then earned her Masters in Educational Leadership from Marian University.
As a player, Franz was a catcher at Eisenhower (1997-2000), earning all-conference honors (1999-2000) and being a state qualifier (2000). She also played club ball for the New Berlin Magic (1994-2001).
If the weather cooperates, the first games are scheduled for Tuesday at Pewaukee and at Waukesha North on Wednesday. The first home game is against Greendale on Thursday.
The Trojans were 11-13 last season, 2-8 in Woodland Conference play.
"Our goal is to improve the talent of the players currently in and those entering the program," said Franz, who then laid out her plan to make that happen.
She wants to see an increase in the players involved in summer softball.
"Several of our players from last season participated in summer club softball for the first time for various teams in the area," she said. "The number of players competing in summer league play has quadrupled since last year. I expect that number to continue to increase going forward."
Franz also wants to get her players involved in fall softball, as Tosa West participated in an organized fall ball league for the first time last fall, playing six doubleheaders in the months of September and October.
Looking ahead, Franz and her assistant Ashley Imperiale started the Wauwatosa Shock Girls Fastpitch Club. Shock is a competitive fastpitch club that currently fields teams at the U10, U12 and U16 age levels.
More information about Shock's format and philosophy can be found at their website, tosashock.com.
"The majority of the girls who participate in this club are Wauwatosa residents and many of them will be filtering into Tosa West eventually," Franz said. "We believe that the establishment of Shock will greatly improve the level of talent coming into our program."
The Trojans have several starters returning this year, including junior pitcher Ashley Lindstrom.
"However, we are young overall and have several vacancies to fill in our roster," she said. "The good news is that many of our girls have really stepped up their commitment to softball in the off-season by participating in summer and fall leagues, so our players who are returning from last year will be stronger."
So with the establishment of Shock and more and more of West players competing in summer league, the future of Trojans softball looks promising.
WAUWATOSA WEST GIRLS SOCCER
Wauwatosa West first-year girls soccer coach Ryan Bailey will have plenty of talent to deal with.
Returning letter winners and their years on the varsity are seniors Anna Stadler and Katelyn Hronek (both 3-years); juniors Alex and Alyssa Heyer and seniors Sabelle Seabrook, Jillian Ditscheit, Adriana Luna-Garcynski, Ashley Colebourne, Maggie Boyle, Jessica Pike and Mia Tripi (all 2-years) and juniors Gena Schaut, Maggie Fuhrman, Sarah Henson and seniors Christina Meyer and Erin Billstrom (all one-year).
Tripi, Stadler and Hronek are this year's captains.
Stadler, last year's Woodland Conference Player of the Year, was joined by Hronek as a midfielder on the first-team all-conference. Seabrook was also first team goalkeeper and both Pike and Tripi were honorable mention defenders.
"We return 16 players to our varsity team that has finished second in the Woodland the past two years," Bailey said. "I expect this to breed competition each day at training. There will be competition to make the team, gain playing time and become a starter."
Bailey is impressed with the talent he has inherited.
"We will have skilled players from all four classes competing for spots on all three levels," he said. "We have talented and deep freshmen and sophomore classes that will be asked to contribute with the upperclassmen. We will be very competitive on all three levels."
The Trojans were 9-0-2 last year, taking second behind New Berlin Eisenhower (10-1) because of the points system. Pewaukee (11-0) won it two years ago and Tosa West tied for second with a 9-2 record.
"We have not reached our potential the past couple years and that is my responsibility this year," Bailey said. "We must elevate our level mentally and physically each day to achieve our goals. Winning the Woodland Conference should be an expectation for this group."
Paul Piering will be a varsity assistant after spending five successful years as West's JV1 coach. The JV1 and JV2 coaches are both first-year coaches, Matt Dahnke and Jessica Hoffman, respectively. Kimmee Karnowski will again be a volunteer assistant.
"For me personally, it will be a change to be the girls varsity coach, but not a major one," Bailey said. "I have been the varsity boys coach for the past three years in addition to assisting coach Jon Gulrajani on the girls' side."
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