Panthers experiencing growth

By Jason Arndt
Staff Writer

In Western Kenosha County, where other sports have dominated the scene, third-year soccer coach Tim Stewart is looking to create a new culture at Wilmot Union High School.

The Panthers, who play in a challenging Southern Lakes Conference, finished in the lower half in last year’s standings.

However, Stewart believes this year’s team is another sign of continuous growth.

“As we work to establish a soccer culture at Wilmot, I believe that this team is a sign of things to come,” he said. “The Southern Lakes Conference is very competitive, and in the past we have been on the lower portion of the win/loss column.

“I believe this year’s team will represent the continued growth we have been working toward,” he added. “This year’s team will be one of the strongest I have coached since coming to Wilmot.”

The Panthers, who finished 1-11-2 overall a year ago, bring back 12 letter winners and welcome several newcomers to the mix.

Sophomore forward Sophia Parisi, All-Conference honorable mention and second team All-Area, is the leading returner and presents speed and toughness.

“Sophia is a forward with speed, toughness and an unshakeable can-do attitude,” Stewart said. “She was the leading scorer on the team last year and is setting out to repeat that in 2019.”

Parisi is joined by Makayla Wedge-Damon, Trinity Rausch, Jessica Bouma, Audrey Awe, Molly Jastrab, Casey Christiansen, senior midfielder Olivia Rzonca, senior defender Maddie Lindemann, junior midfielders Meija Pearson and Abby Morgan, sophomore forward Kailyn Kiraly and junior defender Ella Holst.

Fab Five
Of the letter winners, five serve as captains, including senior outside midfielder Wedge-Damon.
Stewart said Wedge-Damon brings strong leadership.

“In the team voting for captain, (Makayla) was a unanimous choice,” he said. “Makayla leaves for Marine boot camp two weeks after graduation.”

Rausch, according to Stewart, leads an improved defense as senior defender while Bouma offers athleticism.

Bouma switched from basketball as a junior.

“(Jessica) is a solid athlete that improves every time she takes the field,” Stewart said.

Meanwhile, Awe overcame adversity and bounced back from an injury as a freshman that required two years of physical therapy followed by surgery to return to the field as a senior forward.

Stewart said her adversity has been an inspiration.

“I am inspired by this young lady every time she takes the field,” he said.

Junior Jastrab, Rausch, Christiansen and Lindemann could give Stewart the best defensive unit he has had since he started.

Luthy highlights newcomers
Nayana Luthy, a foreign exchange student from Switzerland, is among the team’s promising newcomers.

Stewart noted the junior midfielder offers the team a positive attitude.

Other newcomers are Valerie Zuehls (freshman outside midfielder), Keira Miscinski (freshman outside midfielder), Shannan Biba (sophomore goalie) and Zoe Zenner (freshman goalie).


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