By Jeremy Ratliff
Seven Merrill High School athletes were recognized for their performance during the winter 2016-17 season, as the Wisconsin Valley Conference recently announced all-conference honors.
In boys basketball, MHS junior guard Zach Mootz tops the list as the only Bluejay First Team selection.
Mootz not only led the Jays in scoring this season (413 points, 47.4% FG, 69.4% FT) but ranked as the WVC’s third-leading scorer (216 points, 18 PPG) the WVC’s top 3-point man (28/59 47.5%,) and ranked 6th in the conference in assists with 40. This is the second consecutive year Mootz has received post-season accolades; garnering All-WVC Honorable Mention status in 2015-16.
Junior forward Jared Ollhoff was named All-WVC Honorable Mention. Ollhoff finished third on the team in overall scoring (221 points, 54.5% FG, 65.3% FT) and was the WVC’s Field Goal leader (46/73 63%).
On the girls’ side, Juniors Patience Pyan and Maddix Bonnell tabbed post-season honors; Pyan named a Second Team All-WVC selection and Bonnell earning Honorable Mention status.
Pyan paced the ladies in scoring this season (221 points, 39% FG, 72% FT) and ranked 6th in overall scoring in the powerhouse-laden Wisconsin Valley Conference, scoring 135 points and averaging 11.3 PPG.
Bonnell and Pyan formed a formidable 1-2 punch for the Jays this season, as Bonnell was the team’s second leading scorer with 170 points, (44% FG, 75% FT). Bonnell also ranked as the second leading Free Throw shooter in the conference (21/25 84%) and ranked 7th in assists with 35.
Senior Forward Austin Burgener was named Second Team Hockey All-WVC in the inaugural season of the Merrill-Wausau-East Hocky co-op after leading the Bluejacks in overall scoring with 29 points and 8 assists.
Senior defenseman Ben Brown garnered All-WVC Honorable Mention status tying as the team’s third leading scorer with 14 points and assist leader with 10. Senior goalie Bryce Broeking was
also named All-WVC Honorable Mention status after posting an impressive 264 saves in conference competition this season and an 88.9% save percentage.