What a final six months of Kiel sports in 2019. A newly refurbished Fifrick Field is christened and the Raider football team responds with an 8-0 record there and the school's first-ever appearance in a state championship football game. That and more as we look at July to December:
*With no more WIAA summer baseball, July is a quiet month. Among the activities is the annual Raider Youth Basketball Camps conducted by former Raider varsity boys basketball coach Jamie Arenz.
*Even severe weather doesn't damper the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Games in Oshkosh that includes Kiel star player Maximus Ramminger.
*Bill Heckmann is selected to be inducted into the Kiel Football Alumni Association Hall of Fame.
*The 1969 state runnerup Kiel baseball team is highlighted in an article commemorating the 50th anniversary.
*The unveiling of the $3 million new Fifrick Field takes place and a standing room-only crowd enjoys pleasant weather and a 30-13 Kiel win over Ripon.
*August marks the debut of Kiel's online radio station, KielRaiderRadio. People from all over the world can listen to Kiel Raider football via their computer. Kiel High School alum Chris Liermann is the founder. Raider basketball coaches Marcus Rumpff and Brennan Nett are the broadcasters.
*While the football team had a great opener on the new Fifrick Field, so did the Raider boys soccer team. On September 3, Ryan Freund scores the first three goals and Kiel whips Random Lake, 6-1, in their debut at Fifrick.
*Britany Bushman's Raider volleyball team wins an exciting season opener over Mishicot.
*Another successful Kiel Raider Cross Country Invite is held.
*The 1989 Eastern Wisconsin Conference Tri-Champ Raider football team is honored, the second Kiel team to make the WIAA playoffs.
*Tony Grybush's girls cross country team is ranked 11th in the state among Division 2 schools.
*Fresh off the first state number one ranking in school history, the Kiel Raider football team showed that they are richly deserving of it as they rolled to a convincing 52-14 Eastern Wisconsin Conference win over Manitowoc Roncalli on the Raiders' Homecoming.
*Overcoming sloppy course conditions, the Kiel cross country teams swept the team titles in the Small School Division of the Slinger Invitational at Homestead Hollow Park near Germantown. In the girls varsity race, Kiel's five scoring runners all finished among the top nine with four placing second through fifth. Sophomore Jocelyn Aprill was second overall. The Raider boys held off Campbellsport, 33-44, for Small School boys honors. Travis Kohlmann flew around the Homestead Hollow course in a winning time of 18:33, one second ahead of Kiel's Noah Watson with Hunter Westermeyer third at 18:49.
*It appeared that Kaytlyn Hartfield found a weakness in her opponent. However, sixth seeded Becky Lorrain of Wausau Newman rolled off the last three games and beat the Kiel senior 6-2, 6-3 in a first round match of the WIAA State Individual Girls Tennis Tournament at Madison's Nielsen Indoor Tennis Stadium. Hartfield was Kiel's first state qualifier since Christina Laun's third place finish in Division 2 singles at the 1999 state tournament.
*The Kiel Raiders played like a #1 seed handing Campbellsport a 42-0 thumping in the first round of the Division 4 WIAA football playoffs. Connor Voelker collected four turnovers defensively, while quarterback Mitchell Mahler ran for three scores in the lopsided win at Fifrick Field.
*For the third year in a row, veteran Kiel cross country coach Tony Grybush has a state qualifier in the boys field. Travis Kohlmann makes his debut when the 2019 WIAA State Cross Country Championships take place at The Ridges Golf Club near Wisconsin Rapids. He earned his berth after taking 11th in the Division 2 Two Rivers Sectional.
*The Green Bay Packers announced that Mike Dressler of Kiel High School has been named the Packers High School Coach of the Week. The program is presented by Jack Link's Protein Snacks. Dressler is now in his seventh year as the varsity head coach of Kiel. On Friday, Oct. 11, Kiel defeated New Holstein 40-0, which improved the Raiders' record to 8-0 on the season. The win also gave the Raiders their fifth straight eight-win season.
*Kiel's magical run to the WIAA Division 4 State Football Finals will be one of the most memorable events in Kiel history. The month starts out with heavy snows for Level 2 and 3 home playoff games where the community comes out twice to shovel the snow from the new synthetic turf at Fifrick Field. The Raiders respond with a 17-0 win over Denmark and 21-14 win over Berlin. They now go on the road and defeat Wrightstown in a Level 4 game at Appleton East to reach Madison for the first time in school history.
*She came in as the 16th seed among the 16 participants, but that was just a meaningless number to Ally Boyer. The Kiel sophomore impressed with a 12th place finish in the Division 2 field in the 100 yard breaststroke at the 50th Annual WIAA State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships, perhaps the last at the current University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison as a new UW Nat should be open in 2020. Boyer, making her debut at state, had a time of 1:09.65, 1.1 seconds ahead of her seed time from sectionals.
*Back to the gridiron, Kiel's football team has pretty much dominated, with some exception, most of their 13 opponents coming into its final game. The Raiders finally met their match.
Waukesha Catholic Memorial unleashed a potent offense against a Kiel defense that has been strong all season, but a bigger and deeper Crusader team scored a 35-0 win over the Raiders in the WIAA Division 4 State Championship Football Game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. A large Kiel fan following, the largest of any of the eight schools that played on Thursday, was on hand to support their hometown heroes. It was a bitter pill for Kiel to swallow as they suffered their first loss of the season ending a school record 13 wins in a row. The Crusaders amassed 474 total yards of offense to just 88 for Kiel. Catholic Memorial, the 2018 Division 3 state champ, finishes 12-2. They compete in the almost entirely Division 1 Classic Eight Conference that includes the reigning Division 1 state champ Muskego, who was back at state last Friday to defend their crown.
*Jacob Schiessl debuts as the new boys swim coach. He is the son of former Kiel coaching great Steve Schiessl.
*The boys basketball team ends 2019 winning two games.