The Fox Valley Association Spotlight is back for the fifth straight year in 2018-19, profiling student-athletes from each of the 10 conference schools. Students are selected by their school and profiles run every Tuesday and Thursday during the school year. This week, get to know Melissa Gess, who participates in cheer and dance at Appleton West High School.
Athletes from seven Fox Valley Association schools helped the Fox Cities Stars co-op capture their first WIAA state girls hockey championship with a dramatic 6-5 double overtime win over Hudson on March 2 in Madison. Hortonville's Maddy Jablonski tallied the game-winning goal to cap the comeback as the Stars rallied from an early 3-0 deficit.
Appleton North's Mckayla Zilisch tied the game with 11.1 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Annaliese Mauel from Kaukauna earned the victory in goal, coming in relief in the first period and making 14 saves.
The team finished 24-4 overall and also featured players from Appleton East, Appleton West, Kimberly and Neenah. A co-op team from Appleton East, West and North won the state championship in 2007 for the Fox Valley's only previous title in the sport. The Stars compete in the Eastern Shores Conference.
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Neenah captured its third WIAA state boys cross country title and first since 2001 with four runners among the top 30 finishers to edge defending champion Middleton by nine points on Oct. 27 in Wisconsin Rapids.
Matt Meinke was third overall in a 5K time of 15:33 after placing fourth individually last season. The trio of Griffin Congdon, Trenton Bauer and Austin Henderson stayed together the entire race and finished within three seconds of each other. Congdon was 24th in 16:19, Bauer was a second behind and finished 26th, while Henderson was 30th in 16:22. Joseph Murray rounded out the Rockets’ top five by finishing in 117th place in 17:11.
Neenah totaled 122 points, while Middleton finished with 131 points. Neenah also won boys cross country state titles in 2001 and 1963. It marks Neenah’s 33rd state title in any sport in school history.
Welcome to the official website of the Fox Valley Association. With 10 schools totaling an enrollment of over 15,000 students, the conference spans the length of Lake Winnebago from Kaukauna to Fond du Lac. The Fox Valley Association is one of the oldest athletic conferences in Wisconsin with seven of its eight original members still intact from its founding in 1970.
Fox Valley Association schools are members of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) and the conference sponsors 20 championship sports.