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Fair with Haze 31°
S 8 mph
KENOSHA — The second-ranked Bradford baseball team will be at full strength when it takes the field for the WIAA Division-1 State Tournament Tuesday at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute.
Star outfielder Nathan Mikolas has been cleared to play after sitting out Tuesday’s sectional at the New York Yankees’ request. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Mikolas was the Yankees’ third-round selection (No. 124 overall) in Tuesday’s Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
Mikolas and the Yankees met until late Friday night.
“I’m going to be able to play at state,” Mikolas said. “A Yankees guy is going to be there watching every move. They just said, ‘to play smart.’ I’m thrilled.”
Mikolas is looking at a hefty signing bonus when he officially forgoes his commitment to the University of Louisville and signs with New York. The Yankees have $378,000 budgeted for their third-round signing bonus, according to Baseball America.
To maintain his amateur status for the entirety of the postseason, Mikolas won’t sign until after the state tournament is completed.
Bradford opens against Bay Port in an 8 a.m. quarterfinal.
“(The Yankees) were totally fine with (me playing) now,” Mikolas said. “They said we’ll worry about it, if the slim chance of an injury happens.”
Because he hasn’t signed, his bonus money or spot with the Yankees technically isn’t guaranteed. But after hammering out the details of his ability to play next week, Mikolas is confident in the Yankees’ commitment to him.
“I know I’m going to be playing for the Yankees soon, but playing in high school only happens one time,” Mikolas said. “I want to finish out my high school career good. So, hopefully we can make a run for state.”
Mikolas is hitting .515 with six home runs and 23 RBI.
Just to have the opportunity to play for the Bronx Bombers is a dream come true for Mikolas. He says when he’s in town, he roots for Milwaukee, but has been a Yankees fan “all my life.”
“I’m truly honored and blessed for the opportunity,” Mikolas said. “I can’t wait to start playing (for the Yankees).”
Citing Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano’s “amazing swing” among his favorite things about the Yankees, Mikolas said it’s the team’s consistent commitment to championships (27 world titles), that grabbed his support.
“Everybody always plays a full season, but if you’re a New York Yankee, you’ve got to remember that you’re always going to play a second season in October,” Mikolas said. “For them to make it to the World Series numerous times is just remarkable.”
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High School Basketball
Indian Trail 88, Racine Park 63
SOMERS — For almost one half on Friday night, the Shoreland Lutheran boys basketball team was poised to shock the state.
With a jacked-up crowd buzzing, the Pacers pulled the upset alert siren when they took the lead with less than four minutes to play in the second quarter against powerhouse Whitefish Bay Dominican.
KENOSHA — An undefeated conference season is what coach Cliff McKenzie said the Reuther boys basketball team wanted most this season, and after routing Faith Christian 76-45 at home on Friday night it might just reach that goal.
The Bulldogs are 9-6 overall and sit atop the Indian Trails Conference Blue Division at 9-0. After winning just eight games all of last season, McKenzie said this season has been unexpected.
KENOSHA — Following his team’s colossal 72-68 Great Lakes Valley Conference win over top-ranked Indianapolis at the DeSimone Gymnasium on Thursday night, UW-Parkside men’s basketball coach Luke Reigel planned to celebrate in only the way that coaches do.
He was going to watch film.
SOMERS — In his tenure as the UW-Parkside men’s basketball coach, now in its 12th season, Luke Reigel has endured his share of lean years.
The Rangers have traditionally been something of an afterthought, not respected around the Great Lakes Valley Conference like some of the league’s usual stalwarts. Reigel would talk about playing in crowded arenas with boisterous student sections, only to come home to the DeSimone Gymnasium, where you felt like you could count the attendance in about a minute.
KENOSHA — The Carthage men’s and women’s basketball teams will try to snap losing skids when they host Illinois Wesleyan in a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin doubleheader Saturday at Tarble Arena.
The women’s game starts at 5 p.m. with the men’s game to follow at 7 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on WLIP-AM 1050 (wlip.com).
The first-place St. Joseph girls basketball team will try to stay undefeated in the Metro Classic Conference when it hosts Racine Prairie at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at Madrigrano Gymnasium.
The Lancers, who are ranked No. 7 in Division-4 in the latest Associated Press media poll and WisSports.net state coaches poll, are 10-0 in the MCC (13-3 overall), while the Hawks are 7-10 and 4-7.