Best sports highlights of the year


Corbin Giese

Women’s basketball poses with the WIAC tournament banner after defeating UW-Eau Claire, Christina Patzka stands with his cross country All-American medal and his trophy, Tamir Thomas celebrates a touchdown in the football team’s victory over UW-River Falls.

Parker Olsen, Men’s Sports Editor & RP Sports Staff

If you had to pick your favorite moment that happened in the 2022-23 seasons for any UW-Whitewater athletics what would it be? The Royal Purple sports staff has come together to compile a list of some of the best moments. From week two of football to just last weekend’s WIAC basketball title games, here’s some of the best UWW sports moments of the year. Be sure to check out the links to our coverage of these events.


Football upsets number one:

In possibly the biggest regular season non conference game in over a decade, the Warhawks took on defending national champions and rival Mary Hardin-Baylor. The game was an instant classic, coming down to a goal line stance and a final drive capped off by a fantastic catch to win it. This is one of the few times you’ll ever see the football team storm the field after a win.


Star wrestler Jarrit Shinhoster defeats four Division I opponents:

Who said Division III athletes can’t compete with the big dogs? Shinhoster cemented his status as one of the top wrestlers in the nation when he took down four Division I opponents at the Ken Kraft Midlands Tournament, good enough to take second place. Of course, he wasn’t thrilled he got second.

Did we mention that Shinhoster also got the 100th win of his career against UW-Stevens Point this season too?


Christian Patzka takes second in the nation:

Patzka has been making a name for himself in both cross country and track and field for a few seasons now. This Whitewater first puts him in the history books and the drivers seat for years to come.


Jeffery Isotala-McGuire’s leg is just enough versus UW-River Falls:

This UWW football game looked like it would be a breeze at halftime but things took a turn for the worst, setting up one of the most edge-of-your-seat moments of the year. Warhawks kicker Isotala-McGuire’s leg was put to the limits when he skipped this game winning field goal off the crossbar as time expired.


Women’s tennis extends ridiculous streak:

Not many college programs can say that they haven’t had a truly down year in over a decade. Well head coach Frank Barnes can boast about his women’s tennis team more than just about anyone can about any program. They secured their 16th consecutive WIAC championship this season.


Luke VanDonslear & John Zakowski hold on to take regional title:

These men’s tennis players pulled off one of the most gut wrenching comebacks of the year. If they lost a point they’d have lost the match, but they battled to win four straight points to stay alive and win the Midwest Regional Doubles Championship.


Football breaks attendance record:

Family Fest plus Friday night lights equals the highest attendance of an on campus Division III football game of all time. 18,951 fans jammed into Perkins Stadium as the Warhawks took on UW-Oshkosh.


Men’s soccer comes back on senior night to win Shaymus Guinn Cup:

Every team has tales of comeback wins, but not many tug on the heartstrings like this one. On senior night, two seniors netted goals in the final 15 minutes to tie and take the lead. With the win the Warhawks retained possession of the Shaymus Guinn Cup, a trophy honoring Whitewater head coach Tony Guinn’s son who died of cancer at age 11.


Golf wins 6th straight WIAC title:

The golf team knows a thing or two, or six, about conference championships. Despite a deficit after day one, the Warhawks fought back and won the title in a one hole playoff, punching their sixth straight ticket to the NCAA Division III Tournament.


All-American Aleah Grundahl hits 1,000 point milestone:

In just the second game of the season, Grundhal became the 18th Warhawk in program history to knock down 1,000 career points. Her point total is just the tip of the iceberg of her accomplishments, which includes a run to the Final Four.


Head coach Keri Carollo hits major milestone of 400 wins:

As if she had not made it clear that she was a fantastic coach already. Between Final Fours, conference and regional and national coach of the year awards, Carollo has built an incredible women’s basketball program. Getting her 400th win in her home state of California in front of family may be one of the greatest moments of the year.


Volleyball takes WIAC regular season & tournament titles:

The Warhawks volleyball team pulled off a feat that not many can say they have been a part of, winning both regular season and tournament titles in the same season. After going undefeated in WIAC play, the team came back from losing the first set of the WIAC Tournament championship game.


Basketball sweeps the WIAC:

UWW hoops won almost every title possible this year. The women’s team took the regular season WIAC title over UW-Stout, then followed it up with taking revenge for last year’s WIAC title game by defeating UW-Eau Claire in the championship game.

To complete the WIAC Tournament sweep, the men’s team hit a hot streak and knocked off the top two teams in the conference in order to win the WIAC title. Their wins gave them the right to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years.


How about that for a year? The Warhawks have had plenty to celebrate this year, and they aren’t done yet.