The success of 1968-69 and 1969-70 basketball teams are highlighted for being a valuable part of five conference titles in eight seasons starting with the 1962-63 season and ending in 1970. The success of the 1960’s basketball program under the direction of Coach Bill Fischer (2000 HAHF Inductee) has not been duplicated to this date.
The 1968-69 coaches were Bill Fischer, Russ Schauf, and Herb Sosinsky. The team was 11-8 overall, 9-1 in conference and conference champion. Team members consisted of Mark Taylor, Jim Draeger, Tim McCalla, Dean Grube, Tom Timm, Dana Kahle, Bill Wurl, George Buschmann, John Boldt, Terry Timm, Joe Draeger, Al Petta, Paul Taylor and Bob Doucette. The season started with four non-conference losses to Ladysmith, Merrill in overtime, Wausau Newman and Rhinelander. Performance turned around as Tomahawk went 1-1 in the first two conference games defeating Phillips 74-66 yet losing to Park Falls 49-41. Conference wins over Mosinee and Medford improved the record to 3-1. Following two non-conference losses to Marathon by five points and Wausau Newman by two points , Tomahawk proceeded to run off six straight conference wins highlighted by winning over Park Falls 65-56 and an exciting 72-71 overtime win over Medford. In playoff action Tomahawk defeated Lakeland for the third time by a 70-48 score and then handled Park Falls in their third contest by 15 points for the District title. At regionals, Tomahawk ran into a buzz saw as Rhinelander won by a 93-56 score and their season come to a close. Post season honors went to Jim Draeger and Tom Timm who were selected as All-Conference 1st Team and Dean Grube & Mark Taylor receiving 2nd Team All- Conference honors. Most notable about the 1968-69 team was that three sets of brothers made up part of the same team —Timms, Taylors and Draegers.
In the 1969-70 season, back to back outright conference titles for the first time in school history materialized. The team was coached by Bill Fischer, Terry Dieck and Steve Warren. Team members consisted of Kahle, Terry Timm, Al Petta, Bill Wurl, Tom Koth, Eugene Slaga, Tom Whalen, Don Petta, Joe Draeger and John Lovshin. Compiling a 15-5 overall and 9-1 conference record Tomahawk added a fifth conference title in eight years. The repeat conference performance would not come easy as Tomahawk defeated Phillips by 1 point, Lakeland by 1 point in overtime and Park Falls by 2 points in triple overtime. The victory over Rhinelander by the score of 76-70 was the last victory over Rhinelander until 2017 when Tomahawk defeated the Hodags for the first time in 47 years. Coach Fischer inspired the team when the coach from Rhinelander told him that they would no longer schedule Tomahawk as they felt that Tomahawk was not good enough competition for them. Needless to say this is all Coach Fischer needed to hear. It was game on!!!!
Tomahawk opened the playoffs that year with an 80-71 overtime win over Park Falls and a 73-69 win over Phillips for their second straight District title. In regionals Tomahawk defeat Marathon 65-55 before falling to Wausau 89-51. Wausau at this point in time was comprised of one school and did not split into West and East until the following season. This playoff loss was also the second year in a row that Tomahawk would fall to the Wisconsin Valley Conference Champions. Honors went to Dana Kahle as the Lumberjack Conference Scoring Champion with 248 points for the season. Dana was also voted 1st Team All-Conference and Joe Draeger voted 2nd Team All-Conference with Paul Taylor and Terry Timm receiving Honorable Mention All-Conference honors for their efforts. Additional honors went to Dana Kahle as an Honorable Mention Channel 7 All Star.
These athletes prided themselves in hard work and determination to be the very best they could be, both on and off the court. Many fond memories were made compliments of Coach Bill Fischer.