Tony Butler, it seems, is everywhere in Oak Creek High School athletic history.
The best player in the baseball program's storied history with a flame-throwing fastball was a high-level Major League draft pick several years ago. Though getting to 'The Show' was not quite in the cards for him, Butler established a standard that will be hard for any Knight baseball player to reach.
It also turns out that he was a heck of a basketball player, too, setting the school standard for career points with 1,098.
But it turns out that that goal was not as unattainable as Butler's inestimable baseball records.
Because with 12 minutes to go in the first half of the 59-35 win over Racine Case on Jan. 12, 6-2 senior guard Harrison Cleary dropped in a shot, and with it, he became the new all-time leading scorer in Oak Creek history.
But his new-found elite status hasn't made that big an impression on the soft-spoken, NCAA D2 Minnesota-Crookston recruit, who's currently averaging 18.9 ppg.
'Because the biggest thing right now is to play well and win games,' he said after a tough 45-40 nonconference win over South Milwaukee on Jan. 19. 'Records and scoring titles are nice, but the real things we want are wins and a conference title.'
His coach Mike Jossie said that that attitude is genuine
'He is more about the team than ever before,' Jossie said. 'He is so focused on us doing well. The other night (in the 65-46 win over Kenosha Bradford on Jan. 22), he was in foul trouble most of the game and played only about 12 minutes, but there he was cheering on his teammates.'
Cleary was at 1,150 points when the Knights (6-2 in Southeast Conference play and 10-5 overall) took on league-leading Racine Park (8-0 in league) in a Jan. 26 Southeast match-up. If Oak Creek wanted a shot at a league title, they needed to beat the Panthers that night.
They will visit archrival Franklin at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29.
The team focus that Cleary has also has the tri-captain on the cusp of another record Jossie finds even more impressive.
'He's only about 27 assists away from the school career assist record,' Jossie said.
Cleary went into the Park game with about 156 career assists.
Jossie said that will dove-tail perfectly into his future role at Crookston.
'They're definitely seeing him as a future point guard,' Jossie said. 'So instead of the 30 points and two assists a game kind of line, they'll be looking for something like 12 points and eight assists a night.'
Jossie said the fine season has been a great reward for Cleary and the other tri-captains Mitch Magyar and Macen Leonardi.
'Those guys have all been with me since their sophomore year, so I'm glad things are working out for them,' he said. 'This has been a great group of senior leaders so I've been giving a lot more freedom to the captains. I admit to being a control freak, but it is nice to give control of the (pre-game) shoot-around to someone like Harrison. I still put together the basic outline, but to have someone like him really lead the team is pretty special.'
The win over South Milwaukee came just a few days after a tough and damaging loss to Kenosha Indian Trail that hurt the Knights' Southeast title chances, and Jossie said the up-and-down effort against South Milwaukee was a little bit of a hangover from KIT contest.
He said the Knights finally straightened things out against Bradford.
'We found our step a little bit again,' Jossie said. 'We set good screens, we hit some shots and we held their leading scorer (De'Monte Nelson) to around nine points (he had been averaging 19).'
Creek had good balance this game as Drew Yetka led the way with 17 points. while Joey Zietlow had 13, Magyar 11, Cleary nine and Matt Kasar eight. Oak Creek hit eight 3-pointers on the night, including three by Magyar.
Jossie was pleased the Knights were able to reach an important team milestone this night.
'It was a pretty big week for us,' he said. 'To get to 10 wins for the season was special because we've had a hard time getting to that mark in the recent past.'
Oak Creek was 10-13 last season and 12-11 in 2012-13 but have a chance to go well beyond those two marks this season.
And Jossie and the Knights are going to savor every win they get from here on out.
'I can't believe there's only about a month and a half of the season left,' he said, 'but I'm glad to see that we're still working hard. The last couple of practices have been pretty upbeat. That's a good sign.'