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Former East soccer star drowns while boating

July 7, 2014

Former Brookfield East soccer player Brett Wiesner died early July 5 while boating with a number of friends on Oconomowoc Lake near Milwaukee.

Wiesner, who was 31, was a former Milwaukee Wave player. Wiesner was part of an eight-person group that went boating late evening/early morning July 4 according to a report by WTMJ-TV.

Apparently, Wiesner was one of several individuals who went swimming. While Wiesner's disappearance was reported at 4:42 a.m., police learned the group waited some 20 minutes before reporting him missing. Divers recovered Wiesner's body around 1:45 Saturday afternoon.

Wiesner, who was living in Brookfield at the time of his death, was a two-time Parade Magazine All-American at Brookfield East High School. He also was an NSCAA All-American and Wisconsin player of the year as a senior. He led the Spartans to the 1997 state championship, scoring a goal and an assist in the title game.

Wiesner's former coach and current Brookfield East High boys soccer head coach Herbert Dundun was devastated by the news.

"I coached him since his youth days, when he was 16 or 17," Dundun said. "He was such a fine player with a full love of the game."

Dundun recalled Wiesner as a great soccer player but perhaps an even better person.

"He was just a great young man. He was very, very unselfish. He gave whatever he could to make the next person happy. I'm very distraught. The soccer community will miss him," Dundun said.

Dundun hopes that the Wisconsin Soccer Hall of Fame will consider honoring Wiesner and noted how proud he is of the man that his once-teenage protege became.

"He fulfilled his potential as a player and person. He never forgot his roots and came back to his community to give us whatever he could," Dundun said. "We will miss him. I will miss him dearly."

Wiesner had just joined the coaching staff of the Brookfield Soccer Association headed by former Hershey Impact great Art Kramer.

Wiesner made a name for himself at the University of Washington. He played professional outdoor soccer for the Seattle Sounders and Harrisburg Heat before joining the Milwaukee Wave from 2006-2011. He was a member of the 2010-2011 Championship Team.

"The entire Milwaukee Wave family is mourning the loss of one of its own," said owner Sue Black. "He was a great guy on and off the field, and our hearts ache for their family and friends."

Head coach Giuliano Oliviero recently ran into Wiesner.

"Brett was a great friend, teammate and person," Oliviero said. "I just saw him last week with my son Xavier, and like always, Brett was a positive spirit. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten."

Assistant coach Nick Vorberg talked about Wiesner as more than just an athlete.

"Brett was one of the best local soccer players to come out of Milwaukee and even more of a great person," Vorberg said. "I will miss him greatly, and the Milwaukee Wave will never forget him. I truly give my sympathies to his family and know nothing can be said in the time of grieving — except he is in a better place."

Former teammate Tenzin Rampa will miss Wiesner's personality.

"Brett was so much fun to be around and everyone wanted to be around him," he said. "I will miss his positive energy and miss him more as a close, personal friend. Condolences to the entire Wiesner family."

— Tom "Sky" Skibosh

and Geoff Bruce

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