Webster's Christina Weis heads in for a layup against Siren. – Photo by Josh Johnson
Siren 59, Webster 25
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
WEBSTER – The Siren girls basketball team picked up an easy win over Webster Tuesday, Dec. 9, handing the Tigers their first loss of the season.
"Siren came to play and we could not respond defensively to slow them down," said Webster coach Andrew Harrison. "Offensively, we struggled to make things happen and did not do a very good job of moving the ball around and using the whole court. But we are going to use this game to get better and now we see what we need to improve on in order to compete in this conference."
Siren improved to 4-0 on the year with Caitlynn Daniels leading the way with 27 points, followed by Hope Peterson with 16, Zoe Emery, seven, Ashley Rightman, five, and Emily Howe, four.
The Tigers got eight points from Christina Weis, Stefani Wamboldt had five and Katrina Staples and Kaitlyn Moser each had four. Allison Mulroy and Lydia Wilson had two and Alexis Piepho added one. Wilson led wit seven rebounds.
"We have another tough match-up in Frederic on Friday so we will need to get better quickly in order to compete in that game," Harrison said.
Luck 41, Cumberland 37
CUMBERLAND – The Cardinal girls basketball team picked up their second win of the season at Cumberland Tuesday, Dec. 9, posting their best shooting percentage, (32.7-percent) of the season according to coach Marty Messar.
Raelyn Tretsven led with 17 points and Brittany Donald knocked down a trio of 3-pointers for 11 points. The team shot 5 of 5 from the free-throw line and Angela Gore hit a pair of free-throws late to help seal the win. Jenni Holdt and Gore each had seven rebounds.
Baldwin-Woodville 63, St. Croix Falls 32
BALDWIN – The Saints lost to a solid, and undefeated Baldwin-Woodville girls basketball team Tuesday. The Blackhawks spread their offense around with nine players putting points on the board. The Saints were led by Adi Stoffel with seven points, followed by Mariah Rohm with six, Kristin Petherbridge, Katie Kopp and Bailey Hansen each had four, Addie McCurdy and Annalise Parks had three apiece and Rebecca Nelson added one.
The Saints travel to Luck this Friday, Dec. 12, starting at 5:45 p.m.
Siren's Caitlynn Daniels pulls up for a shot over Christina Weis of Webster Tuesday, Dec. 9. Daniels led the Dragons with 27 points. – Photo by Josh Johnson
12/3/14 Vikes win over Saints in first conference test
Lara Harlander of Frederic crosses mid-court under pressure from Saints freshman Addie McCurdy.
Frederic 54, St. Croix Falls 52
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
ST. CROIX FALLS – The Frederic Viking girls basketball team opened up the conference season with a win over St. Croix Falls Tuesday, Dec. 2.
"Great way to start conference play," said Vikings coach Troy Wink. "A game with a lot of scoring runs by both teams."
Frederic was up 22-10 at the end of the first quarter and at one point held a 16-point lead according to Wink. But the Saints came storming back, cutting it to 29-26 in favor of Frederic at halftime. In the fourth quarter the Vikings went up by nine points with two minutes to go but the Saints cut it to two points with six seconds remaining in the game.
"Great balance of scoring for us," Wink said. "Got in a little bit of foul trouble, played some younger girls, they did well."
Wink noted four big points by sophomore Brittany Dohm. Ann Chenal and Lara Harlander led with 13 points and Taylor Alseth added 11, followed by Shelbi Root, six, Nicole Nelson and Dohm each had four and Makayla Arthurs added three.
The Saints were led by Mariah Rohm with 19 points and seven steals, and Annalise Parks had six steals. Katie Kopp had 11 points.
Siren 53, Shell Lake 29
SIREN – Siren took care of the Lakers 53-29 in a nonconference battle that featured three Dragons in double-digit scoring including Caitlynn Daniels with 16, Emily Howe, 13 and Hope Peterson, 12.
The Tuesday, Dec. 2, game had Siren up 17-6 after the first quarter but the Lakers closing to within three points at halftime, 22-19. Siren's defense shined in the second half holding the Lakers to just 10 points.
Other Dragon scorers included Laurel Kannenberg with five, Zoe Emery, three, and Abby Kosloski and Ashlee Rightman each with two points.
Braham 61, Grantsburg 22
BRAHAM, Minn., – The Bombers held the Pirates to just 22 points in a border battle Tuesday, Dec. 2. Bombers senior Jaclyn Hollenkamp scored 24 points to lead the way while Grantsburg got six points from Violet Ohnstad and Jordyn McKenzie. Cassidy Lee had four points, Rhiana Pochman, three, Katie Curtin, one and Kayla Glover, one.
Northwood 41, Luck 29
LUCK – The Cardinal girls basketball team couldn't hold off Northwood in a nonconference test Tuesday, Dec. 2, despite keeping the game within reach heading into the fourth quarter, tied 27-27.
"They outscored us 14-2 in the final stage as we managed only two free-throws. They made 8 of 10 free throws, and (Elise) Burns, had 12 points in the deciding stanza," said Luck coach Marty Messar.
The Cardinals were led in points by Angela Gore with nine, followed by Brittany Donald, seven, Paige Runnels, four, Raelyn Tretsven and Jenni Holdt each had three, Emma Pedersen, two and Olivia Nielsen, one. Holdt ended with 12 boards and five assists.
"We shot 23-percent for the game and coupled with 18 turnovers, made for a frustrating night on the offensive end of the floor," Messar said.
Frederic's Ann Chenall takes a shot over the head of Saints senior Bailey Hansen Tuesday, Dec. 2, in St. Croix Falls.
12/3/14 West Lakeland boys face another tough conference
Frederic’s Zach Schmidt defends Niko Neumann of St. Croix Falls in a conference game during the 2013-14 season. Both athletes are back again this season but won’t face each other until Jan. 23. – Leader file photo
Early indications offer no clear favorites
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
FREDERIC – The race to the West Lakeland Conference title for boys basketball teams this winter will be a battle for every team as many are bringing back winning attitudes and several starters who helped turn out successful seasons last year. As with every high school team there’s usually some turnover, but many underclassmen itching for a spot on the varsity roster.
For the Frederic Vikings, they return much of their starting lineup after finishing 6-6 in the conference and ending their season against Siren in the regional playoffs. Two senior starters and a junior return this season including Austin Kurkowski, who averaged 10 points per game with seven rebounds. He also earned all-conference honors, along with senior Zach Schmidt, who averaged 10 points per game with 12 rebounds. Speedy junior Roman Poirier was also a starter and averaged 13 points per game. The Vikings also bring back several other players with varsity experience including seniors Irric Erickson, Greg Peterson and junior Austin Ennis. Other Vikings seniors include Mark Olson and Zane Matz.
“I think Luck and Unity will have good teams this year, but every conference game is a battle. There are a lot of good players and coaches around, so we have to be ready for every game,” said coach Ryan Lind, who is in his seventh year as the varsity head coach and has led the Vikings to a number of great seasons, and this year could prove to be another memorable one for Frederic as anything can happen. Lind said some of the strongest aspects of the Vikings will be ballhandling, speed, shooting, transition and defense, but a lack of overall size could be a weakness.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to coach a great group of student-athletes. From what I can tell so far, this seems to be a good, hardworking group of coachable kids,” Lind said.
GRANTSBURG – The Pirates scored just two West Lakeland Conference wins in the 2013-14 season and got off to a rocky start, falling in their first eight games of the season. This year the Pirates will look to turn things around in a big way, under an otherwise successful six-year head coach Nick Hallberg. The Pirates coach has led the Pirates to some memorable seasons, including their trip to the state finals in 2011. This year there’s excitement in the fact that the Pirates bring back several quality athletes with varsity experience.
“We still lack height, but we have a group back that is used to being on the floor together,” Hallberg said.
Grantsburg returns all-conference honorable mention Jordan Knutson, a 5-foot-8-inch junior guard who led the team in points last season on several occasions, averaging 16 per game. Hallberg says the team is more balanced than last year as well, which could go a long way toward their success.
“Getting closer and closer to the balance needed to be a consistent team,” Hallberg said, adding that there’s no reason the Pirates can’t compete with everyone on the schedule this year.
“We have a good nonconference schedule again with Braham, Pine City, McDonnell, Spooner, Cameron and Clayton on our schedule. With that said, I don’t feel like there is a game on our schedule that I can look at and say we can’t win.”
LUCK – The Cardinals were regional champions last season but their season ended in sectionals at the hands of Drummond 27-23. It’s a new year for Luck but a lot of familiar faces will return to give the conference title another shot, and a possible playoff run as they’ve seen in previous seasons under coach Rick Giller. The Cardinals lost some key seniors to graduation, but bring back talented 6-foot-6-inch junior Noah Mortel, who led the Cardinals in rebounding and points on a number of occasions last season. Senior Trent Strapon is another proven leader and point guard while Trevor Dexter, 6 feet, 2 inches, and Sam Nelson, 6-5, both seniors, logged quality varsity minutes last season. Juniors Nick Mattson, 6-1, and Taylor Hawkins, 6-2, each contributed minutes to the varsity and could step into prominent roles this year. Hawkins led the Cardinals last season with 13 points during Luck’s regional championship win over Siren.
St. Croix Falls Saints
ST. CROIX FALLS – Saints coach Chad Hall is entering his fourth season as head coach and appears to have another solid rotation to look forward to for the 2014-15 season.
“Excited to just get the games going ... guys have been working hard in practice and did a nice job over the offseason. We are also excited with the mix of upper and lower classes,” Hall said, adding that there is a handful of new faces on varsity.
The Saints return two senior players who have started the past three seasons, including Jacob Jacobson, who was an all-conference honorable mention at point guard. He averaged 10 points per game with four assists and is regarded as the best Saints shooter. Niko Neumann, a 6-foot-2-inch all-around player, is returning after scoring over 11.5 points per game with eight boards and 4.5 assists last season. He was an all-conference honorable mention the past two seasons. Mark Wampfler is another returning senior who started in several games since his sophomore year.
“Mark, like Niko, can play multiple positions but he primarily works in the post and guards players much taller than him. He is a good defender with an even better work ethic,” Hall said, and added that the team has several other players coming back who had limited varsity minutes, but are battling for a spot on the varsity roster. That includes four seniors, four juniors and two sophomores.
“All four of the juniors and both sophomores were able to get some varsity minutes last year,” Hall said. “Alex Johnson received the most and averaged two points and two rebounds, with Brady Leahy and Wyatt Bergmann posting similar numbers when they saw the varsity floor. All of the juniors and sophomores led the JV to a 12-8 record last year.”
The Saints also have four seniors new to varsity, including 6-foot-4-inch Louis Sellman, 6-foot-4-inch Jay Forsman, 5-foot-10-inch Jake Knight, and 5-foot-11-inch Sean Haasnoot.
SIREN – The Dragons finished with 17 wins last season and have a lot to look forward to this year as they bring a solid group of athletes back who have plenty of experience at the varsity level. The Dragons made it to the regional championship last season but fell in a close game to Luck. They also lost a pair of major contributors to graduation, including 1,000-point scorer David St. John and starter Jared Emery.
But the Dragons have talented point guard Aaron Ruud, who is only a junior, as well as seniors Nathan Martin, Michael Kosloski and 6-foot-5-inch Bryce Highstrom. Other juniors include Josiah Wegner, Logan Allen and Neil Ostigoff, who helped make big contributions to the Dragons success in 2013-14.
BALSAM LAKE – The Eagle boys basketball team is coming off their first trip to the state semifinals in school history, and return two quality starters for their 2014-15 campaign. Junior 6-foot-6-inch forward Logan Bader, and senior guard Dylan Ruck return along with several others who recorded lots of time on last year’s varsity court.
“We have two starters returning this season with Dylan Ruck and Logan Bader, but we have many guys returning with varsity experience that will hopefully continue to improve and lead us to another successful season,” said coach Shaun Fisher.
Unity could have the tools necessary for another shot at defending the West Lakeland Conference title, as well as make another historic run in the playoffs. The Eagles have had a lot of playoff success in the past several years, thanks in part to Fisher, who is in his eighth year as Eagles coach.
“I am excited to see our team develop throughout the season. Each year is different and I can’t wait to see this team play up to its potential,” Fisher said, adding that it will likely be another battle in the West Lakeland again this season.
“Our conference is tough, with great players and coaches. We look forward to another challenging season in the West Lakeland.”
Fisher says one of their biggest strengths could be with their size, but they’ll need to be able to take advantage of that on the perimeter as well. One of their weaknesses, Fisher said, might be learning their new roles on the team, and adjusting to their team philosophy.
“We are very excited to be playing basketball again. Last season was fun and we are looking to continue our success again this season!” Fisher said.
WEBSTER – Webster didn’t win a conference game last year but they lose only one starter to graduation entering the 2014-15 season. Second-year coach Rob Scherrer said he also feels that he has a better handle on who his athletes are, their skill levels, and what they’re capable of doing.
“I really didn’t walk into the gym until our first week of practice,” Sherrer said, mostly because he was busy as an assistant coach with the Webster football team that went deep into the playoffs.
“(I) Didn’t know kids names. I definitely didn’t know what kind of basketball players that they were,” Sherrer said. “I feel much more comfortable this year.”
The Tigers, according to Sherrer, had a really good offseason, getting involved in a basketball league in Spooner. They’ve been working hard in the weight room and showing up at open gym during the summer.
“First day of practice we jumped right into it. Started off right where we left off last year,” Sherrer said.
Last year the Tigers started coming together, giving a few teams fits toward the end, including Unity, who they trailed by just two points heading into the fourth quarter.
The Tigers return several players who either started or had a lot of time on varsity last season including seniors Dade McCarthy, Bailey Weeks, Sean Martinez, Shawn Stevens and Billy Cooper. Sherrer said that he expects juniors Grant Preston, Tate Fohrenkamm and Paul Sargent to gain a lot more time on the court this season as well.
“Pretty excited about where we’re going to stand. It’s going to be pretty tough, another tough conference this year,” he said, adding that the team is “guard-heavy.” He said that taking care of the basketball and making good decisions could be a strength but he’s not sure how the team stacks up on the inside game. Either way, Sherrer feels like the Tigers have the chance to be more competitive.
“I think our program is heading in the right direction. We’re going to be much better than we were last year.”
11/26/14 West Lakeland girls basketball season preview
SCF, Siren set to
defend last year’s conference title
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
FREDERIC – The West Lakeland girls basketball season is already under way ,with St. Croix Falls and Frederic starting the year with tough nonconference games. The games came with a St. Croix Falls and Frederic losses against two tough teams. Frederic lost to the 2013 sectional qualifier, Turtle Lake, 55-38, while the Saints lost to a solid Barron squad 55-32.
Despite the early-season losses, both teams will be working toward a West Lakeland Conference title, including Frederic, who will be coached again by Troy Wink in his 15th year as coach of the Vikings. He is also working with a new assistant coach, Katie Jacobson. Wink is looking forward to seeing how the Vikings “improve and come together,” and admits that the conference and nonconference games to start the season will be a tough early test.
“Our schedule is full of tough competition, Siren sectional finalist, Turtle Lake sectional semifinalist, Clayton perennial power, SCF big school (and) defending conference co-champs, right down the line in conference play, will be tough,” Wink said.
The Vikings don’t have a lot of depth or height according to Wink, which could be a weakess, but they do have some experience coming back. Senior Lara Harlander returns after averaging 17 points per game last year with four steals and three assists per game. They return point guard Taylor Alseth, a junior, and wing Ann Chenal. Emily Amundson is a tough post player, and Makayla Arthurs is another strong wing player. Wink also said their strength will be the team’s hard work ethic on the court, as well as being able to work well, with a balanced scoring attack.
“I am excited about this season, we have a lot of potential to be a good team. We start with a lot of very good teams, so we will need to come together quickly,” Wink said.
GRANTSBURG – The past couple of seasons have shown the Pirate girls basketball team to be a scrappy young team itching to get back into contention for the conference title. The team is once again young this season according to second-year head coach John Dickinsen, but experienced, and has just as good a shot at a conference title as anyone.
“Like everyone, we’ll take the season one game at a time. I think looking forward, the conference race should be pretty wide open. Not that other games are less important, but the teams we play in conference are always key. We have a couple of nonconference games that will affect playoff seeding,” (Flambeau and Cumberland).
The Pirates return a balanced scoring attack with sophomores Cassidy Lee and Jordyn McKenzie averaging five points per game. Two other key sophomores return to the team with Kayla Glover and Rhiana Pochman both averaging about three points per game last year. Pochman also led the team with an average of 4.3 rebounds per game. Violet Ohnstad is a returning junior who averages 3.5 points per game, adding to a youthful team.
“I’m excited to see what our team can do. We are young again, but have a lot of experience coming back,” Dickinsen said. He added, “The girls are always working hard and lifting each other up. We have a great group of girls and I look forward to seeing where the combination of effort, attitude and five returning players with significant playing time can lead us this year.”
LUCK – After starting out the season 1-6 last year, Luck managed to turn their season around and finish 13-10 overall, ending their season against Siren during the regional playoffs in a close battle. The Cardinals will have a tough stretch of games to start the season again this year, with three games in one week, starting with Northwood on Tuesday, Dec. 2, followed by Siren the following Thursday and Frederic the next evening. It will be a good test of the depth of the Cardinals, which coach Marty Messar says is a bit of a question mark for the team. From grades nine through 12, Luck has about 15 athletes, but seven girls who will make big contributions in the rotation.
“I like what I see in terms of our practices. We’ve got three seniors that know their way around the basketball court, and I’ve got some nice younger athletes that had a lot of success on the B squad last year. All those things are positive for,” Messar said.
Senior all-conference athletes Angela Gore and four-year starter Jenni Holdt will be sure to make big contributions this season along with newcomer Raelyn Tretsven, the team’s third senior that is expected to be in the starting rotation. Tretsven didn’t play basketball last year in her transition in moving from Webster to Luck, but is making great strides already to learning the system in Luck.
“She’s a good athlete and brings a great skill set to the team,” Messar said.
Juniors Emma Pedersen and Brittany Donald, who did a lot of playing and scoring time on junior varsity last season, will also be looked at to be strong starters for Luck. Two sophomores, Paige Runnels and Olivia Nielsen, round out the top seven.
“Those seven kids are right now, the nucleus of our ball club. They’re athletic, work hard and are coachable. I really feel that if we can stay healthy and continue through the progress we’ve shown in the past couple of weeks, that we’ll get there eventually,” Messar said.
SIREN – After sharing the West Lakeland Conference crown last year with St. Croix Falls and earning a trip to the sectional semifinals, the Dragons are ready to defend the title once again this year, and look to be just as strong. The team is bringing back several key players including junior Caitlyn Daniels, who averaged 14 points per game, sophomore Haley Peterson who averaged nine points per game, senior Emily Howe who averaged four points per game, and senior Hope Peterson who averaged five. She also averaged eight rebounds each game while Peterson and Daniels averaged 10 and seven rebounds respectively.
Siren head coach Ryan Karsten is in his seventh season as varsity head coach and 16th in the program. He’s excited to see the team’s full potential this year.
“What I am most excited about is seeing how good we can get by the end of the year, if we get everyone healthy and can stay healthy,” Karsten said, adding that the Dragons strengths include their depth and athletic ability, but weaknesses could be the experience of the team. The four girls listed above were the team’s major contributors from last season.
“If we get healthy, we could be a very dangerous team by February. We have two girls coming off of ACL surgery and will not start practice until Christmas. If they can come back full strength, we will be a better team,” Karsten said.
St. Croix Falls Saints
ST. CROIX FALLS – The Saints are a young team this year with only two seniors, Bailey Hansen and Mariah Rohm, who earned a first-team all-conference mention and was one of the leading scorers and rebounders. Rohm averaged nearly eight rebounds per game with 1.2 blocks and 2.5 steals. She also scored nearly 11 points per game. Despite losing a pair of quality seniors to graduation, the Saints have some talented athletes waiting to step in and fill the void, including returning guard Katie Kopp, who averaged over six points per game as a freshman with two assists, and a pair of rebounds and steals each game.
“We have a young group of girls that are super excited to learn and improve each day,” said 12th-year coach Angie Maternowsky, who has a tough schedule this year, including Barron to start the season, where the Saints lost to a very strong Bears team.
The Saints have several girls who will be key contributors this year including sophomore Adi Stoffel, who led with seven points against Barron. Freshman Addie McCurdy also had five points against Barron, and freshman Annalise Parks scored four. Becca Nelson is one of two juniors on the team and scored three points. Sophie Aguilar is the other Saints junior.
Maternowsky says the team “will always try to defend and fight for first in the conference.”
She said, “It should be an exciting year watching this team grow together and improve their skills.”
BALSAM LAKE – Rory Paulsen will be leading the Eagles in his second season as head coach, after posting a 7-15 record overall in 2013-14. The team had a signature win over the Siren Dragons late last season and won three of their final five games, but Paulsen says this year’s team will be changed a bit.
“Every season is different from the last. We do not have any seniors on our squad this year. This will be very different from last season.”
Paulsen doesn’t feel any game on their schedule will come easy for the Eagles and feels that Luck might be one of the teams to watch.
“I think that Luck may have the best potential team and are very well coached. Siren, SCF and Frederic all will be tough. Grantsburg also had some good wins last year and will be in the mix,” Paulsen said.
There are five players on the Eagles roster who saw action in varsity games last year including Raelin Sorensen, Markell Ramich, Emma Moore, Gabrielle Foeller and Jessica Grams.
Paulsen said the Eagles biggest strength is their work ethic and many have worked hard in the offseason and after practices. One of their weaknesses could include a lack of veteran players.
“Without seniors on our squad, we are without veteran players in a league where many teams have senior players,” Paulsen said.
BALSAM LAKE – The Tigers were unable to muster a conference win last year, but coach Andrew Harrison will hope to change that this year as Webster’s new head coach. Harrison replaces Jeff Roberts and is in his first year at Webster as the new elementary phy ed teacher. He is originally from Wabeno, a town about four hours east of Webster. He was a long-term substitute teacher in Wabeno and coached the Laona/Wabeno co-op girls varsity basketball team. He also coached junior high boys and girls in Stevens Point while in college.
“I am most excited to finally start playing and to turn this program in the right direction. We have 14 practices before our first game, which is nice since we have to teach a lot, but that can also be a drain on the players when they practice so much without having a game.”
The entire coaching staff is new this year, and Harrison said that means everything they plan to do is basically new.
Returning players who have logged in previous varsity playing time include Christina Weis, Stefani Wambolt, Lexi Piepho, Lydia Wilson and Kaitlyn Moser. Wambolt, Weis and Piepho are team seniors with at least one year of varsity experience.
“Our strengths will be our senior leaders. They have a lot of varsity experience and athleticism. In addition, they work very hard in practice and the rest of the team feeds off that work ethic,” Harrison said, adding that one of their weaknesses could be team depth.
“Ball handling is another area we need to improve in to be successful,” said Harrison. “We have a bunch of girls that are willing to work hard and buy into our system which help us sneak up on teams throughout the season.”
10/22/14 Grantsburg moves on over Saints
Four other West Lakeland teams to play in regional semifinals Thursday
Grantsburg 3, St. Croix Falls 0
Scott Hoffman|Staff writer
GRANTSBURG – The Grantsburg girls volleyball team played host to their downriver rivals, the St. Croix Falls Saints. With the end of the season on the line, both teams were looking to move on in the WIAA volleyball playoffs. The Pirates had the Saints number during the regular season, defeating them both times they met head-to-head in conference play. Injured Emma Wondra was not able to play in the earlier meeting, and now setting for Mariah Rohm, they proved be a potent one-two punch.
Grantsburg has been gaining momentum throughout the season. After a shaky start, they finished strong, defeating the previously undefeated Luck Cardinals in their last season matchup. The Pirates took the first game, 25-13, controlling the game pretty much from the start. They were in the lead at one point 17-6 and cruised to the 25-13 victory.
Grantsburg won the second game 25-18 moving along until about the midway point, then struggled to put away the feisty Saints. In game three, the Saints came out fighting, battling out to an 8-7 lead, then keeping pace with the Pirates to even the game at eight and again at 11, but the Pirates slowly chipped away, ,stretching the lead to 22-18. The Saints would not go quietly and pulled within two at 23-21 until Grantsburg ended the Saints season 25-22 in the final set.
The Pirates will host Webster Thursday, Oct. 23, for the regional semifinal game beginning at 7 p.m.
Unity 3, Boyceville 0
GRANTSBURG – The No. 5 seeded Unity Eagles are headed to the regional semifinals after a three-set sweep over Boyceville Tuesday, Oct. 21. The Eagles won 25-15, 25-17 and 26-24.
“I felt like we had a little nerves right away, but the girls settled down and played some good volleyball,” said Eagles coach Jennifer DeLozier. “The second and third set we didn’t stay aggressive and fell behind, but they worked hard and fought back to win both of those sets and the match.”
Unity senior Olivia Nelson finished with 26 digs and four aces for the Eagles. Markell Ramich recorded 15 digs. Whitney Rock and Ciara DeLozier totaled 28 assists, and Paige Lunsmann and Emma Moore led the team in kills with 11 and nine respectively.
The Eagles will face the No. 1 seeded Colfax Vikings at Colfax in the regional semifinals Thursday, Oct. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. The Vikings finished 10-0 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference this season. – Marty Seeger
Webster 3, Cumberland 0
WEBSTER – The Tigers stomped Cumberland in the WIAA playoff opener, winning 3-0 by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-14. Webster totaled 26 kills on the night with Ashley Davis leading the category with nine, Taylor Howe added six and Baily Woodford had four. Christina Weis had 26 assists and led with four serving aces. The team totaled 12 aces on the night. Skyler Winkler led with 14 digs, and Howe led with six blocks. Kaitlyn
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
LEADER LAND – The WIAA volleyball playoffs begin Tuesday, Oct. 21, with only one area team receiving the first-round bye. The Luck Cardinals will face the winner of Prairie Farm, or Frederic Thursday, Oct. 23, in Luck. Frederic, a No. 5 seed, travels to Prairie Farm, No. 4, Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m. Also in Division 4 on Tuesday is Siren, No. 2, hosting Butternut, No. 7.
In Division 3, Webster, No. 3, hosts Cumberland, No. 6, and St. Croix Falls, No. 7, plays at Grantsburg. No. 5 seeded Unity, is at Boyceville, No. 4. All games begin at 7 p.m.
8/27/14 Dragons pile points on the Bobcats
Nate Martin had a solid performance, rushing for five touchdowns against Birchwood in Siren’s season opener held in Rice Lake on Saturday, Aug. 23. – Photo
by Josh Johnson
Nathan Martin scores five TDs in Siren win
Siren 62, Birchwood 20
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
RICE LAKE – Siren senior Nathan Martin rushed for 163 yards on 19 carries and five touchdowns in a 62-20 thumping of the Birchwood Bobcats Saturday, Aug. 23, in Rice Lake. The eight-player jamboree was held throughout the day with the rest of the Lakeland eight-man teams, and the Dragons got off to a good start for the season.
Junior Josiah Wegner added to the ground attack with 108 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns, and senior John Dalsveen had 37 yards on eight carries.
On the defensive side, Bryce Highstrom had four tackles for a loss and Michael Kosloski had the Dragons only sack in the game. Dalsveen was in on 10 total tackles, and Kosloski and Martin were in on nine tackles. Eric Bruss recorded six tackles, and Bailey Mangen had five, including an interception and fumble recovery.
Football practices begin for area high-schoolers
Frederic Vikings head football coach Ken Belanger instructs his athletes on offense during the team’s first day of practice Tuesday, Aug. 5. This is Belanger’s 14th season with the Vikings and 49th season as a head high school football coach. – Photos by Marty Seeger
With another season comes change
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
FREDERIC – There’s still four weeks left of summer vacation for many students before they get back in the groove of school, but on Tuesday, Aug. 5, area high school football players were already busy tearing up the turf on their first day of football practice. For Ken Belanger, there’s always a sense of enthusiasm on the first day of practice, something he’s been familiar with for the past 57 consecutive years.
“We didn’t have junior high football so since the ninth grade, I’ve been going to football practice every fall,” said Belanger, who coached 35 years in Minnesota for Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School, and was inducted into the Minnesota High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001. This will be his 14th season with the Vikings, since he retired from teaching and moved to the Frederic area. All together Belanger has been a head football coach for the past 49 years, and through the course of time there have been many changes implemented to the game, including the earlier than usual start to the season. Belanger recalled the year he married his wife during his college football playing years, getting hitched on Aug. 14.
“Went on a honeymoon and came back and we still hadn’t started football,” Belanger said, adding that for many, football didn’t start until after Labor Day.
Other changes include the use of game film that is nothing like it is today.
“I’m not into the fancy stuff. That in itself is so different,” Belanger said.
And with another year of football ahead, area coaches were once again presented with a few more challenges, abiding a handful of new WIAA rules meant to protect the safety of the players.
The practice time allowed has shortened, as in previous years practices could run from 7:30 a.m., to noon. Now practice can be two hours long with a half hour break, followed by one more hour of practice before it ends. That’s considered a short day. Coaches also have an option of doing a long day, but there’s a mandatory three-hour break in between the morning and afternoon or evening practice.
“It’s too much to have kids come back twice. So we’re not doing that,” Belanger said.
Rules of contact during practices have also changed. By this Friday, Aug. 8, players were usually in full pads, but now can only wear a helmet and shoulder pads, and need to wait until the following Monday to don full pads. During the first week contact is not allowed except for use with a bag, shield or pad. During the second week of practice, full contact is limited to just 75 minutes for the week, excluding the scrimmages, which take place across the area Aug. 15. During week three and for the rest of the season, full contact is limited to 60 minutes per week, which excludes games.
“We used to have six days of contact before scrimmage, now we’ve got four,” Belanger said.
Football has certainly changed over the years, from equipment to playmaking, practices and conference alignments and everything in between. But no matter what the WIAA changes might bring to each passing season athletes will continue to gather on the field in anticipation for the season ahead, and coaches will continue to teach and coach their kids toward what they will hope to be a winning season ahead.
Webster’s Cliff Benjamin plays all-star game in Oshkosh
Raises big money for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
South 33, North 13
Marty Seeger|Staff writer OSHKOSH – It was more than just a football game for Webster’s Cliff Benjamin, who competed in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Senior All-Star charity football game at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Titan Stadium on Saturday, July 19. Benjamin played alongside about 46 other football players picked from Divisions 4-7 to play for the North small squad, which was defeated 33-13 by the South. Despite the loss, it’s an experience Benjamin won’t soon forget.
“It was really fun. Just the atmosphere, being pretty much there and taking it all in,” Benjamin said. “We did everything from movie nights at the movie theater, pizza, swimming it was a lot of fun.”Along with meeting new friends, Benjamin also hooked up with some of the teammates he’ll be playing with at UW-River Falls, where he’s expected to play linebacker. During the all-star game, Benjamin played right guard on the offensive line. He was hoping to play linebacker, where he excelled as a four-year starter. He was also a standout offensive lineman, and that’s where the North needed him. Despite getting in some nice blocks for his teammates, the game didn’t go as planned for the North.
“We just had an off day. Had a whole good week of practice and the game wasn’t what we wanted. We had a bunch of penalties and little stuff that shouldn’t have happened,” Benjamin said.
The North had a 7-0 lead after the first quarter as Ethan Young of Black River Falls connected with Jason Balts of Barron for a 67-yard touchdown, but the South went on to score the next 30 points. Isaac Tuttle of Glenwood City, who also scored near the end of the game for the North, also played in the game. Osceola’s Mark Johnson-Trice played on the defensive line for the North, and Clayton running back James Hoffman was another area local on the all-star roster.
Along with the many activities throughout the week, the players were also asked to raise a minimum of $750 for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, one of the many sponsors of the event. In total, the North and South small schools altogether raised $420,000, and Benjamin was one of the top four in fundraising with his $6,000 contribution.
“It was a lot of work, but it was worth it,” Benjamin said, adding that he had a lot of small banquets and fundraisers, while also asking for donations from local businesses. He also did yard work and other activities around the community.
“I just wanted to help out the children’s hospital and had the opportunity to raise a lot of money and that’s what I did,” Benjamin said. As part of being one of the top fundraisers, Benjamin received passes to attend a Green Bay Packers practice, adding even more to the experience.
“It’s something I’ll never forget. Something that I’ll remember forever.”
Along with working construction, Benjamin has been lifting weights and getting in shape for his freshman football season at the collegiate level with UW-River Falls. He said former Tigers teammate Mike Johnson also hopes to try out for a tight end position.
12/10/14 Siren skirts by Webster in close conference game
Frankie DeBlase of Webster rips down a rebound against Siren. – Photo by Josh Johnson
Siren 43, Webster 42
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
WEBSTER – The Webster boys basketball team gave Siren all they could handle in a close game at Webster Tuesday, Dec. 9. The Tigers led 12-8 after the first quarter and the Dragons held a 33-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Siren hung on.
"This was a very tough game to watch tonight, and we were lucky to come out with a win. Webster did a lot of things well early and once again, we had early foul trouble that changed the way that we can play on offense!" said Siren coach Jon Ruud. "Right now we are kind of a team looking for an identity! We have three or four guys that I've played quite a bit on varsity but some roles have changed and other roles are developing. Luckily it's the third game of the year and there's lots of room for improvement."
Siren junior Aaron Ruud had 13 points in the first half to add to his 17 points and Nathan Martin had 10 points for the Dragons.
Amery 49, Grantsburg 43
AMERY – The Pirate boys basketball team dropped their first game of the season against Amery Tuesday, Dec. 9, 49-43. No game stats were available at press time.
Webster's Grant Preston goes up strong for a shot late in the game against the Dragons Tuesday, Dec. 9. – Photo by Josh Johnson
12/3/14 Cards, Pirates, Saints Eagles and Dragons win Tuesday
Luck 62, Cumberland 39
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
CUMBERLAND – The Cardinal boys basketball team took care of Cumberland 62-39 Tuesday, Dec. 2, in their first game of the season, and coach Rick Giller seemed pleased with the results.
"Good first game. Definitely things to work on but we did some nice things at Cumberland. Making the extra pass to get the best shot and unselfish play were nice things to see in our first game," Giller said.
It was 15-9 Cardinals after one and by halftime climbed out to a 34-16 lead. Noah Mortel led with 23 points, followed by Austin Hamack and Taylor Hawkins each with 15, Casey Ogilvie and Nick Mattson each had four, and Devyn Ellefson, one.
Austin (Hamack) great job running the show and he and Taylor each had 15 points," Giller said.
Unity 53, Clayton 30
CLAYTON – The Unity boys basketball team started their season on the road against Clayton winning 53-30, Tuesday, Dec. 2. Logan Bader led the way with 20 points followed by a barrage of scoring from several members of the Eagles. Dylan Ruck had nine points followed by Jordan Lowe, eight, Cole Garvey, six, and Hunter Fjorden, Nathan Heimstead, Jesse Vlasnik, Erik Peterson and Lukas Loehr each had two.
"I thought we played pretty well for the first game of the year. Our defense played very hard and our offense was pretty efficient. It was good to see our experienced players show leadership and our younger guys step up," said Eagles coach Shaun Fisher.
Grantsburg 52, Clear Lake 46 (OT)
GRANTSBURG – The Pirate boys basketball team won in overtime over the Clear Lake Warriors Tuesday, Dec. 2, starting their season off with a win.
"This became one of those games where you say that you take them any way you can get them and move on," said Pirates coach Nick Hallberg. "The only good thing we did, is never give up. That says something about this group going forward. We did hit big shots and hit free throws in OT to finish it off, but were fortunate to win."
Jordan Knutson led the Pirates with 25 points, followed by Jaeger Staeven with 12, Austin Olson, eight, Richard Schneider, four, Joseph Ohnstad, two and Jackson Gerber, one.
Siren 74, Shell Lake 16
SIREN – Three Dragons scored double figures on their way to a shredding of Shell Lake Tuesday, Dec. 2. It was Siren's first basketball game of the season with Neil Oustigoff, Michael Kosloski and Aaron Ruud scoring 18, 16, and 13 points respectively.
Nate Martin had nine points, Josiah Wegner added six, Bryce Highstrom, four, and Wyatt Honeysett, Tanner Lee, Logan Allen and Michael Staples each had two.
10/15/14 Pirates upset Cardinals
Siren continues winning streak
Grantsburg 3, Luck 1
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
GRANTSBURG – The Cardinals final game of the regular season ended in a loss to the Pirates Tuesday, Oct. 14, by scores of 25-21, 14-25, 25-23 and 28-26.
Olivia Tucker led Grantsburg attack with 14 kills, while Rhiana Pochman and Delia Labatt each had 10. Tucker had three aces and Pochman had three total blocks. Tucker also led the Pirates in digs with 13, while Jordyn McKenzie had nine and Labatt added seven. McKenzie led Grantsburg with 14 assists.
The Pirates travel to Siren this Thursday, Oct 16, for their final game of the regular season.
Siren 3, Frederic 1
FREDERIC – The Dragons volleyball team continued their hot streak in the conference with a big win over the Vikings Tuesday, Oct. 14. The Dragons hadn't won a conference game all season but with their win over Frederic they've made it three conference wins in a row. The Dragons won in four sets by scores of 24-26, 25-17, 25-22, 25-19.
"Siren is a much improved team," said Frederic coach Carrie Kjellberg. "I was impressed by their teamwork and intensity. They played a very consistent and clean match. We had 30 attack errors and 12 service errors. My girls played hard all night, and there were a lot of great rallies throughout the match."
This Thursday, Oct. 16, Siren hosts Grantsburg, while Frederic travels south to Unity for both teams final games of the regular season. The WIAA playoffs begin, Oct. 21.
Unity 3, St. Croix Falls 1
BALSAM LAKE – The Eagles volleyball team hosted St. Croix Falls Tuesday, Oct. 14, winning in four games on senior night, 23-25, 26-24, 25-14, 25-17.
The two Unity seniors also had a solid night, with Olivia Nelson leading with 34 digs and three aces. Paige Lunsmann finished with 10 kills, 11 digs and three aces.
"It was a great win and it was especially awesome because it was Senior Night and they both had a fantastic match," said Eagles coach Jennifer DeLozier.
Saints senior Mariah Rohm finished with nine blocks, 11 kills, one ace and six digs. Adi Stoffel had four blocks, six kills, Bailey Ewald, four blocks, five kills, Addie McCurdy, five kills, Annalise Parks, six digs, nine assists, Emma Wondra, 15 assists, Katie Kopp, nine digs, and Ruthie Stewart, four kills, two blocks.
Unity will host Frederic in their final game of the regular season Thursday, Oct. 16, and Webster is at St. Croix Falls.
10/8/14 Cross-country teams compete at Amery
The Webster boys cross-country team finished second place at Amery among small schools Tuesday, Oct. 7. – Photo submitted
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
AMERY – Area cross-country teams competed at a large meet in Amery Tuesday, Oct. 6, with the Unity/Luck boys taking first place among the seven schools with similar enrollment numbers. There were also eight other larger schools who competed, but among the entire field of runners, the Eagles took second place behind River Falls.
Leading Unity/Luck was Alex Binfet, who finished sixth overall with a time of 18:06, followed by Logan Jensen, 18:42, Jes Pedersen, 18:53, Matt Peterson, 18:54, Eli Vos Benkowski, 19:04, Matt Volgren, 19:21, Nate Cousins, 20:15, Derek Johnson, 20:30, Zach Rau, 20:35, Evan Countryman, 21:06, Soren Vos Benkowski, 22:10, Dylan Kern, 22:53.18 and Eli Dikkers, 22:53.50.
The Webster boys were second among small schools and fifth overall, with Billy Cooper taking fourth overall with a time of 17:45. Andrew Ruiz finished with a 18:51, Andrew Schrooten, 19:01, Darrick Nelson, 20:13, Joey Formanek, 20:14, Dan Formanek, 21:19, and Alec Gustafson, 22:44.
"The Tigers continue to amaze me. It was fun to see some great efforts tonight. We are one week from conference and I feel good about where we are at," said Tigers coach Roy Ward. "Billy was challenging Richard, the two Andrews and Joey and Darrick have are still battling it out. Dan Formanek ran really well tonight for the boys and it was nice to see Elizabeth (Freymiller) run a couple minutes faster."
Henry Klein of St. Croix Falls continues to get stronger as the season moves along and proved it in Amery, leading the entire field of 119 runners with a time of 17:21. Grantsburg's Richard Schneider took second place overall with a time of 17:41, and Stephen Martin led the Frederic cross-country team with a time of 19:58.
The Unity/Luck girls finished second place among the small schools with freshman Sierra Fjorden leading the small schools with a time of 21:24. She finished seventh in the overall standings, and Saints junior Sophie Klein of St. Croix Falls took fourth place overall with a time of 21:00. Grantsburg's Hallie Jensen was 12th overall with a time of 21:42. Frederic was led by Nicole Nelson with a time of 24:28.
Complete race results can be found at pttiming.com/page/show/65867-race-results
9/24/14 Saints, Frederic compete at Barron cross country invite
Saints sophomore C.J. Basacker finished with her best time of the season in Barron on Tuesday, Sept 23, with a 23:28. – Photo submitted
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
WEBSTER – More than a dozen schools competed at a cross-country invitational in Barron on Tuesday, Sept. 23, including Frederic and St. Croix Falls. The Saints girls finished sixth overall with Sophie Klein posting her best time of the season with 20:44. She took second among 119 runners but wasn't far behind the first place finisher, Cora Bruxvoort, with a time of 20:36. Saints sophomore C.J. Basacker finished 29th with her best time of the season, 23:38. Frederic's Nicole Nelson had a solid race, finishing in the top 25 with a time of 23:17. The Saints boys were without top runner Henry Klein due to illness. Matt Lamirande had the fastest time for the Saints with 20:28. The Frederic boys were 12th out of 13 competing teams and Stephen Martin led the Vikings with a time of 19:49, and 29th overall. Mark Siebenthal had a time of 21:58, Chase Rowe, 22:26, Zach Peterson, 22:54, and Chris Kuechenmeister, 25:39. Several area cross-country teams will be heading to Unity this Thursday, Sept. 25, beginning at 4 p.m.
9/17/14Cross country teams compete in Rice Lake
Unity boys finish fourth among 29 teams
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
RICE LAKE – Four local cross-country teams found out where they stack up among nearly 30 other schools on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Rice Lake, including Webster, Unity, St. Croix Falls and Grantsburg.
Large and small schools competed and among the 29 boys teams the Unity Eagles took fourth overall, and first place among the 15 small schools.
Unity's Alex Binfet took 20th overall to lead the Eagle boys with a time of 17:48, followed by Logan Jensen, 18:24, Matt Peterson, 18:27, Jes Pedersen, 18:32, Eli Vos Benkowski, 18:56, Matt Volgren, 19:13, and Evan Countryman, 20:19.
Henry Klein of St. Croix Falls finished strong for the Saints as he took fourth in the overall standings among just over 200 competitors with a time of 16:49.
The Webster Tiger boys took 15th in the overall standings and fifth among the 15 small schools competing. Billy Cooper led the Tigers with a time of 17:33, and 16th overall. Andrew Schrooten and Andrew Ruiz finished with close times of 18:28, and 18:31 respectively.
The Grantsburg Pirates finished 18th overall with Richard Schneider leading the way with an eighth place finish overall and time of 17:10.
For the area girls cross-country teams Sophie Klein was the leading area runner from St. Croix Falls, taking 15th overall with a time of 20:59. Amery junior Alicia Monson was the overall leader among 27 other schools with a time of 18:53.
Grantsburg's Hallie Jensen led the Pirates with a 23rd place finish and time of 21:47.
The Unity girls finished strong among the small schools with third place overall. Sierra Thomfohrda was the first Eagle to cross the finish line with a time of 22:03, followed by Kendra Bramsen, 22:40, Zenia Moore, 25:20, Ali Kreft, 25:23, Anna Bradley, 26:10, Tehya Studdie, 27:57.
For complete results of the Rice Lake Invitational visit itiming.com.
9/3/14 Frederic, Luck open conference with wins
The Grantsburg Pirates softball team eyes their sectional championship trophy after a 1-0 win over Neillsville on Thursday, June 5. – Photo by Scott Hoffman
6/6/14 Sectional champion Pirates headed to state
Grantsburg 1, Neillsville 0
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
DURAND – The Grantsburg fastpitch softball team is headed to state for the seventh time in school history after a 1-0 win over Neillsville on Thursday, June 5. The Pirates and Warriors were both No. 1 seeds entering the WIAA tournament. Grantsburg will play No. 1 seeded Arcadia in the state semifinal game on Friday, June 3, at Goodman Diamond in Madison. The Arcadia Raiders are Coulee Conference champions and defeated Poynette 2-1 in the sectional final. The Raiders are 25-0. The state semifinal is scheduled to begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. See next week's Inter-County Leader print edition for photos and game story.
Luck/Frederic baseball playing for regional title
6/6/14 Luck/Frederic 8, Unity 4
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
LUCK – Luck/Frederic baseball will play for a Division 3 regional championship this evening, Friday, June 6, at Cumberland. Luck/Frederic defeated Unity on Wednesday, June 4, during the regional semifinals to earn a chance for a regional title. Cumberland is the No. 1 seed and Luck/Frederic is the No. 2 seed. Game starts at 5 p.m. Last season Luck/Frederic and Cumberland met in the opening round of the WIAA playoffs but Luck/Frederic lost in six innings, 15-5.
Two teams remain in softball playoffs
5-23-14 Luck/Frederic to play Pirates in regional semifinals
Marty Seeger|Staff writer FREDERIC – The Division 3 fast-pitch softball playoffs were held Thursday, May 22, and only two area teams remain out of the seven teams in the Leader Land coverage area. The Unity Eagles lost 5-2 against Luck/Frederic on Thursday, and with the win, Luck/Frederic will play at Grantsburg on Tuesday, May 27 in the regional semifinal game. Webster/Siren saw their season come to an end Thursday against Turtle Lake/Clayton in a 19-3 loss, and St. Croix Falls was shutout by Cumberland 13-0 in five innings.
Saints pitching does it again against Grantsburg
5/21/14St. Croix Falls 3, Grantsburg 2
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
GRANTSBURG – Brady Leahy's pitching and the Saints defense held the Grantsburg Pirates to just two hits on Tuesday, May 20, during a 3-2 conference win.
Trenton Dockendorf provided the go ahead run for the Saints to snap a 2-2 tie in the top of the sixth inning, and Leahy went a strong seven innings with four walks, four strikeouts and two runs, both unearned.
The Pirates pitching was just as strong as the Saints mustered three hits. Austin Handy was the starter and went six innings with only two hits allowed earned two earned runs. Brody Bonneville pitched one inning with one hit and two strikeouts.
"I was pleased with the product we put on the field tonight. We played pretty decent ball, and SCF played one run better than us," said Pirates coach Pete Johnson, adding that both teams came up with some quality defensive plays.
"We've been on a dreadful streak the last week and a half, and even though we lost tonight, I thought my boys started playing Pirate Ball again...laying out for some defensive plays, a little more zip. It's good to see," Johnson said.
Austin Swenson recorded the lone RBI for the Pirates and Austin Handy went 1 for 4 with a double. Gus Johnson had the other hit, while the Saints three hits came from Jacob Jacobson, Alex Johnson and Dockendorf.
Turtle Lake/Clayton 3, Unity 2
Unity 9, Turtle Lake/Clayton 4
CLAYTON – The Eagles baseball team split a pair of five-inning games on Tuesday, May 20, with Turtle Lake/Clayton. Riley Carnes pitched five innings allowing five hits and one earned run with eight strikeouts and no walks. The game was tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning when TL/C scored a pair of runs. Unity got one run back in the top of the fifth but it wasn't enough.
Tevin Anderson went 1 for 3 with an RBI and Cash Hickethier, Brett Nelson and Phillip Sorensen each had hits.
During the second game the Unity bats came alive for 10 hits. Anderson went 3 for 3 and Sorensen went 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Hunter Fjorden went 1 for 2 and drove in a pair of runs and scored twice, and Nelson, Hickethier Carnes and Connor Olson each had hits.
Three Eagle pitchers including Nate Heimstead, Carnes and Olson combined for three strikeouts, three walks and only one earned run.
L/F softball falls at Cameron
A Cameron baseruner is tagged out during the Luck/Frederic softball team's final game of the regular season before playoffs begin May 22. – Photo by Becky Amundson
5/21/14 Cameron 11, Luck/Frederic 6
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
CAMERON – The Luck/Frederic softball team dropped a conference game against Cameron on Tuesday, May 20, during the final game of the regular season, before playoffs begin this Thursday, May 22.
Luck/Frederic totaled 11 hits in the game with Lara Harlander going 3 for 3, Abbie Otlo went 3 for 4 and Camille Marsten was 2 for 3. Jillian Klatt pitched just over one inning allowing six earned runs with four walks and one strikeout before Otlo came in to pitch. She gave up 11 hits with two strikeouts and three walks and five earned runs.
Luck/Frederic will be playing their next game as host to the Unity Eagles for the first round of regional playoff action, beginning at 5 p.m., in Frederic.
Turtle Lake/Clayton 12, Unity 0
TURTLE LAKE – The Unity softball team was shut out by Turtle Lake/Clayton Tuesday, May 20 during their final game of the regular season. The Eagles had just two hits from Carly Ince and Jessica Grams.
The Eagles will play regionals Thursday, May 22, at Frederic starting at 5 p.m.
Lara Harlander hits the sweet spot on the bat during a game against Cameron on Tuesday, May 20. – Photo by Becky Amundson
Pirate golfers win conference crown
Jordan Lowe of Unity takes a practice swing at the Luck Golf Course Tuesday, May 20, during the final league match of the season for area golfers. – Photo submitted
5/21/14 Marty Seeger |Staff writer
LUCK – With a match win during a league game held at the Luck Golf Course on Tuesday, May 20, the Grantsburg boys golf team came away with sole possession of the regular season West Lakeland Conference championship.
Grantsburg finished with a team score of 179, with Jordan Knutson leading the overall standings and the Pirates with a 39. Nathaniel Krause scored a 44, Chandler Witzany, 47, and Drew Alderman finished with a 49.
After a spirited chase to the conference title the Unity Eagles finished second overall but only seven strokes behind as Ben Traynor led with a 43, Cole Hanson, 46, Tanner Amrhien, 50, and Eric Smith, 52. The Eagles posted an overall score of 186.
"We put ourselves in a great opportunity to win conference," said coach Larry Stencil. "Golf is a sport in which things happen that are not in your control. Once the ball leaves the club, you lose control. What should be taken out of yesterday's match is that we can compete with the top teams in the area"
St. Croix Falls finished with a score of 216 with Brett Johnson leading the Saints with a 49. Nick Lunde shot 53, Levi Ward, 55, Dalton Kloos, 59.
The Siren Dragons followed with a score of 229, as Neil Oustigoff and Alexi Gloodt finished with scores of 52. Jade Merril had a 59 and Emily Howe scored a 66.
Luck/Frederic finished with a score of 230, with Casey Ekholm, 52, Kyle Knauber, 55, Jordan Erickson, 59, Kody Menke, 64, and Luke Wiltz, 65.
Golfers will compete at the Turtleback Golf Course in Rice Lake Thursday, May 22, for the Lakeland Conference Tournament, with tee times starting at 8:30 a.m.
Regionals begin on Tuesday, May 27. St. Croix Falls is in the Division 2 regional and traveling to the Somerset's Bristol Ridge Golf Course. Grantsburg, Luck/Frederic, Siren and Unity are playing in the Unity regional, which will be hosted at the Luck Golf Course.
Luck/Frederic softball gets in the win column
5/7/14 Luck/Frederic 15, Webster/Siren 0
Luck/Frederic 17, Webster/Siren 7
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
FREDERIC – The Luck/Frederic softball team broke into the win column twice on Tuesday, May 6, with a pair of wins over the Webster/Siren Storm. Jillian Klatt pitched a one-hitter during a 15-0 win in the first game, as L/F piled on 15 runs on 15 hits. Lara Harlander went 3 for 3 in the game with three RBIs, and Camille Marsten drove in three runs going 1 for 3. Emily Amundson and Klatt both had two hits with Amundson driving in two runs and Klatt with one RBI. Carly Gustafson and Katie Pfaff each had hits. Jenna Curtis had the lone run for the Storm, while Klatt had four strikeouts. In the second game, Pfaff and Julia Buck pitched for L/F in a 17-7 game that had the Storm racking up six hits. Pfaff, Marsten and Gustafson each had a pair of hits for L/F in the win.
Unity 8, St. Croix Falls 3
BALSAM LAKE – The Eagles softball team outscored St. Croix Falls in a high scoring conference game. This is the second time the Eagles have beaten St. Croix Falls this season, but both teams hit the ball well as Unity piled on 17 hits, while St. Croix Falls had 14. The Saints scored six runs in the second inning to take a 6-5 lead into the third but couldn't get much home from that point on. Carly Ince led the Eagles going 4 for 5 with four RBIs, and scored four times. Whitney Rock, and Cass Hanson each had three hits and Hannah Wagner had two. Rock and Hanson both drove in two runs.
Grantsburg 10, Cameron 0
Grantsburg 17, Cameron 1
GRANTSBURG – The Pirates piled on the runs and nearly shut out Cameron in both games of a doubleheader at Grantsburg on Tuesday, May 6. The Pirates had a big inning in the first game with eight runs and seven hits. Macy Hanson had two hits in the inning and struck out six batters through four innings. The Pirates totaled 12 hits with one walk. Wendy Roberts led the Pirates with five hits on the night, and in the second win, the Pirates had 12 hits and held Cameron to one hit with Livi Tucker on the mound.
Siren National hosts conference golf meet
Unity's Jordan Lowe eyes a shot at Siren National Golf Course on Tuesday, May 6. Lowe led the Eagles with a score of 41. Overall medalist honors went to Jordan Knutson of Grantsburg with a score of 34. – Photo submitted
5/7/14 Marty Seeger|Staff writer
SIREN – Area golf teams are finally getting some time on the course over the past week and traveled to Siren on Tuesday, May 6, for nine holes of competition. The Grantsburg Pirates led the field with a score of 163, followed by Unity, 177, St. Croix Falls, 217, Frederic/Luck, 218, and Siren, 235. Grantsburg's Jordan Knutson and the rest of the Pirates shined on Tuesday. Knutson shot a 34 for first place overall and teammate Lars Thorseson shot a 39. Drew Alderman and Chandler Witzany each scored a 45 and Nathaniel Krause hit a 49. Unity was led by Jordan Lowe with a 41, Ben Traynor, 43, Cole Hanson, 46, Eric Smith, 47 and Tanner Amrhien, 58. "Very happy with the play. Everyone's scores were lower than last week," said Unity coach Larry Stencil. St. Croix Falls was led by Brett Johnson with a score of 50, Luke Woltz led Frederic/Luck with a score of 50, and Neil Oustigoff shot a 52 for the Dragons.
Siren/Webster baseball moves to 4-0
Siren/Webster's Dade McCarthy fires the ball to first as teammate Alex Hopkins looks on during a win over Unity on Monday, May 5, at Unity. Siren/Webster won again Tuesday, May 6, against Luck/Frederic. – Photo by Marty Seeger
St. Croix Falls now 5-1 in win over Eagles
Siren/Webster 12, Luck/Frederic 9
Marty Seeger|Staff writer SIREN – The Siren/Webster baseball team improved their record to 4-0 in the conference with a 12-9 win over Luck/Frederic Tuesday, May 6. Despite errors and poor defense for both teams it was a good night of hitting for Siren/Webster according to coach Jarrod Washburn. "Our bats finally woke up tonight with us getting 13 hits as a team. It was a good thing because we made some mistakes in the field that cost us quite a few runs," said Wasburn. Shawn Stevens was the starting pitcher for S/W and went three innings with three strikeouts four walks, and allowed two hits, two earned runs. Paul Sargent was the winning pitcher as he too went three innings, allowing five runs on four hits, with three strikeouts and one walk. Taran Wols was the closer, with a strikeout and a walk. Aaron Dietmeier went 3 for 5 on the night, driving in three runs, while Ryan Curtis had a pair of hits with three RBIs. Alex Spafford and Dade McCarthy each had a pair of hits. "With the conference being so evenly matched top to bottom all of these games are huge so this was another great win for our ball club. I'm very proud of these young men with how far they've come in the last year. They continue to improve each time out and you can see the confidence growing as the season progresses," Washburn said. For Luck/Frederic it was a tough loss that saw them take a 4-0 lead after the first inning, but errors led to three runs for Siren/Webster. "This was a game where it was see-saw on the scoreboard the entire night," said coach Ryan Humpal. Luck/Frederic climbed back into the game and had a 7-5 lead after four innings, but Humpal said that's when "the wheels fell off for us." Siren/Webster scored five runs in the seventh but Luck/Frederic wasn't out of it completely, with a tying run at home plate in the seventh inning. "Nice evidence of high character kids, and the fight that is in them," Humpal said. Trent Strapon was 3 for 4 with a run scored and five RBIs, and Zach Schmidt pitched a solid game despite the six defensive errors. "Ultimately this was a game of momentum swings and S/W had the final one. One thing that is fun this year in our conference, is every night, you have no idea what team is going to win," said Humpal.
St. Croix Falls 7, Unity 4
ST. CROIX FALLS – The Unity Eagles baseball team dropped another tight game on Tuesday, May 6, while the Saints moved into first-place in the West Lakeland – at least for now. St. Croix Falls is now 5-1 in a very even conference but they've proven that their group of young players is capable of staying competitive with anyone in the conference. The Eagles are itching to get back into contention as they’ve seen a handful of games that could have easily went one way or the other. "One of these tight games, we are going to catch some breaks and we will put another one in the win column," said coach Matt Humpal. St. Croix Falls scored one run in the first inning and both teams scored three runs in the third. Tevin Anderson hit an RBI double and Riley Carnes drove in a pair of runs on a single. The Saints pitching staff was led by Jacob Jacobson who went 5-1/3 innings with six strikeouts and two walks, with seven hits. Mitchell Gjovig finished out the game striking out one, with no walks and no hits allowed. Unity had a chance to come back late in the game, scoring two runs in the sixth, but couldn't score in the seventh. "I am proud of the way the boys battled back tonight. We made some mistakes early but we didn't let the game get away from us. In the last two innings we had a chance to tie or take the lead. That is all you can ask for in a game like this," said Humpal. Unity totaled seven hits with Carnes going 1 for 4 with two RBIs. Austin onahue also drove in a run. The Saints had nine hits as Jacobson went 2 for 3, and Alex Johnson was 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Gjovig was 1 for 4 with an RBI.
Grantsburg 8, Cameron 2
Grantsburg 12, Cameron 7
GRANTSBURG – The Pirates baseball team pulled out a pair of wins over Cameron on Tuesday, May 6, during a doubleheader held in Grantsburg. During an 8-2 win in the first game, Tristan Brewer had a solid performance on the mound striking out 11 batters in the five inning game. He held the Comets scoreless in the first three innings before Cameron picked up a pair of runs in the fourth. The Pirates totaled seven hits in the first game and scored two runs in the first inning, and three more in both the third and fourth inning. Austin Thoreen, Gus Johnson and Josh Glover each had two hits in the game, including Johnson's double in the first inning. Andrew Coy also recorded a single. "We made enough good plays to keep a lid on the game," said Pirates coach Pete Johnson. Game two was a bit different for the Pirates as Cameron came out swinging with eight hits and built a 5-1 lead heading into the third inning. "I've been at this coaching thing for more than two decades, and I'm still making mistakes. Some of my managing tonight stunk, but my players found a way to win in spite of me," Johnson said. "Cameron did a good job of jumping out early and keeping us chasing our own tails." Both games were five-inning games but with a 6-6 tie after five innings the game went into extras. The Pirates piled on six runs in the sixth inning to help pad the win. "I was very pleased when we were down to our last two outs and we pulled ahead. Then did it again in the sixth inning," Johnson said. Austin Handy had a three-run triple in the sixth and Corey Sandberg and Damon Roberts each had a pair of hits. Thoreen, Glover, Brody Bonneville, Austin Swenson and Carter Lee each had hits.
L/F baseball falls short against Grantsburg
Luck/Frederic's Zach Schmidt slides head first into second base during a conference game at Luck. Grantsburg pulled out the 6-5 win late in the game. – Photo by Marty Seeger
4/23/14 Unity picks up first win of the season
Grantsburg 6, Luck/Frederic 5
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
LUCK – The Luck/Frederic baseball team let a 5-2 lead get away on Tuesday, April 22, as Grantsburg scored four runs in the top of seventh to pull out the conference win.
"We were fortunate to eek this one out," said Pirates coach Pete Johnson.
Logan Hamack worked through three scoreless innings on the mound for L/F before he got some run support in the bottom of the third. A walk and hit batter put two on with nobody out and Roman Poirier hit an RBI single. A wild pitch put runners in scoring position and Zach Schmidt towered a sacrifice fly to right-center field for the second run of the inning.
Grantsburg tied the game in the top of the fourth with help from an RBI single by Richard Schneider, but L/F scored again in the fourth off two Pirate errors and an two RBI single by Connor McGinnity. Trevor Dexter singled for an RBI in the fifth to give L/F a 5-2 lead, but in the final inning Grantsburg delivered.
"I'm glad they scheduled this game for seven innings, because we were in big trouble after the first six," Johnson said.
After three walks to load the bases Brody Bonneville drove in two runs on a single and Tristan Brewer and Austin Swenson drove in runs as well.
The Pirates had six hits with Austin Handy and Schneider going 2 for 4. Bonneville led with two RBIs on the big single in the seventh.
Brewer got the start on the mound for Grantsburg going three innings. The lefty had four strikeouts and two walks with only one hit allowed and two earned runs. Swenson went three innings for the win, with three strikeouts, four hits and one earned run. Schneider earned the save with a 1-2-3 seventh inning with one strikeout.
L/F had five hits with Porier, Schmidt, Dexter, McGinnity and Ben Kurkowski each getting hits.
Unity 8, Shell Lake 3
SHELL LAKE – The Unity baseball team picked up their first win of the year at Shell Lake on Tuesday, April 22.
"Both starting pitchers were outstanding in this one. It is fun to coach when both pitchers are throwing strikes and the defense is making plays behind them," said Eagles coach Matt Humpal.
Dylan Ruck got the start for Unity, going 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts. Connor Olson finished out the game on the mound with two strikeouts.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Unity scored three runs on two hits, including a double by Joey Schmitz. In the sixth inning the Eagles scored twice more with an RBI single from Tevin Anderson, an RBI triple by Cole Garvey. Unity scored three runs in the seventh as Olson, Riley Carnes, Brett Nelson, Schmitz Hunter Fjorden and Anderson each had hits. Shell Lake didn't score their three runs until the bottom of the seventh.
"Obviously, it is really nice to get our first win of the season. The thing I was really pleased with was the error-free game. After our defensive struggles in the first three games, this was encouraging to see," Humpal said.
The Eagles baseball team won their first game of the season against Shell Lake Tuesday, April 22. In this photo, a Lakers runner tries getting back to first as Unity first baseman, Cash Hickethier waits for the ball. – Photo by Larry Samson
Pirate golfers take first in match opener
4/23/14 Marty Seeger|Staff writer
GRANTSBURG – With many golf courses beginning to open area boys golf teams got their first match of the season out of the way at the Grantsburg Golf Course on Tuesday, April 22. The Pirate boys golf team took first place overall with Jordan Knutson leading the team with a score of 36, and earning medalist honors. As a team the Pirates scored a 153, with Lars Thoreson and Nathaniel Krause each scoring 37. Chandler Witzany and Drew Alderman each scored 43.
The Eagle boys placed second with a score of 169, with Ben Traynor leading the way with a 39 and Jordan Lowe shooting a 40. It was the first time the Eagles, and most other teams stepped out on the course.
"I thought we did a really nice job considering the circumstances," said Eagles coach Larry Stencil. "The course opened the same day and was in good condition. The staff should be commended. At the beginning of the season, the players are finding areas that need immediate attention. Whether it be skill-wise, staying in the present, or course management. These will all come around as the season progresses." Stencil added that as many as eight or nine players will be competing for the five varsity spots.
"We stress the importance of a depth in accomplishing our individual and team goals. Excited to see how it unfolds."
St. Croix Falls golfers finished with a score of 198 for third place. Brett Johnson led with a 47 and Brett Kuenkel shot a 48. The Siren Dragons and Luck/Frederic golfers both finished with a score of 207, with Jade Merrill scoring a 46 and Neil Oustigoff scoring 49 for the Dragons. Casey Eckholm shot a 46 for Frederic/Luck and Jordan Erickson shot a 52.
The next match for all teams is scheduled for the Luck Golf Course Thursday, April 24, at 4 p.m.
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