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
10/17/14 Volleyball playoffs set for Tuesday
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.
10/15/14 Unity/Luck boys top Lakeland Conference
Unity/Luck girls finish second behind Cameron
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
GRANTSBURG – The Unity/Luck boys cross-country team finished first overall at the conference meet in Grantsburg on Tuesday, Oct. 14, but not by a lot, as they edged the Webster Tiger boys by just six points, among a total of eight other Lakeland teams. The conference champs placed ahead of second place Webster, followed by Grantsburg, Cameron, St. Croix Falls, Frederic, Shell Lake and Lake Holcombe. Bruce, Flambeau and Shell Lake also competed but didn't have enough athletes for a full team score.
The Eagles were led by overall third-place finisher, Alex Binfet with a time of 18:44. Logan Jensen followed with a time of 19:14, Matt Peterson, 19:19, Jes Pedersen, 19:42, Eli Vos Benkowski, 20:06 and Matt Volgren, 20:38.
Runners were also honored on Tuesday with all-conference honors, with the top 16 earning the spot, including Richard Schneider of Grantsburg, who was the conference champion for individuals with a time of 18:16. Billy Cooper of Webster took second overall with a time of 18:22. The next 14 all-conference runners included Unity's Binfet in third place, Andrew Schrooten of Webster, Jensen, Unity/Luck, Peterson, Unity/Luck, Kal Gerber, Cameron, Andrew Ruiz, Webster, Jes Pedersen, Unity/Luck, Henry Klein, 19:50, Joey Formanek, Webster, Justin Parker, Bruce, Jeremiah Stevens, Grantsburg, Tanner Drew, Cameron, Matt LaMirande, St. Croix Falls and Eli Vos Benkowski, Unity/Luck. Frederic's Stephen Martin just missed all-conference with a time of 20:10.
The Unity/Luck girls took second place behind the Cameron Comets during the Lakeland Conference championship race, just 11 team points away. The Eagles were led by Sierra Fjorden who was also the conference champion with a time of 22:10. Fjorden was followed by teammates Anna Bradley, 23:58, Kendra Bramsen, 24:07, Zenia Moore, 25:28, Ali Kreft, 27:17, and Tehya Studdie, 28:37.
The top 16 finishers received all-conference honors starting with Fjorden in first place, Naomi Reed of Cameron with a time of 22:17, Hallie Jensen, Grantsburg, 22:31, Sophie Klein, St. Croix Falls, 22:52, Jordyn Moreen, Lake Holcombe, 22:39, Meredith Kevan, Shell Lake, 23:53.1, Madalyn Bollig, St. Croix Falls, 23:53.4, Anna Bradley, Unity/Luck, 23:58, Kenra Bramsen, Unity/Luck, 24:07, Maddie Moen, Cameron, 24:10.2, Lexi Moussette, Lake Holcombe, 24:10.7, Kayla Gerber, Cameron, 24:14, Nicole Nelson, Frederic, 24:16, Danielle, Gygi, Lake Holcombe, 24:24, and Kendall King, Cameron, 24:39.
10/8/14 Cardinals win battle of the birds
Jenni Holdt and Paige Runnels attempt a block against Unity's Paige Lunsmann.
Siren earns sweep of Saints
Luck 3, Unity 0
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
BALSAM LAKE – The Cardinals defeated the Eagles Tuesday, Oct. 7, winning all three sets, 25-13, 25-16 and 25-20.
Raelyn Tretsven had 13 kills, four aces and four digs for the Cardinals, followed by Hailey Foeller with eight kills, one block, one ace and two digs. Angela Gore had seven kills, four blocks, two aces and six digs, Jenni Holdt, five kills, one block five aces and nine digs, Paige Runnels, three kills, two blocks, Reilly Giller, 33 assists, two aces and 10 digs, and Katie Pfaff, two aces and five digs.
Siren 3, St. Croix Falls 0
SIREN – The Siren volleyball won their first conference game of the season over St. Croix Falls and did it in three sets, 25-18, 25-19 and 25-18. The game was hosted by the Dragons on Tuesday, Oct. 7. No game stats were made available from either team.
Grantsburg 3, Webster
GRANTSBURG – The Pirates swept the Tigers in three sets on Tuesday, Oct. 7, by scores of 25-12, 25-18 and 25-23.
The Pirates were led in attacks by Olivia Tucker with 19, and Delia Labatt with eight. Jordyn McKenzie had two aces, and Rhiana Pochman had three total blocks. Tucker and McKenzie each had eight digs and Drew McNally had seven.
Luck's Raelyn Tretsven puts a kill over the net against the Eagles Tuesday, Oct. 7. – Photos by Marty Seeger
10/2/14 Girls golfers endure miserable weather at regionals
Two Luck/Unity golfers earn trips to sectional meet
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
HAMMOND – Girls golfers were met with a miserable day of weather at during the WIAA regional playoff match on the Pheasant Hills Golf Course in Hammond Wednesday, Oct. 1.
Both Luck/Unity and St. Croix Falls competed but due to the weather conditions, the match was called after the first nine holes.
"It was called after nine holes and we were lucky to get nine in," said Luck/Unity coach Chuck Holicky.
Despite the bad weather, Luck/Unity will be sending two girls to sectionals, including junior Kerrigan Ekholm and senior Briana Colbert. The girls will play at the Division 2 sectional match on the Cumberland Golf Course for a chance to go to state, Tuesday, Oct. 7, beginning at 9 a.m.
St. Croix Falls ended their season at the regional match in Hammond. Freshman Katie Herrick finished with a 24th place finish and score of 57. Senior McKenzie Katzmark shot a 72.
See the Wednesday, Oct. 8, print, e-edition, or check online for more information and updates.
10/1/14 Frederic falls against Luck
Grantsburg, Webster win Tuesday games
Luck 3, Frederic 0
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
LUCK – Frederic fell to a surging, and still-undefeated Cardinals volleyball team in three sets on Tuesday, Oct. 1, by scores of 25-6, 25-13 and 25-15.
"We struggled a lot in the first game," said Frederic coach Carrie Kjellberg. "Then we started to play our volleyball, but inconsistent passing against a team like Luck is too tough to overcome. We were without Kinzie Matz, so we moved some girls around, and played some girls who have never played in a varsity match. They responded well and I saw some very encouraging things from the younger more inexperienced players. We only had two service errors, so we definitely approved in that area. They played hard and were aggressive on defense."
The Cardinals stat leaders included Hailey Foeller with eight kills and one ace, Angela Gore had seven kills, two blocks and four aces, Raelynn Tretsven, five kills, one block and one ace, Reilly Giller, four kills, six aces, 25 assists and eight digs, Jenni Holdt, four kills and three aces and Katie Pfaff, three aces, 10 digs.
For Frederic the serving leaders with Ann Chenal with three aces, and Maddie Ammend had no errors and 10 serves. Kjellberg said Ammend was playing the back row for the first itime.
Dig leaders were Alseth with nine and Lara Harlander had seven. Ammend and Brooke Claeys each had six, which came on "a lot of great digs on hard hits from Luck girls," according to Kjellberg.
Chenal and Alseth both had seven kills.
Grantsburg 3, St. Croix Falls 1
ST. CROIX FALLS – The Saints took one set away from Grantsburg but lost the battle Tuesday, Sept. 30, in St. Croix Falls. Grantsburg won the first two sets, 25-14, 25-17, lost the next set 25-23, but finished the match with a 25-13 win in the fourth set.
Mariah Rohm had nine kills, three blocks, six digs for the Saints, followed by Adi Stoffel with seven digs and four kills, Ruthie Stewart, three kills, three blocks, Becca Nelson, threee aces, six digs, Emma Wondra, 17 assists, four kills, Katie Kopp, 12 digs, and Annalise Parks had three aces.
Webster 3, Siren 1
WEBSTER – The Tigers took Siren down in a match that went to four sets Tuesday, Sept. 30, by scores of 25-19, 18-25, 25-12 and 25-21.
The Tigers totaled 44 kills in the match with Taylor Howe attacking for 12, followed by Ashley Davis, 11, Sophie Phernetton, 10, Bailey Woodford, six, Kaitlyn Moser, three and Christina Weis, two.
Weis had 42 assists and Moser had eight. Weis had four aces and Howe had three, Moser, two and Davis, one.
Howe had nine blocks, Moser, seven, Phernetton, four, and Davis, Weis and Woodford each had one. Weis led with 11 digs and Moser had 10, followed by Davis and Lydia Wilson each with eight.
9/24/14 Unity/Luck tennis defeats Durand
Sophomore Kiarra Swanson of the Unity/Luck tennis team competes during a doubles match earlier this season. – file photo by Marty Seeger
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
WEBSTER – The Unity/Luck tennis team traveled to Durand on Monday, Sept. 22, and picked up a well-earned 5-1 victory. Both seniors, Leslie Peterson and Destinie Kobs won their singles matches in two sets, and senior Danielle Tonnar, and junior Danielle Ahlm stormed back to win the third set in a doubles match according to coach Scott Hensiak. "Doubles Team Beth Johnson and Jasmine Lowe won their match in two sets (6-3, 6-1) with some smart plays and quickness up at the net," Hensiak said. On Tuesday, Sept. 23, the Eagles faced a strong Osceola team at Osceola. Their girls are fast and always have the right shot, yet we still had a couple of close sets," Hensiak explained. Ahlm and Tonnar lost 3-6, 3-6, but Hensiak said the team had great serves and played quick at the net. "Doubles Team Beth Johnson and Jasmine Lowe put up 3-6, 2-6, but are getting more competitive – Johnson especially at the net!" said Hensiak. Sophomore Kiarra Swanson and freshman Shannon Lane are starting to gel in their doubles matches according to Hensiak, who said the girls are "gaining experience and continuing to grow as players." Unity/Luck freshman, Gabby Khazraeinazmpour is also improving steadily. "(She) lost her match, but is playing all of the right plays and is quick around the court. I am convinced that her game will be converting into wins soon," Hensiak said.
9/24/14 Lady Tigers dominate Saints
Frederic falls, Grantsburg sweeps Siren
Webster 3, St. Croix Falls 0
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
WEBSTER – The Webster volleyball team displayed dominance over St. Croix Falls on Tuesday, Sept. 23, setting the tone early as they led by as much as 17-0 in the first set. Webster won 25-5, 25-15 and 25-20.
"Tonight all of the pieces finally clicked," said Webster coach Stefanie Janssen. "The girls worked very well together on offense, and were quick on defense. They were able to maintain the momentum and capitalize on the opportunities presented to them."
Ashley Davis led Webster in kills with eight and Christina Weis and Kaitlyn Moser each had four. Weis led with 21 assists and Moser had four. Weis also led with six service aces and Sophie Phernetton had two. Defensively Weis had seven digs, Taylor Howe had six and Davis and Phernetton each had two. Phernetton, Howe and Moser each had three blocks and Bailey Woodford had two blocks.
Mariah Rohm and Ruthie Stewart each had three blocks for St. Croix Falls, and Katie Kopp finished with two aces and six digs. Adrienne Stoffel had six digs and six kills.
"It was tough coming off homecoming week and with not much gym time since the Unity game last Thursday. Our passing was off and we had a real slow start," said Saints coach Alyssa Notermann.
The Saints will host Frederic this Thursday, Sept. 25, starting at 7:30 p.m. Webster is at Unity Thursday, Sept. 25, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Unity 3, Frederic 1
FREDERIC– The Eagles volleyball team cruised to a 3-1 win at Frederic Tuesday, Sept. 23, with scores of 25-21, 25-12, 23-25 and 25-12.
"The girls played much better tonight with the exception of game three," said Eagles coach Jennifer DeLozier. "We lost our passion and teamwork but went right back at it the fourth game and finished. I am very proud of their effort tonight!"
Emma Moore led the Eagles with 14 kills and Raelin Sorensen and Paige Lunsmann had eight and seven kills respectively. Sorensen also had five blocks and Moore had two. Whitney Rock led with 19 assists and Olivia Nelson led with 21 digs. Lunsmann had 17 digs and Markell Ramich had 10 digs. The Eagles totaled 15 aces and Nelson had six of them.
Grantsburg 3, Siren
GRANTSBURG– The Pirates volleyball team handed the Dragons another conference loss Tuesday, Sept. 23, in Grantsburg, sweeping Siren in three sets, 25-18, 25-9 and 25-19.
Grantsburg totaled 35 kills with Olivia Tucker leading the way with 12, while Rhiana Pochman added eight, Kathryn Segner, six and Delia Labatt had four. Jordyn McKenzie and Drew McNally each had three aces, and defensively Pochman and Cassidy Lee each had three blocks. Tucker and Briena Jensen each had seven digs and Labatt led the team with eight digs. Laura Drohman and McNally had five digs apiece.
St. Croix Falls senior Mariah Rohm is blocked by Kaitlyn Moser of Webster during the Tigers 3-0 win over the Saints Tuesday, Sept. 23. – Photo by Josh Johnson
Christina Weis sets the ball for the Tigers. – Photo by Josh Johnson
Taylor Howe smashes it passed the Saints blockers. – Photo by Josh Johnson
9/17/14 Vikes get one set but Pirates prevail
Luck and Unity both win conference games Tuesday
Grantsburg 3, Frederic 1
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
FREDERIC – The Pirates volleyball team won their fourth-straight conference match Tuesday, Sept. 16, defeating Frederic 3-1 by scores of 25-18, 25-14, 21-25 and 25-18.
The Vikings played pretty solid through the first set to take a 13-10 lead and were up by as much as nine points early in the game, but it slipped away from there, and the Pirates took the second set with relative ease. Frederic stormed back to take the third set but couldn't hang on in the fourth.
"(Ann) Chenal and (Lara) Harlander are great players and hit very well against us. Our defense was sputtery," said Pirates coach Deb Allaman-Johnson.
Olivia Tucker led with 12 kills and Cassidy Lee had seven and Rhiana Pochman and Delia Labatt each had six for the Pirates. Jordyn McKenzie added four serving aces and Laura Drohman and Drew McNally each had three. Drew McNally led the Pirates with 12 digs and Olivia Tucker had eight. McKenzie and Drohman each had five digs.
Delia Labatt had three blocks and Pochman and Cassidy Lee each had two blocks.
"Cassidy Lee had a good game, hitting and blocking well," Allaman-Johnson said, adding that the team served very well at 97.9 percent with two misses and 14 total aces.
"We might not always get it done smoothly, but I'm proud of how hard the Pirates scrape and claw to finish strong," Allaman-Johnson said. "We are still striving for consistency."
The Vikings were led by Taylor Alseth with 11 kills and Chenal had 10. Chenal also led with 20 digs and Harlander had 17. In serving Brooke Claeys had 12 and Makayla Arthurs added 13.
"The girls played hard all night," said Vikings coach Carrie Kjellberg. "We had a few too many stretches with errors, and a team like Grantsburg took advantage of those errors. I am proud of the effort and attitude my team showed throughout the match."
Luck 3, Webster 0
WEBSTER – The Cardinals volleyball team took care of business in Webster Tuesday, Sept. 16, to remain undefeated in conference play and set up a showdown with Grantsburg in Luck this Thursday, Sept. 18, in a battle of the unbeaten teams in the West Lakeland.
The Cardinals took care of the Tigers in three sets on Tuesday, 25-21, 25-9 and 25-14.
Angela Gore had 14 kills, two blocks, two aces and five digs. Raelyn Tretsven had 10 kills and 10 digs, Hailey Foeller added seven kills, four blocks and four digs, Paige Runnels had five kills, one block and three digs, Jenni Holdt, four kills, five blocks, on ace and four digs. Katie Pfaff finished with three aces and five digs, Reilly Giller added 13 digs with 37 assists, Brooklyn Petersen, one ace and three digs and Isabelle Jensen had one kill.
For the Tigers Ashley Davis led with six kills and Christina Weis had one and led with 12 assists. Sophie Phernetton led with nine blocks and Skyler Winkler and Weis each had 11 digs. Taylor Howe had 11 digs.
Unity 3, Siren 1
SIREN – The Eagles picked up a conference win over the Dragons Tuesday, Sept. 16, but it took four close sets to do so, with scores of 23-25, 25-18, 25-17 and 30-28.
The Eagles had a total of 87 digs with Olivia Nelson and Paige Lunsmann racking up 24 and 22 digs respectively. Whitney Rock had 18 assists and Ciara DeLozier 21, while Raelin Sorensen led the Eagles with 18 of the team's 46 kills.
"We had some crucial mistakes at key moments but the girls dug in and battled!" said Eagles coach Jennifer DeLozier.
Unity will travel to St. Croix Falls this Thursday, Sept. 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m., and Siren hosts Frederic.
9/3/14 Frederic hosts cross-country meet
A trio of Grantsburg cross-country runners work a tough part of the Frederic course.
Grantsburg's Richard Schneider races to the finish line in Frederic on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Schneider took first overall with a time of 18:29. – Photos by Marty Seeger
Schneider on top for boys, Klein in girls race
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
FREDERIC – Out of the six teams competing in Frederic on Tuesday, Sept. 2, only three had enough to score as a full team for both boys and girls races. On the boys side, Richard Schneider of Grantsburg was first to the finish line with a time of 18:29, and the Unity/Luck boys placed first overall, with times remaining close once again. Derek Rennicke finished first for Unity/Luck with a time of 19:20, Alex Binfet followed with 19:24, Matt Peterson, 19:34, Logan Jensen, 19:54, Jes Pedersen, 20:15, Matt Volgren, 20:25 and Zach Rau, 22:27.
Stephen Martin of Frederic took seventh in the overall standings with a time of 20:25, Saints runner Henry Klein finished eighth with a time of 20:41.
Sophie Klein took first overall out of just 25 runners for the girls. The Saints took first as a team with Bollig earning a time of 24:36, Grace Klein, 26:17, C.J. Basacker, 27:09, Joleen Gravelle, 29:24 and Madison Eighmy, 31:03. The Unity/Luck girls took second with Kendra Bramsen leading with a time of 25:14. The Grantsburg girls took third with Hallie Jensen taking second overall with a time of 24:02. Frederic's Nicole Nelson was fourth with a time of 25:10.
On Thursday, Sept. 4, Grantsburg, Webster, Frederic and Unity/Luck will travel to Spooner for the next cross-country meet, starting at 4 p.m. St. Croix Falls is heading to St. Croix Central, with races starting at 4 p.m.
Unity/Luck runner Matt Volgren and Frederic's Stephen Martin fight to the finish, with Martin gaining five-tenths of a second ahead.
8/27/14 Pirates skin Beavers
Kevin Vollendorf gets help bringing down Cumberland’s Devon Williams. – Photo by Scott Hoffman
Big offensive output topped by outstanding defense
Grantsburg 43, Cumberland 0
Scott Hoffman|Staff writer
GRANTSBURG – It began like a game of hot potato as the Pirates opened the season with a win over Cumberland Friday, Aug. 22. Grantsburg first fumbled a completed pass reception and then it was Cumberland’s turn on a literal takeaway by Pirate Cody Hoffman, who stole the ball from Cumberland’s carrier Brad Froehlich and was off for the end zone. Hoffman was later ruled to have a knee down.
Grantsburg drove down the field and scored on that drive to give the Pirates an early lead.
Coach Adam Hale was certainly happy about the Pirates performance and was pleased with the team’s ability to thrash a Heart O’ North Conference opponent that usually has their way with Grantsburg.
“It was a great way to start off the season. I was happy to see us have a strong second half on both sides of the ball after a shaky start offensively. The defense really came up with some big stops in the first half to keep the momentum on our side. Tony Britton had an outstanding game all around and really made some big runs after the catch. On defense, Mason McEvers, Avery Buggert and Cody Hoffman were in all tackles all night. I thought as a team, we tackled solid and did a great job on special teams as well. We’re anxious to get back to work and prepare for a very good Maple-Northwestern team.”
Tristan Brewer had a big night for Grantsburg at quarterback, going 15 of 27 for 271 yards, with two touchdowns, but was picked off twice. Both teams combined for five turnovers. Tony Britton had a career night, gaining over 260 total yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Pirates will host Maple-Northwestern Friday, Aug. 29, beginning 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.
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
Frederic 3, St. Croix Falls 1
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
FREDERIC – The Frederic volleyball team opened the season with a 3-1 win over St. Croix Falls under new head coach Carrie Kjellberg on Tuesday, Sept. 2, in Frederic. The Vikings won the first two sets, 25-18, 25-17, before the Saints took the third set 25-23. The game went to just four sets, with Frederic winning 25-17.
"Strong team effort with different girls making big plays throughout the match. We had strong defense and great passing throughout the night," said Kjellberg.
Kinzie Matz had a solid night with 19 serves with no errors and three aces. Taylor Alseth led in kills with 11, while Matz had nine and Lara Harlander, eight. Ann Chenal had 22 digs and Makayla Arthurs provided 31 assists.
The Vikings will have a tough test ahead as they host Luck this Thursday, Sept. 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Saints travel to Grantsburg on the same night.
Luck 3, Siren 0
LUCK – Luck volleyball got off to a good start in their home opener against Siren on Tuesday, Sept. 2. The Cardinals swept the Dragons in three sets, 25-11, 25-12 and 25-16.
Jenni Holdt led Luck with 11 kills, three blocks and five digs. Angela Gore had seven kills, one block and five aces with seven digs. Raelynn Tretsven had 10 kills, 11 aces and 10 digs. Hailey Foeller had nine kills, two blocks and four aces. Paige Runnels had four kills, Reilly Giller had 42 assists, one kill, one ace and five digs, and Katie Pfaff had one ace and 12 digs.
Siren will be hosting Webster on Thursday, Sept. 4, and Luck travels to Frederic Thursday, Sept. 4, with both games starting at 7:30 p.m.
Unity 3, Webster 1
LUCK – The Unity Eagles lost the first set against Webster on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 25-21, but finished strong to take the next three 27-25, 25-20 and 25-12, to win their conference opener on the road.
"All the girls played well tonight," said Eagles coach Jennifer DeLozier. "We played defense, served well, hit well, and played some awesome team volleyball. We were down in the second set 23-19 and the girls never got down - they battled back and won. I feel like that changed the momentum of the match and we were able to walk away with a Conference win!"
Emma Moore had 15 kills for the Eagles while Paige Lunsmann had 13, Raelin Sorensen, seven. Whitney Rock and Ciara DeLozier combined for 38 assists and Rock had six of the Eagles 14 aces. On defense Olivia Nelson had 23 digs.
For the Tigers Taylor Howe had nine kills, Sophie Phernetton, seven, Ashley Davis and Bailey Woodford each had six, Christina Weis, three and Kaitlyn Moser, one.
Phernetton led the team in blocks with 13 and Woodford had 11, Moser eight. Weis had 24 assists and Skyler Winkler led with 16 digs.
"The girls came out strong and showed that they have great potential this year," said first-year head coach Stephanie Janssen. "We've got some things to work on but are looking forward to a successful season."
8/27/14 Wolves take advantage of Viking turnovers
Frederic senior Zach Williamson takes down the
Elmwood/Plum City quarterback during Friday’s game at Elmwood. – Photo by Marty Seeger
Frederic loses tough opener on the road
Elmwood-Plum City 15, Frederic 6
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
ELMWOOD – It wasn’t a pretty opener for the Vikings on Friday, Aug. 22, as seven fumbles in the first half alone were enough to tip the scales and give Elmwood/Plum City the edge. Three of those seven fumbles were recovered by the Wolves, and despite an outstanding effort by the Vikings defense in the first half, the Wolves capitalized on the most costly fumble and scored with just 1.9 seconds to go in the first half to take an 8-0 lead.
Offensively, the Vikings were able to move the ball to start the game with a great catch and run by Zach Schmidt and a first-down carry from Peter Chenal, who had 185 yards on 25 carries, and the Vikings only touchdown of the game. But the momentum quickly shifted as the Wolves recovered the first fumble of the game, only to run into a great effort by the Vikings defense. The Vikings fumbled twice more in the first quarter including one inside the 20-yard line in Wolves territory to end the quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, E-PC junior Hogan Kernstock took it 54 yards to the Vikings 5-yard line, but the Frederic defense stepped up, forcing the Wolves to turn the ball over on downs, and Frederic began their first drive of the second quarter on their own 13-yard line.
Frederic would eventually work their way to the Wolves 30-yard line but fumbled three different times on the drive, and the Wolves eventually took over on downs on the Vikings 30-yard line with 3:27 left in the half.
Frederic got the ball back quickly after another impressive defensive stance, forcing the Wolves to punt with 1:58 to go in the half. But a Vikings fumble on the first play of the drive put the Wolves in position to try for the end zone, and eventually did on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 1.9 seconds, ending the half, 8-0.
Near the start of the second half the momentum seemed to shift in the Vikings favor, as Schmidt put the Vikings on the Wolves 17-yard line on an impressive 46-yard punt return, igniting the Frederic crowd and players. With 9:56 to go in the third quarter, Peter Chenal eventually ran it in from 5 yards out, and despite the failed two-point attempt, the Vikings were on the board.
After forcing the Wolves to punt once again, the Vikings mounted another big offensive drive capped off by a 25-yard grab by Schmidt, and 36-yard gain by Chenal. From inside the 10-yard line, Vikings quarterback Austin Ennis connected with Austin Kurkowski in the end zone, but the play was ruled incomplete. A Vikings penalty and failed running attempt quickly brought up fourth down, and a Frederic field goal try was blocked, handing the ball back to the Wolves.
The score remained 8-6 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Wolves scored again early with a 30-yard touchdown run by Ryan Asher. Despite the score, the Vikings remained in the game but couldn’t get their offensive going again.
Defensively Ennis led with 10 total tackles while Peter Chenal had seven, Zach Williamson, six, John Chenal, 5.5 and Eric Chenal, Kurkowski and Schmidt each had three. Williamson had the team’s only sack and Erickson, Williamson, Greg Peterson, Eric Chenal and Cole Britton were each in on a tackle for loss.
The Vikings can get back on track again this week with their first home game of the season against Glenwood City, starting at 7 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 29.
8/27/14 Bears rip Tigers in opener
Clayton 33, Webster 7
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
CLAYTON – The Tigers football team got off to a rocky start in a loss to Clayton Friday, Aug. 22, as Clayton freshman quarterback Kobe Berghammer completed 17 of 21 passes for 252 yards and five touchdowns. While the Tigers were able to record two interceptions it was a rough night on both sides of the ball according to coach Jovin Kroll.
“We failed to execute on both sides of the football, unfortunately. Our first rule is to protect the football, and we clearly didn’t do that with four or five turnovers. Secondly, we want to play aggressive, solid defense, and there were plays where we missed five or six tackles, and the Clayton player looked like Tony Canadeo slicing through us,” Kroll said.
Ryan Curtis scored the lone Tiger touchdown midway through the second quarter on a 3-yard run. Curtis had 77 yards on 20 carries, while Vinny Larson rushed for 28 yards on nine carries. Paul Sargent completed two of four passes for 32 yards and one interception.
“I expect a big improvement by our guys this week. Very few of our starters had extensive varsity experience, so this was new to them tonight. We will get better. There’s too much talent on this team to have consistent results like tonight. As coaches, we’ll get better, too. We have one more week to get things right before conference games begin,” said Kroll.
North eight-man football wins big in Middleton
Luck head coach Don Kendzior talks to players who competed in the senior eight-man all-star game in Middleton on Friday, July 18. Luck had three players competing while Siren had five players on the all-star roster to represent the north. – Photos by Lisa Rosemore/Grand Rapids Herald-Review
All-star game well represented by Luck, Siren athletes
North 40, South 0
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
MIDDLETON – Local graduated seniors capped off their eight-man football careers in a big way in Middleton Friday, July 18, with a game between a mix of the best talent from the north and from teams in the south. On the North team were players from Siren, Luck, Prairie Farm, New Auburn, Northwood and Bruce.
“It was a great game to watch, and the North definitely did well,” said Luck head coach Don Kendzior, who had three athletes from Luck playing in the game, including Karsten Petersen, Connor McGinnity and Logan Hamack. Siren had five athletes, David St. John, Jared Emery, Triston Alden, John D’Jock and Devan Pavlicek.
The game also featured several different coaches with locals including Kendzior, who helped handle the administrative duties, while Joel Wells, Matt Dunlap and Ryan Humpal helped out along with several others. Humpal was responsible for the defensive side of the ball and proved valuable in the shutout win for the North.
It was a close game to start, with the North leading 8-0 after the first quarter, but from that point forward the game wasn’t close. Kendzior said Prairie Farm quarterback Josh Siebert took the game over on several plays to keep the game rolling along while the North racked up a pair of interceptions, with one resulting in a touchdown by Hamack. Petersen also had a big catch for 30-plus yards and Emery took the helm at quarterback as well and also scored.
“It was a great experience, seeing these kids, that for two or three hours on a Friday night hate each other, but then come together as a team,” Kendzior said, which, at its core, is what the all-star games are all about.
Practices for the athletes began a week before the game and North athletes met up in Rice Lake on a Wednesday to scrimmage together on their own. After another practice on Thursday morning, the North team headed to Wisconsin Dells to enjoy the water park. The group then moved on to Madison where the team took some time to tour State Street before heading to play the game.
“The bonding that these kids developed will be a lifetime thing,” Kendzior said.
Some of the athletes also used it as an opportunity to get tuned up to play football in college. Luck’s Petersen plans to play at River Falls this fall as well as athletes from Bruce and Prairie Farm who are moving on to the college level as. The South also has athletes moving on to the next level and were actually without a couple of their all-star wide receivers. One has a commitment to play college basketball, while the other is moving on to play baseball in college.
Eight-man football seems to be growing in popularity and in the amount of participating teams. Right now there are about 25 teams, and the hope is to have 32 by next season. The Wisconsin High School Football Association is also taking over the eight-man all-star game so that it can be hosted in Oshkosh next summer alongside the 11-man teams, which would be another boost of exposure for eight-man football.
The official start of the season for all area high school football teams is Monday, Aug. 4.
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.
Pirate pitchers shut down Luck/Frederic softball
Wendy Roberts of Grantsburg eyes a pitch by Luck/Frederic pitcher Abbie Otlo during Tuesday's conference battle. The Pirates won 5-0. – Photo by Becky Amundson
4/23/14 Saints win over Webster/Siren Grantsburg 5, Luck/Frederic 0
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
FREDERIC – Grantsburg softball's 1-2 punch in the pitching department helped stop Luck/Frederic from what was a close game through six innings during L/F's season opener in Frederic on Monday, April 21. Pirate's senior Macy Hanson struck out nine consecutive batters before Olivia Tucker came in for the final four innings, and again held L/F without a hit, yet Abbie Otlo was equally impressive on the mound for L/F. She held the Pirates to just one run through six innings and the top three Pirate hitters 0 for 9, according to Grantsburg's softball web site.
In the fourth inning Jordyn Mckenzie hit an RBI single to give the Pirates the lead for good, and Grantsburg scored another four runs off three hits and three walks. Hope Tucker, Harlei Hennessey, Olivia Tucker, Katie Miller and Jordyn Mckenzie each had hits for the Pirates.
St. Croix Falls 14, Webster/Siren 4
ST. CROIX FALLS – The St. Croix Falls softball team ended a long losing drought with a 14-4 victory over the Webster/Siren Storm softball team.
Saints pitcher Katie Kopp had eight strikeouts and two walks. Sophie Aguilar went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and Natalie Fisk was 2 for 3 with a double. McKenzie Christensen got on base all four plate appearances with two hits, a pair of walks and two RBIs.
"We played very well last night," said Saints coach Clayton Hanson. "The girls worked really hard to get this win, the first since 2012. Katie really pitched a great game and our defense played a stellar game. I am very proud of these girls, both varsity and JV, they have been working their tails off to get this first win."
Carly Ince tries to put a tag on a Shell Lake runner Tuesday, April 22. The Lakers, returning state qualifiers, defeated Unity 10-0. – Photo by Larry Samson
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