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"After all these years, still doing a great job!!" -Ron Hermanson
Golfers finish regular season meets
By Paul Rignell
Boys golf teams from Luck, Unity, St. Croix Falls and other schools in the Lakeland West Conference held two last regular conference meets early this week before a conference tournament May 17.
To make up for a missed meet of nine holes from earlier on the schedule, due to persistent snow, the teams played twice as much or 18 holes May 14.
Ethan Alexander of the Luck/Frederic team led all golfers by shooting a 37 on the front nine, where his teammate Logan Lillehaug shot a 38. Taylor Zenzen totaled 40 on those holes for Luck/Frederic, followed by Beau Brenizer at 41 and Nick Aguado with a 43.
Lillehaug shot a 37 on the back nine, followed by Alexander and Zenzen each at 39. Aguado totaled 41, and Brenizer shot a 45.
Hunter Robinson of the Unity Eagles shot a 38 on the front nine May 14. His teammates Aaron Nyberg shot a 41 and Daniel Sorenson totaled 44 on those holes. Other Unity golfers included Nick Frokjer at 56 and Alex Robinson with a 57.
Nyberg shot a 36 on the back nine, followed by Hunter Robinson at 38. Sorenson shot a 41, followed by Frokjer at 44 and Alex Robinson shot a 59.
For St. Croix Falls on Monday, Chance Belisle led the Saints with a 45 on the front nine followed by Mitchell Steele at 53. Belisle totaled 42 on the next nine, where Steele shot a 48. Noah Horn at 53 and Madisen Jensen at 56 also lowered their scores on the back nine, where Tyler Moryn shot a 54 for the Saints.
Liilehaug of the Luck/Frederic team was a co-leader for the meet May 15, shooting a 36. His teammate Brenizer followed with a 37, and Alexander shot a 38. Zenzen totaled 42 for Luck/Frederic, and Aguado shot a 46.
Hunter Robinson of Unity was Tuesday’s other co-leader with a 36. Nyberg shot a 41 for the Eagles, and Sorenson totaled 48. Vince Cloutier followed at 49, and Frokjer shot a 56.
Belisle and Steele each shot a 47 for St. Croix Falls on May 15. Horn was third for the Saints by shooting a 56.
Thursday’s conference tournament is scheduled for a mid-morning start in Rice Lake. Regionals will start May 22, from which the top qualifiers will advance to sectionals on May 29.
May 17, 2018
Saints softball wins over Webster and Spooner
St. Croix Falls 21, Webster-Siren 8
Saints head coach Clayton Hanson knows that among other things, if his squad was going to have a chance come playoff time they needed to make the most of their chances when they got them. For example, leading up to St. Croix Falls final game of the regular season last Thursday, Hanson’s troops had struggled putting the bat on the ball with two outs and runners on base. It was something the veteran head coach had stressed to his team all season. Judging by how the Saints knocked the ball around the field in the first inning against Webster-Siren, it seems as though his girls were starting to get the message. St. Croix Falls scored 15 runs in the bottom of the first inning including 12 with two outs against the visiting team, propelling them to a convincing 21-8 win. While the game wasn’t perfect by any means, Hanson was pleased to see his squad excel in an area of the game that has snake-bitten them throughout the year.
“It was good. It gives us a reason to build and get ourselves mentally prepared to play Spooner,” remarked Hanson, referring to the Saints upcoming opponent in the first round of playoffs. “They had a couple of errors and we started to hit a few gaps. We scored 12 runs with two outs. We started finding spots and their pitcher was struggling a little. The girls just started finding their zone and started hitting; putting the ball where it needed to be. Then you get an error or two and things roll from there. I was pretty proud of our girls stepping up.”
The win pushed the Saints final season record to 4-8 overall. Don’t look now but St. Croix’s offense seems to be heating up just in time for the postseason run. Dating back to their win over Luck the previous week, the 21 runs scored against Webster-Siren gave the Saints 41 runs in two games.  
Regionals- First Round
St. Croix Falls 11, Spooner 1
The Saints opened up the 2018 regional playoffs in fine fashion last Tuesday with a dominating win over Spooner. The 11-1 win was St. Croix’s third win in a row- their longest winning streak of the season.
Despite a slow start, St. Croix Falls chipped away at Spooner pitching for the first four innings before the gates opened up in the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, the Saints struck for six runs on their way to a 11-1 win. Bridgett Bergmann starred at the plate for St. Croix Falls, leading off the game with a double and getting on base every time after that. Senior Annalise Parks started the game on the mound for St. Croix and got the win. For good measure, Parks also finished the game at the plate with a bases loaded hit in the bottom of the fifth giving the Saints the 10-run win.
“Bridgett was our lead-off hitter and she reached base every time so that was one of the things that got us going. Whenever that happens it’s a huge lift for your team. Annalise pitched a good game. Spooner can hit the ball and she found a way to get around those hitters and was consistent,” remarked Hanson. “We started off slow but the girls started to get some momentum and things took off. I think they are starting to recognize what they can do if they play smart and build off each other. We are playing well right now and I’m excited to see what happens next.”
Be careful what you wish for…
Up next for the Saints is the top-seed Bloomer on Wednesday night in Bloomer; no doubt St. Croix’s stiffest test of the season to date.
“As they say, if you are going to make it to state you have to beat everyone,” laughed Hanson. “We are excited to be playing them. This is the playoffs and you never know what can happen.”
May 24, 2018
Luck/Frederic Golf winning host of sectional
The Luck/Frederic co-op golf team wouldn’t be defeated on their home turf when they hosted the sectional competition at the Frederic Golf Course on Tuesday. The team was the top finisher on the par 72 course with a final score of 320.
Following are the team results; the top two teams will advance to the state competition.
1. Luck/Frederic, 320, 2.Eleva-Strum, 324, 3. Osseo/Fairchild, 332, 4. Spring Valley, 346, 5. Durand, 349, 6. Grantsburg, 363, 7. Unity, 366, 8. Glenwood City, 366, 9. Washburn, 373, 10. Chequamegon, 383, 11. Birchwood, 414, 12. Prentice, 453.
Individual results/rankings for local golfers are as follows:
Ethan Alexander, (Luck/Frederic) 71, 3- Logan Littlehaug (Luck/Frederic) 76
12- Hunter Robinson (Unity) 81, 14- Aaron Nyberg (Unity) 82, 19- Beau Brenizer (Luck/Frederic) 84, 32- Taylor Meyer-Zenzen (Luck/Frederic) 89, 35- Chance Belisle (St. Croix Falls) 90, 35- Nick Aguado (Luck/Frederic) 90, 42- Daniel Sorenson (Unity) 95, 60- Vincent Cloutier (Unity) 108, 62- Nick Frokjer (Unity) 110.
 The Luck/Frederic team will be heading of to the state competition, which is to be held June 5 at University Ridge in Madison.
The Luck/Frederic team also qualified for state last year placing second at sectionals.
The weather wasn’t fair for much of the event as golfers made their way around the course, they were delayed two hours by rain as the sky opened up and deluged the course and lightning flashed in the sky.
Had the thunderstorm been longer lasting and further delayed the game, the scores for the competition may have been based on the first nine holes.
“I am glad that we were able to play the full 18 holes,” observed Luck/Frederic Coach Rick Giller. “Some individuals that made it to state (not on a team) would not have made it if we only used the first nine hole scores.
“(The) Luck/Frederic team played well all season. Playing at sectionals was no exception. Logan Lillehaug shot a 76 and Ethan Alexander came through big time with one under 71. He even had an out of bounds with that score. Ethan hit great, long drives, solid iron shots, and putted extremely well. Beau Brenizer shot an 84, while Taylor and Nick shot 89 and 90 respectively,” concluded Giller.
May 31, 2018
From local Saint to Golden Gopher
T.A. Doughty-St. Hilaire
St. Croix Falls senior Tyler Cooper has declared that he will be joining the Minnesota Golden Gophers as a guard on their offensive line.
At 6'4” and 295 pounds, Cooper received offers from Michigan, North Dakota State, South Dakota State as well as other universities. He was even talking to the Wisconsin Badgers at one point.
Cooper recently announced his decision after giving his answer to the Gopher coaching staff. He will be the 23 player of the Class of 2019.
The move seemed to be the best fit for Cooper. Both he and his family have been lifelong Gopher Fans, and he was born in Minnesota.
“It's always been a childhood dream of mine to play for the Gophers,” observed Cooper.
The decision wasn't all that easy. With offers poring in, he considered the pros and cons of each school. Cooper even traveled to Wyoming to check out their program, whose head coach is known for creating great offensive linemen.
“It was really nice, great facility, brand new,” said Tyler, but in his mind he was working out a decision that would affect the rest of his life. “It wasn't bothering me too much, but it was nice to pick a school and be done with it.”
As he plays his final season of his high school football career on the hallowed field below the esker, he will be transitioning from tackle to guard, which is where the Gophers will most likely use him.
Coach Grant Belisle reflected on Cooper as a player and a person. 
“He's a good kid, and a smart kid,” said Belisle. “You have to remember when you coach him that if you coach him to do something a certain way he is always going to remember it.”
It isn't often that Division I players come from this area, there have been a few, but the group remains elite.
One of the things that coaches have found appealing about Cooper is his flexibility on the offensive line. He can play every position on it. He even has played as defensive end, well enough for high school, but he knows his real strength is on offense.
As Cooper wraps up his last year in St. Croix Falls, he has a bright future to look forward to, and the flexibility he learned on the field will no doubt serve him well.
August 16, 2018
Saints get chewed by Bulldogs
T.A. Doughty-St. Hilaire
Last Friday night the St. Croix Falls Saints Football Team hosted the Chetek/Weyerhaeuser Bulldogs.
The Saints got a late start not scoring until the third quarter, so the Bulldogs had the advantage going into the half with 14 points already under their collar.
Calan Leahy made the a 25 yard run for the touchdown as well as making good on the two-point conversion.
By the end of the third quarter the Bulldogs were done scoring sitting pretty with 26 points, and the Saints worked hard to close that gap.
Leahy completed a pass to Spencer Langer for eight yards and another touchdown, and Leahy made good the two-point conversion.
Final score: 26-16, Bulldogs.
“Overall, we played better than last week,” observed head coach Grant Belisle. “But it still isn't good enough. The opponent kept our defense on the field most of the night and we didn't sustain enough drives to get momentum in our favor.
“In order to get this ship turned towards calmer waters, we need to get our offense clicking. The offense had moments that showed what we're capable of, but then we'd end up making too many errors to allow the plays a chance.
“We had a few nice passes by Cal Leahy and some nice catches by Josy Wilson, Spencer Steek, Spencer Langer and Alex Mysicka.
“We had great hustle play and interception by sophomore Sam Wilson that kept Chetek-Weyerhaueser out of the end zone just before halftime. Our first drive after that was just what we needed. We moved the ball well and it resulted in Leahy's touchdown and two point try.
“Clear Lake is next and they just crushed their opponent 48-0. After the success of last year's Clear Lake team, the guys on their team are used to being successful. We will need to have a clean week of practice to continue to work on timing and execution,” concluded Belisle. 
August 30, 2018
Saints leave Comets seeing stars
T.A. Doughty-St. Hilaire
The St. Croix Falls Saints played host to the Cameron Comets and the boys in blue finally victorious.
The first quarter saw the Saints come on strong taking an early lead of 14-0 thanks to a 23 yard run from Calan Leahy for a touchdown and a 76 yard run by Spencer Steek for another six points and a two point conversion run by Leahy.
Things were kept interesting in the second quarter as the Comets appeared to rally adding 12 points of their own to the scoreboard.
Not to be outdone, the Saints had McKinley Erickson to thank for a 15 yard touchdown and two-point conversion made good by Steek and Leahy and Alex Mysicka for a completed touchdown pass and two-point conversion for another 16 points.
The name of the game was consistency for the Saints who matched the 14 points scored by Cameron in the third with 16 of their own. Finally in the fourth quarter the Saints again managed to keep the Cameron team scoreless as they did in the first. Final score: 62-26, SCF.
“It was nice to get back into game mode after having a bye during week four,” observed Saints Head Coach Grant Belisle. “You never know how kids will react to that situation, but I feel like we came out of it pretty well.
“I am pleased with the effort of our offensive line and the tough running by our ball carriers. Anytime you get three guys to rush over 100 yards, the team should be pretty pleased.
“We have a tough stretch of games ahead of us, so we'll need to focus on taking care of fundamentals. Things like taking care of the football and maintaining blocks will have a big impact on the outcome of our next games.
“Homecoming week is always a great time at SCF. The fan base is bigger and it adds extra excitement to the game. It may add a bit of chaos to our weekly routine, but the kids will stay on task and get our work done during practice.
“We are looking forward to a tough game against Lake Holcombe/Cornell. They sit 4-1 on the season. We will need to play very well to come out with a win,” concluded Belisle.
September 19, 2018
Eagles busy clipping wings, Dragon and Cardinal variety
T.A. Doughty-St. Hilaire
Last Thursday evening saw a rainfall of darn near biblical proportions. That however did not stop fans of the Luck and Unity volleyball teams from turning out en mass.
Being on their own turf apparently served the Eagles very well as they won all three matches against the neighboring Cardinals, 25-21, 25-21, and 25-8.
It was a stunning defeat for the Cards who have shown a great deal of strength as the come together and learn each of their places on the team.
“We were not as our best against Unity on Thursday,” noted Luck Head Coach Sonja Jensen. “Volleyball can be a game of who shows up, and our girls did not show up on Wednesday. We tend to be a lot more competitive than we were and we did not come out on the winning sign of the game.”
Katie Mattson led the Cards with 9 kills followed by Grace Thoreson with four and Coral Melin with two. Thoreson and Emily Chivers each had two serving aces and Katie Christensen and Katie Mattson each had 13 and Britta Hibbs had 10.
The Unity girls came on strong with plenty of support from the crowd. Raegan Sorenson led the Eagles with eight kills, followed by Breanna Olson with five. Among the team they garnered 11 serving aces.
“We served tough, passed extremely well, and then were huge on the block,” observed Unity Head Coach Louis Colletti. “Coming back from an eight-point deficit in the first set really helped the girls gain confidence and come together as a team. 
We had some big blocks and digs to keep plays alive and our hitters really stepped up. Our serve/receive had 76 percent good or perfect passes. So that helped us get side outs. It was a true team effort with everyone on the court and bench supporting each other.”
The Eagles then went up against the Siren Dragons on Tuesday and again proved victorious in all three matches.
Breanna Olson led the way with 11 kills followed closely by Myah Nelson with 10 and Sophie Reed with nine and Sierra Swanson with eight. The team again mustered up nine serving aces.
“Our passing was so key,” noted Colletti. “Serve/receive had 86 percent good or perfect passes, and that made the job of each of our setters to put up a hittable ball much easier. Setters were making great decisions and spreading the ball around. Our hitters were putting the ball away and we had 51 kills as a team. 
“I love how much the girls are supporting each other and coming together as a team out there,” concluded Colletti. “We have a huge match on Thursday at St. Croix Falls and I am looking forward to seeing how we play on the road against a very solid team.
September 27, 2018