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"After all these years, still doing a great job!!" -Ron Hermanson
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
Luck 8-man football heads to state
T.A. Doughty-St. Hilaire
Last Friday, the Luck Cardinal Football team cemented its position as one of the top teams in 8-man football when they hosted the Northwood/Solon Springs Evergreens.
The Cards were 10-0 going into Friday night, their record now stands at 11-0.
The Evergreens weren't going down without a fight and managed to keep things tight in the first part of the game, but as time lagged on the Cardinals dealt out more and more punishment to their guests.
The first quarter things were even with the Cardinals and the Evergreens each taking in 14 points, it appeared as if perhaps the Cardinals had met their match. That feeling, however, did not last long as the Cardinals strutted their stuff in the second quarter when they put an additional 30 points on the board thanks to Bennett Jensen, Andrew Moos and Dennis Brule.
Thanks to good offensive play the Cardinals kept the Evergreens down to a single touchdown for six points making the score at the half 34-20, Luck.
Things slowed down in the third quarter as each team scored a single touch down. It looked likely that the Cardinals would win, but the Evergreens were still fighting.
Then in the fourth quarter, it was great play after great play on the part of the Luck team. Brule got another touchdown. Then Moos made a 45 yard run for another touchdown.
Northwoods countered with a completed pass for a touchdown with a failed two-point conversion. The score stood at 38 to 64, Luck.
However, that still wasn't good enough for the local boys and Moos made another run for 50 yards and a touch down and a good two-point conversion. In the end, like most of the games they played this season, the Luck Cardinals totally dominated their opponents with a final score of 78-38.
Now Luck will head to Stanley Boyd where they will take on the Sevastopol Pioneers who have a record of 11-1.
This is the first Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association sanctioned state tournament for 8-man football. It looks as though the Cards may end up in the history books.
For those interesting in attending the game tickets are available for $8 at the Luck High School office. They can also pay to ride the bus going down for an additional $5. Tickets are available until Friday at 10 a.m. The bus is leaving on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. for the 1 p.m. game.  
November 1, 2018
Meeting challenges on the slopes
T.A. Doughty-St. Hilaire
Winter season is upon the County. It has descended upon the countryside as a quick hovering icy blanket that slaps a person's face awake as soon as they walk out their own front door.
There are, however, some people that thrive in this wintry landscape. There are even those who pray for snow so that they can participate in whatever their winter sport related passion is.
You have snowmobilers that watch the the snow coverage on the trails more closely the brokers watch the stock market. This hardy lot would desire snow by the foot to assure they will be able to ride their machines all winter long.
Then there are those hearty souls that like their cross country skiing. Filling their lungs with the fresh cold air as they take in the beauty of the countryside around them. Cross country skiing can be a great way to get some exercise and avoid cabin fever this winter.
This is an especially exciting time of year for downhill skiers. The slopes are going to be opening up and snow will be made by both nature and machine.
Then there are truly excitement seeking snowboarders.
Modern snowboarding began in 1965, and professional boards were made available in the 1970s.
Not a lot of snowboards were seen around these parts until probably the 90s. It did not become an Olympic Sport until 1998.
Initially, ski areas adopted the sport at a much slower pace than the winter sports public, indeed for many years there was a rivalry that existed between traditional downhill skiers and snowboarders. In the early years some parks banned snowboards from the slope.
By 1985, only seven percent of ski areas allowed for snowboarders.
By the time the 1990s rolled around, snowboarding was more accepted and most ski areas had slopes that were designated for snowboarders.
Just about anything can be done on a pair of downhill skis can also be accomplished on a snowboard.
Local schools are getting bust as lift ticket season is here. Some schools in the area at least use to provide transportation to local ski areas like Wild Mountain or Trollhaugen.
Back in the day there was much socializing to be done on the slopes.
Some of those kids out on the slopes seem like they have been skiing and snowboarding since they left the cradle. In some cases, that's not too far off.
Case-in-point, Bennett Schneider, a 10-year-old competitive snowboarder that rides with Trollhaugen's D Team.
This little stick of dynamite has competed with the team when he was six years old. Last year he took first place in the 12 year old age group while competing as a nine-year-old.
Schneider also competes with USASA (United States of America Snowboard and Free Ski Association. He took second and third place in two of his disciplines at Nationals which were held in Copper Mountain, Colo.
This year is special in that it will be the first year he has competed as a sponsored rider, riding with Donek Snowboards.
Sometimes it is hard, even as adults, to find something that a person is good at. A niche, something that they are good at and enjoy doing.
This winter is the perfect opportunity to get out and get some fresh air and exercise. Whether it be snowshoeing, skiing or even snowboarding. 
November 15, 2018
A rocky start to girls basketball
T.A. Doughty-St. Hilaire
The Unity Eagles, the St. Croix Falls Saints all had games last week as an initial kickoff to the fall sports season.
The Unity Eagle girls made the best show of things as they kept their score tight. While they were defeated by the hosting Somerset Spartans by a score of: 52-57.
The Luck Cardinal girls also had a game to play as they hosted the Northwood Evergreens on Thursday.
The competition was fierce as the Cards struggled to find their footing. There were a lot of mistakes made that they can brush up on as the season progresses. There were a lot of passes that were made that the Evergreens took advantage of. And once the neighbors to the north had the ball, they made good use of it.
The first half of the game saw Northwood put up some 30 points while holding Luck to just 12.
The Luck girls had to deal with a difficult offense and even tougher defense. The Cards mustered another 14 points in the second half, but Northwood was on fire and contributed another 27. Final score: 57-26, Northwood.
The Saints also had a heck of a fight on their hands when they hosted the Prescott Cardinals.
It made for some exciting basketball as both teams were aggressive with the ball and weren't afraid of tearing up the court.
The first half of the game saw Prescott come on strong with 20 points, but the Saints weren't taking things lying down as they put up a comparable 17 points on the board.
However, the Saints' play started faltering in the second half. While the Prescott girls managed to rack up another 41 points while the Saints got another 27.
Final score: 44-61, Prescott.
Top scorer for the Saints that night was Emily McCurdy with 11 points. Following her was Azalea Edwards with eight points and Kaylee Miron with seven.
The Unity and Saints girls will have a chance to redeem themselves next Tuesday. The Eagles will have a doubleheader at Clear Lake. The Saints will travel to Ellsworth to take on the Panthers.
The Luck girl Cardinals will next host Birchwood at 7:15 p.m. Nov. 29.
November 21, 2018