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Gary Ridderbusch

Sports Sidelines

Gary Ridderbusch has been a sportswriter for more than 20 years.
He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or P.O. Box 1929, Eagle River, WI 54521.


State hockey titles to be won this week
By Gary Ridderbusch

The 44th annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Boys Hockey State Championships and the 13th annual Girls Hockey State Championships will take place this Thursday through Saturday, March 6-8, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

While the Northland Pines boys and girls hockey teams won’t be playing in the State Championships, both teams reached the Sectional and finished the season with exciting games. The Pines boys lost to Antigo 4-3 in double overtime in the Sectional semifinal and the girls fell to the mighty Central Wisconsin Storm 2-0 in the Section final. The Storm, officially called the D.C. Everest co-op, including players from Everest, Wausau West, Wausau East and Mosinee.

Nonetheless, there will be some excellent hockey

Tuesday, March 04, 2014 11:56 AM
It’s time to hit tournament trail
By Gary Ridderbusch

If you are a high school sports fans, this is a great time of year. Postseason playoffs started last week for boys and girls hockey teams, this week for the boys basketball tournament and next week for the girls basketball playoffs.
The boys and girls hockey teams from Northland Pines both started Regional action last week, but are hoping to reach the State Tournament March 6-8 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
The Eagle boys, seeded third in the Regional,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:35 PM
March Madness gets early start this week
By Gary Ridderbusch

While the calendar reads February, it’s definitely March madness for area high school sports teams as postseason playoffs start this week for boys and girls hockey teams and next week for the boys basketball tournament.

The boys and girls hockey teams from Northland Pines both start Regional action this week as they begin their quest to reach the State Tournament March 6-8 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

The Eagle boys, seeded third in the Regional,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 1:48 PM
It’s time to train for 18th Journeys
By Gary Ridderbusch
News-Review Editor

The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center has announced the 18th annual Journeys Marathon will return to the scenic back roads of Vilas County Saturday, May 10.
Now is the perfect time to start training and get signed up to participate in one of the four events, offering something for everyone — both competitively and noncompetitively. Registration information is available at
Presently, more than 100 runners are already entered in Journeys Marathon, voted one of the Top 5 “Best-kept Marathon Secrets” by Runners World magazine.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:44 PM
WIAA makes changes in football and soccer
By Gary Ridderbusch

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control ratified a number of fall sport coaches’ and committee recommendations at its January meeting, with football registering the most changes.
Language in the football playoff qualifying criteria was altered to replace winning percentage of all games with the winning percentage in conference play only when the initial criteria to determine the field is less than 224 teams beginning next fall.
In addition, the highest seeded team will now host through Level 3 of the playoffs with the stipulation that the WIAA reserves the final authority to determine locations.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014 2:35 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 04, 2014 2:45 PM )
Snomo hall to induct four names in racing
By Gary Ridderbusch

The Snowmobile Hall of Fame will host its 31st annual Ride with the Champs and induction banquet Saturday, Feb. 15, in St. Germain, with four big names in snowmobile racing going into the hall of fame.

The inductees for the hall of fame class of 2014 include: Loren Anderson, founder of the Snowmobile Hall of Fame and a racer and promoter; Thomas Rager Sr., a race manager for both Ski-Doo and Polaris from 1985 to 2012; Ted Nielsen, a pioneer as a snowmobile dealer and race-team sponsor; and Don Omdahl, a Team Polaris factory racer from 1970 to 1976.

The Ride with the Champs, sponsored

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 12:25 PM
Schools recognized for sportsmanship
By Gary Ridderbusch

Sportsmanship, which involves an entire school system and community, is a key ingredient for a successful high school sports program. Before most contests, public address announcers remind fans to practice good sportsmanship against the other team and referees.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance Company,  has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2013 Fall State Championships.

The winners of the State Team Tournament Sportsmanship Awards are Ashland in boys soccer, Oshkosh North in football and Hilbert in girls volleyball.

Ashland is the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award in boys soccer for

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 11:55 AM
Pond hockey joins Derby in spotlight
By Gary Ridderbusch

While all eyes are on the 51st annual AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby this weekend, there’s another major sporting event set for Eagle River in February.

The ninth annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championship will be held on 28 ice rinks located on Dollar Lake just east of Eagle River Feb. 7-9.

Last year, a record 342 teams from 30 states and Canada participated in the event. This year’s tournament will consist of 19 no-check divisions, including several women's divisions.

Conrad Heeg, executive director of the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 12:15 PM
Pines basketball, hockey led stories
By Gary Ridderbusch

There were many exciting local sports stories for high school teams and individual athletes during 2013. The following were some of the highlights of the past year:

1. The Northland Pines girls basketball team won the Great Northern Conference (GNC) championship with an 11-1 record, tied with Medford for first place as the two teams split during the regular season. Coach Larry Bergum’s team won its first conference title since 1987. Playing in a tough Regional, the fifth-seeded Eagles beat Tomahawk 49-35 in their first tournament game, but fell to fourth-seeded Oconto Falls 47-33 in the Regional semifinal. The Eagles finished the season 22-2 overall.

2. The Northland Pines boys hockey team won the GNC

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:12 PM
Pines football league could see shake-up
By Gary Ridderbusch

Northland Pines could see some changes in the near future when it comes to its football conference — the WestPAC Conference with Michigan schools.

According to the Iron County Reporter, the high school sports rumor mill concerning football conference is bubbling again in the Upper Peninsula (UP).

At present, Northland Pines is part of the seven-team WestPAC Conference, which also includes West Iron County, Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, L’Anse and Ironwood, Mich.

Meanwhile, the six-team Great Western Conference (GWC)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 9:55 AM

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