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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.


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
Even after tough loss, Packers still have hope
By Gary Ridderbusch

The Green Bay Packers’ chance to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers died on the goal line Sunday at snowy Lambeau Field, but Packer got new life when the Chicago Bears were humiliated by the Philadelphia Eagles, 54-11, in Philadelphia on Sunday night.

So even with Sunday’s loss, the Packers are still in the playoff hunt. The Packers (7-7-1) and Bears (8-7) will meet at 3:25 p.m. this Sunday at Soldier Field with the NFC North Division championship at stake.

The 188th meeting between the National Football League’s oldest

Monday, December 23, 2013 11:49 AM
School mascot issue still making headlines
By Gary Ridderbusch

There’s another battle across the Badger State when it somes to alleged race-based school mascots, logos and nicknames.

Michael Allen, executive director of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, an organization of 12 federally recognized Native American tribes located in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, has called on Gov. Scott Walker to exercise his veto power on Assembly Bill 297.

The bill modifies the existing procedure for registering a complaint about race-based school mascots,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:06 PM
Nominations sought for Pines Hall of Fame
By Gary Ridderbusch

The Eagle River/Northland Pines High School Athletic Hall of Fame is seeking nominations for future inductees, the committee has announced.

The Hall of Fame, established in 2003, recognizes persons who have contributed or excelled in high school, college and/or professional sports and includes athletes, coaches and other citizens of the Northland Pines School District who have contributed to the sports program.

A nine-member committee developed the Hall of Fame,

Tuesday, December 03, 2013 12:00 PM
It’s a new season for high school teams
By Gary Ridderbusch

The changing of the season from fall to winter also means a new season for high school sports, with hockey, basketball and wrestling getting under way for players and coaches.

There were some exciting sports stories during the fall, including the Northland Pines boys soccer team winning a championship in the Great Northern Conference (GNC) and cross-country runner Natalie Miller winning the Sectional and advancing to the Division 3 State Meet where she placed seventh.

But now it’s time for a new chapter on the high school sports scene.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:32 PM
Melissa Doyle knows about hockey tradition
By Gary Ridderbusch

It’s not uncommon to see a bumper sticker around here that reads: “Eagle River Hockey . . . Tradition On Ice.” A few days ago, the News-Review Sports Department heard another story about the Eagle River hockey tradition — this time, it’s 250 miles away.

Melissa Doyle, whose father Greg Doyle is a 1980 graduate of Northland Pines and played on the Eagles hockey team, is playing on the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey team.

Doyle is a senior captain for the college team in St. Peter, Minn.,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:48 PM
High school sports still vital to students
By Gary Ridderbusch

Participation in high school sports increased for the 24th consecutive year in 2012-’13 and passed the 7.7 million mark for the first time, according to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Based on figures from the 51 NFHS-member state high school associations, which includes Wisconsin, sports participation for the 2012-’13 school year reached an all-time high of 7,713,577 participants — an increase of 21,057 from the previous year.

An additional 15,190 girls participated

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 11:14 AM
Youth basketball event set at Pines Saturday
By Gary Ridderbusch

While high school football, soccer and volleyball teams are still in the tournament season, it will be a day of basketball at Northland Pines this Saturday, Nov. 2.

The third annual Northwoods Basketball Skills Challenge and 3-on-3 Tournament will take place at the high school field house for fifth- through eighth-grade students.

Open to any North Woods boy or girl in fifth through eighth grade, the event is a full day of basketball challenges, entertainment, games, a huge silent auction and raffles.

It is not only a basketball-themed fun day, it is the biggest fundraiser for the Northland Pines Youth Basketball Program (NPBA).  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:15 AM
Postseason play continues for teams
By Gary Ridderbusch

There’s a lot of excitement in the air as it’s tournament time for fall high school sports, as soccer and volleyball playoffs are under way, Level 1 football starts Friday and cross-country Sectionals are set for this Friday and Saturday.

The Northland Pines boys soccer team, coming off of a Great Northern Conference (GNC) championship, defeated Mosinee 8-0 and New London 2-0 last week to win the Regional championship with two home victories at Sam Larson Field.

Now, the third-seeded Eagles will play top-seeded Ashland

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 3:09 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, October 22, 2013 3:10 PM )
Adult hockey players invited to lace ’em up
By Gary Ridderbusch

Just like the good old days, a group of Eagle River men and women are ready to lace up their skates and spend some time on the ice at the historic Eagle River Sports Arena.

Men and women ice skaters of any age are welcome to participate in an Eagle River Recreation Association (ERRA) adult hockey program weekdays, Monday through Friday, between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. It’s called the Noontime Hockey League (NHL) and started earlier this month.

According to coordinator Michael Eder, hockey experience

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 2:57 PM

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