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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.


It’s March Madness for basketball fans

By Gary Ridderbusch

It’s March Madness the next two weeks as the boys basketball State Tournament will be held in Madison this weekend, followed by the girls State Tournament in Green Bay next weekend.

This weekend also means Sectional games for the girls, including the fourth-seeded Phelps Lady Knights, who be playing second-seeded Wausau Newman in the Division 5 Sectional semifinal game at Antigo this Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m. The winner will play in the Sectional final this Saturday, March 9, at Waupaca at 4 p.m. against the winner of Hilbert and Oneida Nation.

The 98th annual Wisconsin Interscholastic

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 8:44 PM
Puck ready to drop at State Tournament

By Gary Ridderbusch

The 43rd Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Boys Hockey State Championships and the 12th Girls Hockey State Championships will take place this Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 28-March 2, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

While the Northland Pines girls and boys teams fell just short of a State tournament berth, there still will be plenty of exciting high school hockey at the Alliant Energy Center.

The boys action will start Thursday at noon, as  Wausau West (17-9-1)  faces Verona (25-2), followed by  Wisconsin Rapids

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 5:01 PM
March madness gets early start

By Gary Ridderbusch

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

The boys and girls hockey teams from Northland Pines both made it through Regional action last week and had key Sectional games on Tuesday of this week. Both teams need two more wins to reach the State Tournament in Madison Feb. 28 through March 2.

The Eagle boys, seeded third in

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 4:15 PM
It’s time to train for 17th Journeys

By Gary Ridderbusch

The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center has announced the 17th annual Journeys Marathon will return to the scenic back roads of Vilas County Saturday, May 11.

Now is the perfect time to start training and get signed up to participate in one of the four events, offering s something for everyone — both competitively and noncompetitively. Registration information is available at

Presently, more than 100 runners are already

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:36 PM
Snomo racing greats to be inducted into hall

By Gary Ridderbusch

The Snowmobile Hall of Fame board of directors in St. Germain has announced the 2013 inductees, including Blair Morgan of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; John Zeglin of Delano, Minn.; Norman Ball III of Menominee Falls; and Bob Bracey of Almont, Mich.

This will be the 26th annual induction ceremony and will follow the 30th annual Ride With The Champs. It will take place Saturday, Feb. 16, at Whitetail Inn in St. Germain as the evening event of the daylong Ride With the Champs, sponsored by Modine HotDawg Garage

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 5:31 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.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance Co., announced the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2012 Fall State Championships.

The winners of the prestigious award are Waupaca in football, Roncalli in girls team tennis, Oconto in girls volleyball, Marquette in boys volleyball and Mount Horeb in boys soccer.

Waupaca was selected for its sportsmanship at the State football finals. It is the first time the school has been selected for the award in any sport. The Comets advanced to the

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:46 PM
Pond hockey is next national sporting event

By Gary Ridderbusch

While all eyes are on the 50th anniversary of the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby this weekend, there’s another major sporting event set for Eagle River in February.

The eighth 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. 8-10.

A record 346 teams from 27 states and Canada will participate in the event. Registration for the growing event closed in October. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 4:51 PM
Wisconsin Badgers come up short again

By Gary Ridderbusch

For the third straight season, the Wisconsin Badgers saw a late drive that could have tied the game fall  short in the Rose Bowl New Year’s Day.

Trailing by six in the game’s waning minutes, senior quarterback Curt Phillips led the Badgers’ charge but was intercepted just past midfield. That allowed No. 8 Stanford to run out the clock on a 20-14 win over the Badgers.

Some thought Barry Alvarez, who returned to the sideline of a game in which he went 3-0 as the Badgers’ boss from 1990 to 2005, would lead Wisconsin to victory this time.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 5:01 PM
Pines football, Bluejays softball lead sports stories

By Gary Ridderbusch

There were many exciting local sports stories for high school teams and individual athletes during 2012. The following were some of the highlights of the past year:

1. The Northland Pines football team, under first-year coach Eric Swanson, won the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference (WestPAC) with a 6-0 record. Swanson was named the WestPAC coach of the year and Eagles senior running back Austin Ramesh was named offensive player of the year.  However, the Eagles were upset at home by St. Croix Central 34-20 in Level 1 play-offs and finished 8-1 overall. Ramesh, who was named first-team All State, announced he would play his college football at the University of Wisconsin. He finished his career with 5,939 rushing yards.

Monday, December 31, 2012 2:12 PM
Phelps School to host unique hoops event

There will be a special athletic event in Phelps this week, as Phelps High School will host the second annual Best with the Least basketball tournament Thursday and Friday, Dec. 27-28, which will see the four smallest public school districts in the state compete for the coveted championship.
Mercer, Butternut and South Shore schools will join the Knights for the two-day tournament, where each team will be guaranteed two games with a semifinal, third-place

Monday, December 24, 2012 6:55 PM

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