Sports Sidelines - Vilas County News-Review
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  • With the world of sports basically on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, including no high school sports, no March Madness basketball games and no professional sports, I turned to ESPN one night last week to see what might peak my interest.

    My wife said she was
  • With the acceleration of COVID-19 in the United States, organized sports at the professional and amateur levels have experienced unprecedented cancellations. 

    At the high school level, one state tournament after another got canceled. Karissa Niehoff, executive director of 
  • Nearly all American sporting events, from high school to professional, have been canceled for the foreseeable future. For sports fans, it will make for a pretty dull spring.

    The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League suspended their games for the time being, given the
  • The 45th annual WIAA Girls Basketball State Tournament will take place Thursday through Saturday, March 12-14, at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
    The single-elimination tournament features a five-division format with four teams qualifying in each of the five divisions, including Crandon from the Northern Lakes Conference in
  • The 50th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Boys Hockey State Tournament and the 19th Girls Hockey State Tournament will take place this Thursday through Saturday, March 5-7, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. 
    The four-team boys field will include the
  • When it comes to high school sports, late February and early March is the best time of the year. Area high school sports teams are in postseason playoffs and emotions are high as trips to the State Tournament are on the line. 

    Boys and girls hockey tournaments continue this week with
  • Natalie Decker was all smiles following her historic run in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season-opener last Friday night at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

    Decker, 22, of
  • The Eagle River Recreation Association (ERRA) is once again asking area hockey backers to support a fundraising opportunity for the Dome through the Kraft Hockeyville USA competition.

    The ERRA, a nonprofit organization, is trying to raise
  • With the calendar flipping to February, now is the perfect time to start training for the 24th annual Journeys Marathon scheduled for Saturday, May 9, with one major change — no full marathon.

    Journeys will be taking place again this year except the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center will not be hosting the
  • The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association periodically sends out press releases about native Wisconsinites who graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    As you’re watching the Super Bowl this year, take a moment to
  • It’s a new year, and for Eagle River native Natalie Decker, that means new goals, a new number, same mindset.

    Running multiple races in her rookie season, Decker has signed with Niece Motorsports after wrapping up her rookie year with DGR-CROSLEY.

    Decker will be in a
  • While all eyes are on the 57th annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby this weekend, there’s another major sporting event set for Eagle River in February.
    The 15th annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championship will be held on
  • There is excitement in Wisconsin’s air as the Green Bay Packers are back in the playoffs after winning the NFC North Division and earning a first-round bye in the playoffs.

    The Packers, 13-3, will host
  • Pines boys soccer, Three Lakes track lead sports stories
    There were many exciting local sports stories for high school teams and individual athletes during 2019. The following were some of the highlights of the past year:
    1. The Northland Pines boys soccer team won
  • 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
  • The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance Company, has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2019 fall State Tournaments, including Northland Pines in boys soccer. 

    The WIAA/Rural Insurance Sportsmanship Award is
  • It was a rough weekend and a good weekend for Wisconsin Badger football fans. 
    First, the bad news.
    Wisconsin roared into the Big Ten Championship Game jumping out to a dominating first-half lead Saturday night, but
  • Pines Alumni Hockey sets holiday tourney
    In conjunction with the “Save the Dome” campaign, Northland Pines Alumni Hockey wants to start a new alumni tradition in December when people are coming back home to visit during the holiday season.
    Pines hockey has asked for help in raising the
  • With ice forming on most North Woods lakes, including secluded Dollar Lake just east of Eagle River, many people are thinking about ice fishing. 

    But several people have their minds on something else — hockey.

    That’s because USA Hockey will return to
  • A new, affordable late model division will be launched at Eagle River Speedway for the 2020 season.

    Promoter Pat Zdroik unveiled the new division recently at the season awards banquet. The new division will be geared toward affordability for
  • The second Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) eight-player football State championship final will be this Saturday, Nov. 16, with Luck facing Wausau Newman Catholic at Dorais Field in Chippewa Falls at 1 p.m. 

    It’s an important option for 
  • The 38th annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Boys Soccer State Tournament will take place this Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 7-9, at KOHLER Engines Stadium at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee and will include the Northland Pines Eagles in the Division 4 field.
    The single-elimination tournament features
  • The 107th running of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Boys Cross-Country Championships and the 46th annual Girls Cross-Country Championships will take place this Saturday, Nov. 2, at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids.
    The Division 3 girls field will include
  • Decker to support Arthritis Foundation in season finale
    Natalie Decker, of Eagle River, who has had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) since birth, has chosen the Arthritis Foundation as her charity of choice, announcing it on her social media channels and will again — in person to her fans — at the Homestead race on Nov. 15.

    Arthritis is the No. 1 cause of
  • Hockey supporters in the Eagle River area have drummed up numerous ways to raise money for the Save the Dome campaign, ranging from the sale of historic photos to fundraising events at local supper clubs.
    The Eagle River Recreation Association (ERRA) is trying to raise
  • The annual celebration of National High School Activities Month is underway for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) and the 50 other state high school associations that are members of the National Federation of State High School (NHFS) Associations.
    The month-long celebration in October offers
  • Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and Dave Anderson, executive director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), recently wrote a piece on the biggest challenge facing high school sports teams today.

    The two sports promoters said
  • Pines youth football celebrates 25 years
    The Northland Pines Youth Football and Cheerleading organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019, including a Youth Night at halftime of the Northland Pines football game last Friday night.

    The program came to life in June of
  • For Wisconsin sports fans, the fall is off to a great start with the Badgers football team off to a 2-0 start, the Green Bay Packers had an exciting win Thursday night over the rival Chicago Bears and the Milwaukee Brewers are in the chase for a wild card spot in the postseason playoffs.

    For the Badgers, Jonathan Taylor ran for
  • Bob Normand from Chippewa Falls, Al Deming of Waupun, Terry Klay from Wausau, and Brianna Decker of Dousman, will be inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in a ceremony this Saturday, Sept. 7, in Eagle River.
    The Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in
  • The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) saluted 27 schools — including Northland Pines — that met the criteria to be named recipients of the Award of Excellence in 2018-’19.
    The award recognizes member schools for their
  • After setting her eyes on the course at Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wis., at the age of 10, Natalie Decker of Eagle River fell in love. 

    She had just recently moved up in classes in her young go-kart racing career and found herself taking laps on the “little” course. However, Decker had her eyes and heart set on something more — the
  • With the 2019-’20 high school sports season kicking off next week with football, soccer and volleyball games across the state, it’s a good time to think about maintaining sportsmanship on the field and in the stands.
    The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), in partnership with
  • The board of directors of the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame has selected the 2019 class for induction into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in September. 
    Bob Normand from
  • With the calendar turning from July to August this week, it means football is just around the corner.

    Training camp has started for the Green Bay Packers and will peak this Saturday, Aug. 3, with Family Night, presented by Bellin Health, at
  • The Eagle River/Northland Pines High School ­Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony is just five weeks away, set for Friday, Aug. 30.

    The athletes to be inducted are Woody Ahlborn, who graduated from Pines in 1983 and earned 10 letters in football, basketball and track; and 1983 graduate
  • Now that we are past the Fourth of July, many sports enthusiasts are looking ahead to the fall football season. 

    And as the Green Bay Packers’ 100 Seasons draws to a close, fans are invited to join the team for the biggest milestone of all — the team’s 100th birthday on
  • High school basketball fans in Wisconsin can expect to watch more boys and girls basketball beginning in a couple years.

    That’s because the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control voted at its June meeting to increase the maximum number of basketball games permitted in a season from 22 to
  • The 19th annual Pines OAM Alumni Hockey Tournament will be this Saturday, July 6, at the Eagle River Sports Arena starting at 9 a.m.

    The one-day event benefits local youth skaters and helps maintain the Eagle River Recreation Association (ERRA) and Northland Pines boys and girls hockey teams — continuing the
  • The Little League Baseball World Series atmosphere will be returning to Minocqua in 2019.

    The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the Lakeland Area Baseball Association (LABA), will host the Small Town Baseball World Series for the second consecutive year July 18-21 at the
  • With the Milwaukee Brewers playing well so far this season, there hasn’t been a lot of talk about the Green Bay Packers and their upcoming season.

    But the Green Bay Packers announced recently that the popular Packers Family Night, presented by Bellin Health, will take place Friday evening, Aug. 2. Now in its 19th year, Family Night will serve as the introduction of the
  • The Eagle River/Northland Pines High School ­Athletic Hall of Fame Committee announced it will induct two standout athletes, a supporter of Northland Pines athletic programs and two State Champion relay teams Friday, Aug. 30.

    The athletes to be inducted are
  • Teams can still register for the 2019 B. Bruce Krier Angel Golf Spectacular, a fundraising event for the Angel On My Shoulder program, set for this Friday, June 7, at St. Germain Golf Club with three special guests. 
    The golf tournament will be
  • The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control approved a first consideration of a conference alignment plan for eight-player football — which will include Three Lakes — beginning in 2020 at its May meeting.

    The plan places eight-player programs into
  • Two fast-approaching golf outings will benefit Trees For Tomorrow and Walter E. Olson Memorial Library, both in Eagle River, and both fundraising events will be held at the Eagle River Golf Course.

    Trees For Tomorrow (TFT) will host its 17th annual
  • Journeys inspirational to many runners, walkers
    The 23rd annual Journeys Marathon, sponsored by the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center last Saturday, featured many inspirational stories of runners of all ages.
    Some runners completed their first marathon while others
  • Spectators are being urged to come out to Riverview Park in Eagle River to cheer on the runners in the 23rd annual Journeys Marathon this Saturday, May 11.
    The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center expects about
  • With the snow finally melting across the North Woods, it’s time to think about the fast-approaching 23rd annual Journeys Marathon. 

    The event, set for Saturday, May 11, features a marathon, half-marathon, 13.1-mile power walk and 10K and 5K runs. Now is the perfect time to register for the event with the
  • The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control passed a statewide football-only conference realignment proposal — including Northland Pines — at its April meeting.

    The goal was to
  • The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) and school officials often stress the importance of sportsmanship at athletic events.
    To that end, the WIAA, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance, has chosen the recipients of the team sportsmanship awards for the
  • Tickets are still available for the 14th annual Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour set for this week in northern, central and western Wisconsin to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    The tour will make stops in
  • When you sit down to watch an NFL game on a Sunday afternoon next fall, be prepared to sit a little longer.

    The NFL owners voted last week to approve a rule proposal that allows for offensive and defensive pass interference, including non-calls, to be subject to
  • Journeys Marathon just six weeks away
    While there is still snow across the North Woods, the 23rd annual Journeys Marathon is entering the final stretch to the starting line. 

    The event, set for Saturday, May 11, features a marathon, half marathon, 13.1-mile power walk and 10K and 5K runs. Now is the perfect time to be training and signing up to participate. Registration brochures are now available at
  • The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) released a revised football-only conference alignment proposal for the 2020 season, including a move that should be good for the Northland Pines Eagles football team.

    The WFCA and WIAA released the first consideration of a football-only conference plan for membership review back in 
  • The 104th annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Boys Basketball State Tournament will take place this Thursday-Saturday, March 14-16, at the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
    The single-elimination tournament features a
  • The 44th annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Girls Basketball State Tournament will take place this Thursday through Saturday, March 7-9, at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

    The single-elimination tournament features a 
  • The 49th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Boys Hockey State Tournament and the 18th Girls Hockey State Tournament will take place this Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 28-March 2, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
    While the field won’t include the
  • It’s still the winter sports season, but football fans can get geared up for the 14th annual Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour set for April 9-13.
    The tour will travel throughout central, western and northern Wisconsin — including Antigo — to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.
    The tour will make stops in
  • Supporters of Eagle River hockey and the historic Dome have launched a project to bring attention to the fundraising campaign to raise about $1.5 million for a new cooling system at the Eagle River Sports Arena. 
    Organizers launched “Save the Dome” and are selling apparel and decals at events held at the Sports Arena, according to
  • With the calendar flipping to February, now is the perfect time to start training for the 23rd annual Journeys Marathon scheduled for Saturday, May 11.
    The Journeys Marathon events include a 26.2-mile full marathon, a 13.1-mile half-marathon and power walk, and a 10- and 5-kilometer run/walk. 
    The Journeys Marathon and half-marathon are USA Track & Field-certified courses, and the full marathon is
  • Decker advances in W Series program
    Twenty-eight drivers, including Eagle River native Natalie Decker, were given the very good news last weekend that they had been chosen to go through to the next stage of the selection process of W Series, the all-new single-seater racing series for female drivers only.

    Decker, 21, was one of just three United States women selected to move on. W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir said that
  • There was an op-ed piece on the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) website this week concerning sportsmanship at high school sporting events.. It was written by Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and
  • Derby, pond hockey put Eagle River on map
    While all eyes are on the 56th annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby this weekend, there's another major sporting event set for Eagle River in February.

    The 14th annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championship will be held on
  • Six individuals representing Northland Pines High School and the community attended the 2018 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA)/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Summit in Stevens Point in December.
    More than 725 participants on 122 teams representing 106 member high schools attended the summit. Each school was represented by a team of
  • Phelps basketball, Pines boys soccer lead sports stories
    There were many exciting local sports stories for high school teams and individual athletes during 2018. The following were some of the highlights of the past year:
    1. For the first time since 1986, the Phelps boys basketball team rode into the WIAA postseason with the momentum of a
  • The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance Co., has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2018 fall State tournaments. The recipients of the sportsmanship awards are River Ridge in girls volleyball, Stratford in football and McFarland in
  • 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
  • Kresl, UW-Stout set to play at Dome
    Area hockey fans, get ready for a entertaining night of hockey at the Eagle River Sports Arena.

    Fast-paced NCAA Division III college hockey is coming to the historic Dome as UW-Stout will face Finlandia University of Hancock, Mich., this Saturday, Dec. 15, at
  • There was plenty of football news from the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers over the weekend.
    Concerning Green Bay, the Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday, ending his 13-season tenure in charge of the storied
  • The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Board of Control approved a number of coaches’ recommendations impacting spring season sports regulations, including softball, track and field, and baseball, and passed the 2018-’19 operational budget at its recent meeting.

    Two recommendations in softball were approved by the board. The first implements seeding for all divisions once the State tournament field has been
  • The changing of the season from fall to winter also means a new season for high school sports, with hockey, basketball and wrestling getting underway for players and coaches.

    There were some exciting sports stories during the fall, including
  • The 43rd annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Football State Championship Finals will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 15-16, at Camp Randall Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. 

    Ticket prices for the event are
  • The first Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA)-sponsored eight-player State championship is in the books — and a good game it was.
    The game featured
  • The first Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) eight-player football State championship final will be this Saturday, Nov. 3, in Stanley at 1 p.m. 

    Luck and Sevastopol are the
  • A runner from Three Lakes will be competing in the 106th running of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Cross-Country Championships and the 45th annual Girls Cross-Country Championships that will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, at
  • Conference realignment is always a big issue when it comes to high school sports and the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).

    Northland Pines and Three Lakes high schools have both been involved in conference realignment discussions over the past several years, especially when it comes to
  • It’s time to lace them up at the Eagle River Sports Arena as the 15th annual Noontime Hockey League is ready to begin today, Wednesday, Oct. 10. 
    While there were a few issues with leaking liquid under the floor when the compressors were turned on this fall, Michael Eder, the coordinator of Noontime Hockey, said
  • The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Monday, earning them the 2018 National League (NL) Central division crown. The Brewers had previously won the Central just once — that back in 2011. 

    By virtue of having the best record in the NL, the Brewers will now host
  • Drones are a pretty cool gadget for some hobbyists and professional photographers/videographers, but they also could be dangerous.

    The NFL’s top security official last week backed bipartisan legislation that would authorize the federal government to track, seize and