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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.


Badgers must forget about tough losses

By Gary Ridderbusch

As a Wisconsin Badgers football fan, I have some mixed emotions about this weekend’s Big Ten Championship game against Nebraska. It’s great the Badgers are in the title game for the second straight year, but do they deserve to be there?

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema says he understands why a lot of people believe his Badgers don’t deserve to be playing in the Big Ten title game.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:25 PM
Growth in girls sports boosts participation level

Boosted by continued growth in several girls sports, participation in high school sports increased for the 23rd consecutive year in 2011-’12, according to the an- nual High School Athletics Participation Survey con- ducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).


Based on figures from the 51 NFHS-member state high school athletic/activity associations, which in­cludes the District of Columbia, sports participation for the 2011-’12 school year reached an all-time high of 7,692,520 participants — an increase of 24,565 from the previous year.


By Gary Ridderbusch

“In this time of ever-increasing financial challenges in our nation’s high schools, we are greatly encouraged to know that participation in high school sports continues to rise,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “With more than 55% of students enrolled in high schools participating in athletics, the value of these programs in an education-based setting continues to be significant.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 4:11 PM
It’s a new season for area sports 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 football team winning a championship in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference (WestPAC) and the Northland Pines boys soccer team winning a Regional title.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 3:13 PM
Eight-man football holds state jamboree

By Gary Ridderbusch

The WIAA’s first eight-player football jamboree was held Saturday at D.C. Everest’s Stiehm Stadium in Schofield, featuring the top four seeded eligible teams from both of the two regions.

The return of the reduced-player offering is intended to assist smaller schools maintain football in their schools and communities. This was the first year that Three Lakes played eight-man football, but the Bluejays were not eligible for the jamboree.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:39 PM
Pines basketball event to benefit future stars

By Gary Ridderbusch

Many college basketball teams kick off the season with special events for fans on the first night of practice as a way to build excitement for the upcoming season.

Locally, the Northland Pines Basketball Association (NPBA) is trying to build interest and excitement in the basketball program at Northland Pines High School, as well as at the lower grades in the school district.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 3:09 PM
Pines soccer, football had great seasons

By Gary Ridderbusch

After the Northland Pines Eagles football team won its first Western Peninsula Athletic Conference (WestPAC) championship and the boys soccer team won a Division 2 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Regional title, the seasons for both teams came to a screeching halt last week.

The football team took a perfect 8-0 record into Level 1 play-off action last Friday in Division 4, but the second-seeded Eagles were upset 34-20 by seventh-seeded St. Croix Central.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 2:44 PM
It’s big week for Pines football, soccer teams

By Gary Ridderbusch

It’s been a big week for sports at Northland Pines High School as the Eagles football team won it first Western Peninsula Athletic Conference (WestPAC) championship and the boys soccer team won a Division 2 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Regional title.

The football team went on the road to defeat L’Anse, Mich., a team that had only one conference loss and was celebrating its Homecoming Friday night. But the Eagles got off to a fast start, building a 55-0 halftime lead and then cruising to the 68-24 victory.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 3:14 PM
Record 346 teams to play pond hockey

By Gary Ridderbusch

While it’s still fall in the North Woods, there’s already talk of hockey on the streets of Eagle River. That’s because it was announced Friday that the eighth annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championship is already sold-out.

That’s right, a record 346 teams from 27 states and Canada will participate on 28 ice rinks located on Dollar Lake, just east of Eagle River Feb. 8-10, 2013.

The 2013 event will expand from the 2012 tournament, which had a then-record 284 teams playing on 24 ice rinks. This year’s tournament will consist of 18 no-check divisions, including several women’s divisions.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 3:02 PM
Area 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 starts Monday, Oct. 8.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 6:20 PM
Coaches restricted during school year

By Gary Ridderbusch

News-Review Editor

The 2012-’13 school year started with a change in the rule pertaining to the assembly of student athletes during the school year, according to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).

During the summertime, athletes have been allowed to assemble in any manner they chose as long as the assembly was voluntary. Coaches are restricted in contact with athletes outside the season with two possible exceptions during the summer: five unrestricted contact days and unlimited nonschool contact for various sports.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 6:24 PM

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