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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.


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
Pines hall of fame to induct four Sept. 28

By Gary Ridderbusch

In a little more than two weeks, three standout athletes and a longtime supporter of Northland Pines  athletic programs will be inducted into the Eagle River/Northland Pines High School ­Athletic Hall of Fame.

The induction program is set for 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, at the Northland Pines High School auditorium.

The three athletes to be inducted are 1987 graduate Chris Hartwig, 1984 graduate Kelly (O’Brien) Lacko and 1966 graduate Tom Martens. Allan Geiger, a longtime supporter of the Pines hockey program, will be inducted in the citation category.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 2:43 PM
Hall of fame to induct three names in hockey

By Gary Ridderbusch

Three individuals will be inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame this Saturday, Sept. 8, including a long-time Eagle River hockey supporter.
Those to be inducted include Joe Boxrucker of Eagle River, Peter Susens of Wausau and George Baumann of Waupun. These three and their families will be the guests of honor at the ceremonies at Eagle Waters Resort.
A social hour is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. and induction ceremonies to follow. All events will be open to the public.
The Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1975 and is housed in the Eagle River Sports Arena. The hall was established to honor outstanding individuals responsible for the development, growth and success of amateur ice hockey in Wisconsin. Boxrucker is certainly on that list.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012 3:31 PM
Boosted by girls sports, participation increased
By Gary Ridderbusch

As I was checking out the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) website this week, I noticed an interesting article about high school sports participation being at an all-time high nationally.
Boosted by continued growth in several girls sports, the article states that participation in high school sports increased for the 23rd consecutive year in 2011-’12. The figures were from the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:29 PM
Fall sports start for area athletes
By Gary Ridderbusch

While area high school students won’t head back to classes until after Labor Day, athletic teams at Northland Pines, Three Lakes and Phelps are already back on the practice and game fields and courts.
Most teams started captains’ practices in late July and early August, and by the second week of August many teams had started organized workouts with their coaches. For some players, it’s meant meeting new coaches and adjusting to new philosophies and coaching styles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 3:25 PM
Area martial artists qualify for Team USA
By Gary Ridderbusch
News-Review Editor

Jon Barker and returning gold medalists Katrina Maki and Adam Kope will represent the United States in Moscow, Russia, in a quest for gold at the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) 2012 Senior World Championship Oct. 10-13.
The 2011 team competed against more than 60 countries and secured the silver medal.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:41 PM
Local YMCA is choice for visiting NFL player
By Gary Ridderbusch

The Eagle River Branch of the YMCA of the Northwoods continues to attract athletes in search of a top-level training facility.
When former Wisconsin Badgers football player and Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick Kevin Zeitler planned his vacation in Eagle River this summer, he searched for a gym to continue his training during his trip.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:56 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:57 PM )
Fans can experience Packers training camp
By Gary Ridderbusch

With the Milwaukee Brewers falling into a midseason slump, it might be time for North Woods sports fans to turn their attention to football.
That’s right. The Green Bay Packers’ Ray Nitschke Field will greet players and fans alike this Thursday afternoon, July 26, for the opening of the 67th edition of training camp. Twenty practices are scheduled through Aug. 30.

According to the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau and a 2010 study by AECOM, training camp, along with Packers Family Night presented by Bellin Health, will attract an estimated 100,000 visitors from across the nation and as many as 20 foreign countries from July 26 through the final open practice Aug. 30. It’s an opportunity for Packers fans to watch their team prepare for the 2012-’13 season.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 2:22 PM

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