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We have been fortunate to have owned a series of great hunting dogs, each one better than the last. Our current dog Badger is a golden retriever over 13 years old. In his prime he was fast, tireless, an avid hunter of grouse and pheasants and an ice-breaking retriever of ducks and geese. He still loves to hunt and has a good nose. His speed and endurance have diminished but his enthusiasm remains. Like me, he takes longer to recover after a strenuous hike and he likes to sleep a lot. The most popular kind of small game hunting in Wisconsin is for ruffed grouse.
The BlackCats U14 girls' hockey team had a special visitor during its Ponytail Tournament over the weekend when two-time Olympic hockey player Karyn Bye Dietz stopped by to sign autographs and offers some tips. Bye Dietz, front row center, also brought along her Olympic gold medal from 1998 and silver medal from 2002 for the girls to see. Pictured in the locker room after the tournament are, front row from left, Carlie Christensen, Cyri Cook, Andrea Eliason, Bye Dietz, Megan Reinsberg, Emma Van Dell and Lindsay Veenendall.
The UW-River Falls women's basketball team improved to 12-0 and moved up two spots to No. 18 in this week's D3hoops.com poll with three wins last week, including a pair of victories at the Surf City Classic in Irvine, Calif., Monday and Tuesday. The team returned home Saturday and dispatched of St. Scholastica, 70-31. UW-RF returns to WIAC action Wednesday at home at 6 p.m. against UW-Stout. The Falcons currently sit atop the conference standings with a record of 4-0 while Stout is tied with UW-Whitewater for second at 3-1. The Blue Devils sport an overall record of 7-5.
Logan Cudd won the individual title at 125 pounds and Matt Linehan finished runner-up at 215 to lead the Wildcat wrestling team to the team championship at the 38-team Northern Badger Wrestling Classic Wednesday at River Falls High School. River Falls finished the two-day tournament with a total of 283 points to take the Division 1 and overall titles. Division 3 Boyceville finished second with 278.5.
The Wildcat swimming and diving team gave Red Wing, Minn., all it could handle last Tuesday night before the Wingers rallied for a 99-86 victory over River Falls. The Cats were ahead by one point after seven events but Red Wing took the lead for good by taking two of the top three spots in the 500 freestyle. Wildcat senior Roland Pomfret averted a Red Wing sweep in the event with a second place time of 5 minutes, 11.29 seconds. "It was an exciting meet," Wildcat coach Brady McAdams said. "In the past it has been more one-sided in favor of Red Wing.
Five River Falls' players scored at least seven points, led by senior Tessa Wells' team-high 25, as the Wildcat girls' basketball team held off Somerset for a 63-52 victory last Tuesday night at the high school gym. Somerset hit five three-pointers in the game to stay close to River Falls early, but Wells led a second half Wildcat charge that gave River Falls the win. The Wildcats improved to 4-3 with the victory and are off until they host Eau Claire Memorial in a Big Rivers Conference matchup (1-5) on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at the high school gym. Saturday, Jan.
The Wildcat wrestling team won three of the four matches between 171 and 285 pounds Thursday night, but it wasn't enough as Hudson remained undefeated in Big Rivers Conference competition with a 39-16 victory. The 16 points scored by River Falls were the most of any team against Hudson this season. The Raiders improved to 3-0 in conference duals while the Cats fell to 1-2 in the BRC, 5-2 overall. Next up for the Wildcats will be the 25th annual Northern Badger Wrestling Classic on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 29-30. Action gets underway with wrestlers from 39 teams at 9 a.m.
The Wildcat hockey team started the week celebrating a 3-0 victory over Hudson. It ended the week by watching two of its top players go down to injury in a 3-3 tie against Menomonie. In between the team dropped a 4-0 decision to three-time defending conference champion Eau Claire Memorial. The Cats, now 5-1-1 overall, 3-1-1 in the Big Rivers Conference, will next hit the ice for three games at the Rice Lake Tournament Dec.
The only thing the Wildcats boys' basketball team's two games last week had in common is that they were both victories. After surviving a sluggish effort that saw them hit just 9 of 46 field goal attempts in a 33-28 nonconference victory Tuesday night over Amery, the Wildcats hit their shots, pounded the boards and dove for loose balls in Friday night's 40-35 Big Rivers Conference win over Hudson. "They were two opposite types of games," River Falls head coach Greg Gaulke said. "Tuesday night there just wasn't a lot of emotion. We were cold and they were cold.
The defending state champion St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team remained undefeated with a pair of big victories last week, 7-3 over Big Rivers Conference foe Chippewa Falls Tuesday and 4-1 over 2008 the 2008 state champion Central Wisconsin Storm Saturday. Saturday's game featured the top two teams in the state with the No. 1 Fusion hosting the No. 2 Storm, and was a rematch of last year's state semifinal, a 2-1 double overtime victory for the Fusion. "We knew we had to play well to beat this team, and that's what we did," head coach Matt Cranston said.