Spring season packed with special successes

The spring high school sports showed again that Western Wisconsin carries a significant impact in state high school athletics.
Between the Big Rivers Conference and Middle Border Conference, we had at least one team qualify for state in every sport. We had an area athlete drafted by the Minnesota Twins. We have a slew of local athletes who are making the transition to beginning their college athletic careers.
We can start with baseball. BRC champion Eau Claire North will be playing in Thursday’s Division 1 state championship game. Spooner, which edged Somerset in the Division 2 sectional title game, will be playing fo the Division 2 state championship.
The success was recognized by Major League Baseball. The Minnesota Twins have been scouting Somerset senior pitcher Jared Dettmann since he was a sophomore. Last week, the Twins drafted the big left-hander in the 46th round of the MLB Draft.
Both the BRC and MBC softball champions made it to this week’s state tournament. Chippewa Falls won its state tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday and will play again on Friday. Baldwin-Woodville was scheduled to play its Division 2 state semifinal game on Thursday night.
In girls soccer, Big Rivers champion River Falls was scheduled to play in its Division 1 state quarterfinal game against Kimberly Thursday afternoon.
Our area has been putting up some of the top boys golfers in the state for many years and they continued that success this year. Hudson’s boys earned fourth place in the Division 1 state meet. Osceola, the Middle Border champs, took second place in Division 2. Spring Valley’s Kyle Shafer finished third among the individual scores in the Division 3 state meet.
Our area had a huge impact in the 2011 WIAA state track meet. We had state champions like Hudson thrower Jamie Lindstrom. What was most impressive about the athletes from our area was the depth of their success. They weren’t always champions, but they were usually in the center of the best events.
We have seen many of our top athletes graduate and they are beginning the pursuit of their college goals. The summer will be filled with the next class of seniors doing their best to uphold the tradition our area has established.