Wednesday State Sports Briefs: Ten Menomonie prep football players suspendedWisconsin Sports
-- Ten high school football players in western Wisconsin have been suspended for three regular season games this fall, for taking an energy drink with a banned substance.
MENOMONIE - Ten high school football players in western Wisconsin have been suspended for three regular season games this fall, for taking an energy drink with a banned substance.
The players are all from Menomonie High School. The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram said the 10 admitted using the energy drink, which is designed to help their bodies before workouts – but they did not know that it had a substance banned by WIAA. Superintendent Chris Stratton said Menomonie school officials were tipped off that some students might be taking the commercially-purchased drink. And there were questions about its safety and the possible existence of a banned substance.
Stratton said Menomonie’s athletic code requires a three-game suspension for athletes who admit using a substance that’s illegal under WIAA rules. Stratton said the football players would have known about the substance had they read the label. And she said minors should not have been allowed to buy it, because the product is only supposed to be used by adults.
The Milwaukee Brewers will get back together tomorrow after their All-Star break. A late afternoon workout is planned at Miller Park, to help the Brewers get ready for the second half of the season. Ryan Braun will reunite with his teammates after he went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in last night’s 8-0 National League rout of the American League in the All-Star Game. Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke will also see his players for the first time since Sunday, after he served as a National League coach in last night’s Mid-Summer Classic. The Brewers have one last chance to gain ground in the NL Central before the July 31st trade deadline. Their next nine games are all against teams ahead of them in the division standings. And if they don’t dominate against Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, and Cincinnati, they may have to consider trading their ace Zack Greinke to get something for him before he becomes a free agent this winter. Pittsburgh leads the Central, eight games ahead of fourth-place Milwaukee. And the Brewers will open a crucial three-game series against the Pirates on Friday night at Miller Park.
The Class-“A” Midwest League returns to action tonight, after having last night off during the Major League All-Star Game. Western Division teams will open new series against their counterparts in the East. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers travel to suburban Cleveland to play Lake County, while the Beloit Snappers are in northeast Indiana to take on Fort Wayne. Also, Quad Cities is on the road at Lansing. Great Lakes hosts Cedar Rapids. Peoria entertains Dayton. Clinton hosts West Michigan. Burlington is at home against Bowling Green. And South Bend plays at Kane County. Burlington and Quad Cities share the Western Division lead for the second half by a game over Kane County and Clinton. Four teams lead the East. Fort Wayne, Bowling Green, South Bend, and Lansing are all a game up on Lake County and West Michigan.
Former Milwaukee Bucks’ guard Ray Allen signed with his new NBA team today. The Miami Heat signed the 36-year-old shooting guard to a two-year, six-point-three million dollar deal. Allen a 16-year veteran, won his only NBA title in 2008 with Boston. And he rejected a contract offer from the Celtics for twice as much money to try to win a title with Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Company. Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers, and he’s a 10-time All-Star. He has averaged 20 points, four rebounds, and almost four assists during his career with Milwaukee, Seattle, and the Celtics. He played his first five-and-a-half pro seasons with the Bucks.
In Tony La Russa’s final game as a Major League manager, he had Milwaukee Brewers’ skipper Ron Roenicke go to the mound to make La Russa’s last pitching change. And that was one signal that the two men are patching up their differences, after a tumultuous season last year. La Russa invited Roenicke to be a coach for the National League in last night’s 8-nothing All-Star Game victory over the American League. Besides the pitching change, he coached at first base during the second inning. Roenicke used the invitation to start a series of discussions with La Russa to hash out their issues. Both say those talks will continue during the summer. In the 2011 regular season, Roenicke’s Brewers and La Russa’s Cardinals engaged in skirmishes in which both Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun were plunked – La Russa accused the Brewers of manipulating the lights at Miller Park – and verbal confrontations abounded between players. And there was apparently more under the surface. Bad blood between the two teams had been building up for years, before Roenicke arrived in Milwaukee last season. Roenicke said there were things last season that were not clear on both sides – and he wanted to know more about them, and know what La Russa was thinking. Roenicke said it could help make him a better manager. The Brewers are off until Friday, when the open the second half at home against Pittsburgh.
Ryan Braun now says he avoided Monday night’s All-Star Home Run Derby because of its high-pressured atmosphere. The National League’s home run leader said team captain Matt Kemp apparently assumed that Braun didn’t want to take part – so Kemp didn’t ask him. Braun’s only Home Run Derby appearance was in 2008 at Yankee Stadium in New York, and he said he was as nervous as he had ever been on a baseball field. Before last night’s All-Star Game, Braun threw out several reasons he doesn’t like the Derby. He says there’s no batting cage, cameras are all over the field, and a full stadium anticipates massive strength on practice cuts. Braun says he’s much more at ease in the All-Star Game itself – even though he was 0-for-7 in Mid-Summer Classics when he made that comment. But Braun fixed that last night, going 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI-double, and a run scored in the National League’s 8-nothing rout of the AL.
The Wisconsin Woodchucks remain the only undefeated team in the Northwoods League for the second half. The ‘Chucks are 5-0, after a 1-0 victory over the Lakeshore Chinooks last night. The Madison Mallards are a game back in second place in the South Division. The Mallards topped Green Bay 3-2. Tonight, the Woodchucks play at Eau Claire, which defeated Wisconsin Rapids 7-4. Rapids is at home against La Crosse, which had last night off. Lakeshore hosts Green Bay in Mequon. And Madison plays at Battle Creek. Mankato leads the North Division at 5-1, with a one-and-a-half game edge over both Duluth and Saint Cloud. Mankato plays at Rochester tonight. Saint Cloud is at Willmar. Waterloo hosts Thunder Bay. And Duluth is at Alexandria.
Cornell College of Mount Vernon, Iowa has officially become the newest member of the Midwest Conference. Cornell helped form the league in 1921, but it pulled out in 1997. The Rams officially returned to the Midwest on July first – and they’ll start competing in this fall in 16 of the league’s 20 sports. In sports that use divisional play, Cornell will be in the South Division, opposite the group with the five Wisconsin schools. The only exception is in men’s tennis, in which Lake Forest will move to the North Division while the Forester women’s team stays in the South. Otherwise, the North will continue to be made up of Saint Norbert, Ripon, Lawrence, Carroll, and Beloit. Football teams will have nine conference games, and one regular-season non-conference matchup. Both men’s and women’s basketball will have round-robin schedules with 18 conference games.
The Milwaukee Admirals will play their American Hockey League home opener on October 19th. But their opponent for that night – and the rest of the Admirals’ schedule – will be released soon. The Admirals are celebrating their 35th pro hockey season this fall. And as part of that, they’ll sell discounted tickets for the home opener in the Admirals’ booth at next month’s Wisconsin State Fair.
Milwaukee native Beezie Madden has been named to her third U.S. Olympic equestrian team for the Games in London which start later this month. And she’ll compete with a new horse this time. The mount is named Coral Reef Via Volo, and will replace Madden’s long-time partner Authentic. Madden and Coral Reef helped win a team medal for the U.S. at last year’s Pan American Games – and they took home an individual silver medal. Their Olympic bid was announced yesterday by the U.S. Equestrian Federation. Madden says there’s no bigger honor in her sport.
In the Northwoods League…
Wisconsin 1, Lakeshore 0
Eau Claire 7, Wisconsin Rapids 4
Madison 3, Green Bay 2
Saint Cloud 18, Willmar 5
Mankato 6, Rochester 5
Thunder Bay 10, Waterloo 6
Alexandria 8, Duluth 6