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Spring Valley head baseball coach Brad Baker told his team that this season would be a challenge right from the get-go. "With the different alignment of the conference, we told them right from the start that it's going to be hard for us to win again, knowing that we have to play those other teams twice," Baker said. The Cardinals have won the Dunn-St. Croix Small Conference the past four years, but with the combining of the DSC large and small divisions, they know they'll have a few more challenges to overcome in order to remain conference champs.
Long-time Ellsworth baseball coach Steve Block helped establish a winning tradition that the Ellsworth baseball team has grown accustomed to. Current coach Ryan Christenson and his team are eager to carry out the legacy of Ellsworth baseball this season.
The Ellsworth School Board, like Ellsworth Middle School, will see some changes in the coming 2018-19 school year. Ellsworth Community School District voters elected Steve Mark to the school board in the Tuesday, April 3 local election. Mark received 1,091 total votes, beating out incumbent Gary Brown who received 841 votes. Incumbent vice president of the board Katie Feuerhelm was the top vote-getter with 1,410 votes. She and Mark took their oath of office at the Monday, April 19 school board meeting.
One of Ellsworth wrestling's most-prized wrestlers signed his letter of intent on Monday, April 16, making his farewell to Panther wrestling much more surreal. Sam Stuhl will join the North Dakota State University Bison wrestling team following his graduation and made his commitment official on Monday. The four-time state champion originally verbally committed to South Dakota State University but came to the conclusion that NDSU would be a better fit for him after watching the Bison Open the weekend before he was supposed to sign with SDSU.
Spring hasn't been good to the Spring Valley Cardinals baseball team and neither was the bottom of the sixth inning of its season-opener against the Durand Panthers who came back to win 4-2 on Thursday, April 12. The Cards (0-1) got off to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Carter Deppa singled on a line drive to right field, scoring Jack Walkky, but SV's one first-inning run was matched by Durand (1-0) when Tyler Kilboten singled to left field.
After over a month of practicing indoors and dodging snow banks around town, the Ellsworth and Elmwood/Plum City track and field teams were finally able to compete on an outdoor track on Thursday, April 12. The two teams competed at the Menomonie High School Mustang Outdoor Opener where all four teams finished near or at the bottom of their packs but produced notable individual performances. The Ellsworth boys finished in seventh out of 10 teams with 48.2 points as the highest-placing Pierce County team at Thursday's meet.
Winning individual awards has become the norm for Prescott's Kaili Wescott. The Prescott senior pitcher has been named to the Middle Border Conference's All-Conference first team all three years of her high school career, and received All-State second-team honors after her commanding junior season. In her third year on the Cardinals' varsity team, Wescott repped a 15-8 record and a 1.90 ERA. She also struck out 122 batters, allowed just six walks, and was a force at the plate. She hit .493 with seven doubles and a home run.
Morgan Kummer admitted she was "kind of nervous" coming into her team's first game of the season having not had many opportunities to live hit beforehand. But once her team got things rolling, the senior catcher said things went "pretty well." To say the least. The Ellsworth Panthers softball team (1-0) 15-runned the New Richmond Tigers in three innings to claim their first 2018 Middle Border Conference win on Thursday, April 12.
The Webster Tigers traveled over two hours to Brown's Field Complex where they were greeted by an Ellsworth team that had reached fever pitch in their anticipation for their first game of the season on Thursday, April 12. The long drive was worthwhile for the Tigers (2-1) who grabbed a 6-3 win, and despite starting their season with a loss, facing the defending Shell Lake sectional champions was lucrative for the Panthers, too.
Two weeks before their first home meet, the Ellsworth tennis team spent two hours shoveling snow and chipping away at ice that covered their new tennis courts. "I was like, 'Guys, just think. Two weeks from today is our first home meet on these courts that we're shoveling off right now," junior Adam Johnson said. The team's first scheduled meet is set for April 12, leaving the team with less than a month and a half of competition before playoffs begin.