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All high school teams walk into their seasons with one ultimate goal: competing in the state tournament. For some teams, playing on the biggest stage is outlandish. For others, the state tournament is attainable, but lack of work ethic and commitment holds them back from reaching it. Neither of these scenarios were true for the Prescott Cardinals softball team.
Day 1 of the 2018 WIAA State Track and Field Meet is in the books along with some new school records set by Pierce County state competitors. The Prescott Cardinals' girls' team competed in three events on the first day of the state meet on Friday, June 1 and came away with two new school records. The Cardinals' 4x200 team made up of Grace Carlson, Jessie Urman, Tori Benck and Abby Syverson took fourth with a time of 1:45.48 to qualify for the Saturday, June 2 finals and break their own Prescott school record once again.
The Ellsworth baseball team's seniors have grown familiar with facing Prescott in the playoffs over the course of their high school careers. In 2015, as freshmen, four-year varsity players Ryan McGregor and Drake Flom were dealt a crushing 13-inning, 7-5 loss from the Cardinals and then freshman shortstop Peter Brookshaw.
Jeff Ryan knew that his Prescott team would be challenged at the plate when up against three-year varsity pitcher Brett Carlson in the Thursday, May 31, No. 1 Prescott vs. No. 4 Osceola WIAA Division 2 regional baseball game. "We've had luck against him," head coach Ryan said, "but any time a pitcher like Carlson goes to the rubber, Osceola has a chance to win."
The Prescott High School Class of 2018 chose 'Send it' as their class motto, and their principal, Josh Fiege, challenged his now former students to carry their chosen saying with them throughout the rest of their lives. Fiege told the Saturday, May 26, commencement crowd that he recently learned that the average American meets 10,000 people throughout their lifetime.
Zach Nugent's high school golf career came to an end on Tuesday, May 29, at the WIAA Division 2 Tomahawk sectional where the Ellsworth senior finished in a five-way tie for 33rd place. Nugent shot a 16-over-par 86 at Inshalla Country Club where he was pleased with his first five holes of the day. "I felt I was playing well for the first five holes and was only one over (par)," Nugent said. "Then I had kind of a blowup hole, which mentally put me out of it." Nugent finished the front nine in 42 strokes and the back in 44.
Spring Valley's Tyler Leach has been a four-year varsity golfer for the Cardinals. Each year, Leach has concluded his golf season at the WIAA Division 3 State Golf Tournament, and due to his 2018 second-place sectional performance, Leach will close his high school golf career at the familiar University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. "It's extremely humbling to be able to return to the state tournament for the fourth time," Leach said. "I know how difficult it is to make it to the state tournament in any sport and I won't take it for granted."
The Regis Ramblers put an end to Spring Valley's 2018 baseball season with a 6-0 WIAA Division 3 regional shutout on Tuesday, May 29. Though Tuesday's box score may not show it, there's a lot of hope for the future of Spring Valley (9-7) baseball. The Cardinals entered into the wacky 2018 baseball season with one returning varsity starter, Jaydon Nyeggen. Since their first game of the season, the Cardinals have racked up nine total wins, produced promising underclassmen, and were led by five seniors who finally got their chance to show their skills on the varsity level.
Morgan Kummer didn't get a chance to swing the bat in her final high school softball game. The recent Ellsworth High School graduate was intentionally walked in all three of her at bats in her team's 12-2 sectional playoffs loss to Baldwin-Woodville on Tuesday, May 29, and the Middle Border Conference Player of the Year's absence at the plate was felt. The Panthers (14-5) were outhit 14-7 by the Blackhawks (16-5) in their final game of the 2018 season that concluded in six innings.
Forty-six members of the Spring Valley graduating class of 2018 were congratulated for their high school achievements on Saturday, May 26 at their commencement ceremony. Valedictorians, Julian Davis and Carley Laffin, and salutatorian Tessa Cipriano all spoke at commencement and thanked their teachers, family members and classmates for guiding them through their four years of high school.