Posted 7/5/22

from the Hip BY CRIPE OLSON The Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association held its 2022 All-Star Games last Wednesday and Thursday at JustAGame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells. The Girls All-Star Games …

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from the Hip

BY CRIPE OLSON The Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association held its 2022 All-Star Games last Wednesday and Thursday at JustAGame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells.

The Girls All-Star Games were held Wednesday, June 29, while the Boys All-Star Games took place on Thursday, June 30. Middle Border Conference representatives included Jack Janke of Ellsworth, along with Cameron Thompson and Keegan Ofstie of Baldwin-Woodville. Somerset’s MyKenzie Leccia was the lone Middle Border Conference representative for the Division 3 North All Star team.

Prescott two-time All State golfer Ava Salay recently participated in a Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Cup Series. Salay won all of her individual matches in the Ryder Cup-like event. Fellow Cardinal golfer Rhi Stutz won a Minnesota Jr. PGA event in Pine Island, Minn., and in the process scored her first ever eagle in competitive play. And Mabel Rohl shot a 43 en route to a five-stroke victory at a Western Wisconsin Jr. Tour event in Ellsworth. Head Coach Chad Salay and his two-time WIAA Division 2 State Champions begin their season on Aug. 8.

As the beginning of the 2022-23 athletic seasons draw nearer, high school athletic directors all over Wisconsin are urging more people to become registered WIAA officials. The dearth of WIAA referees and game officials has begun to jeopardize competitive high school sports, especially at the non-varsity level. Anyone interested in becoming a WIAA official can begin the registration process at Become-an-Official or can contact Prescott High School Athletic Director Andrew Caudill. Currently, only one recent Prescott graduate, Korey Kirschbaum is a registered WIAA official.

There will be three new head boys basketball coaches in the Middle Border Conference this coming season. New skippers will patrol the bench at Amery, Ellsworth, and St. Croix Central. The coaching revolving door continues in all sports. For the girls, Prescott’s Owen Hamilton will be the lone rookie.

This November Prescott Boys Basketball Coach Nick Johnson will begin his 12th season as head coach of the Cardinals. The Prescott and Ripon College Hall of Famer will begin this season with an overall record of 225-51.

Eau Claire North Head Baseball Coach Bob Johnson has retired from coaching. The Eau Claire native won over 300 games in 19 years including two state titles in 2011 and 2019. Crosstown rival Eau Claire Memorial will also be searching for a replacement for Head Baseball Coach Dan Roehl who retired after six years with the Old Abes. One of the coaches cited parental behavior and bullying as one of the factors in the decision to resign. It appears all Middle Border Conference baseball coaches this year will return in 2023.

Speaking of baseball, look for new uniforms next season for the Prescott Cardinals baseball team. Last year’s uniform color faux pas will be corrected.

Here is some information that may draw the ire of today’s high school athletes and their parents. What are the chances of a high school athlete playing a varsity sport at the college level? A tad under 7% (1 out of 14) of high school athletes go on to play college sports and less than 2% (1 out of 57) will go on to play at NCAA Division 1 schools. For boys the best odds of playing a college sport are 8 to 1 in baseball, 11 to 1 in football, and 18 to 1 in basketball. The odds of making a NCAA Division 1 roster are 36 to 1 in football, 47 to 1 in baseball, and 116 to 1 in basketball. For girls the best odds of making a college roster are in softball at 11 to 1, basketball 15 to 1, and volleyball at 17 to 1. For playing at the Division 1 level, softball is 59 to 1, with volleyball and basketball both at 91 to 1.

Recently Minnesota became the 11th state to allow high school student athletes to make money from teaching and coaching, advertising and autographs. It also allows athletes to hire representation. There are several caveats to the Minnesota State High School League policy. Compensation can’t be tied to certain achievements or performance threshholds, athletes cannot be compensated by a school or a person or group representing the school and NIL activities cannot interfere with academic obligations. The policy also forbids financial recruiting. Prohibited NIL activities include promoting activities associated with gambling, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, weapons and “adult entertainment products. ” Students cannot sell items they were given by the school until their eligibility is exhausted. Use of MSHSL or school logos in NIL activities is not allowed. Similar rules are being considered in the state of Wisconsin and with policy makers apparently poised to do something similar to Minnesota. So much for amateur athletics.

Headshaker of the week. In an attempt to speed up the game and limit the length of extra inning contests, Major League Baseball puts a baserunner at second base to start the top of 10th. If you are going to put a runner on base, put him at first base. Make the offense bunt, steal, or move him over in some way in order to get the baserunner in scoring position. Putting the runner on second? You have got to be kidding me. It’s a headshaker.