SHOTS from the Hip
Bravo and brava to Prescott High School cross country runners Tyler Loucks and Ella Johnson on wrapping up their individual seasons this past Saturday at the WIAA State Tournament in Wisconsin Rapids._A senior, Loucks finished in 10th place in the final cross country run of his high school career. It is the highest finish of any boys harrier in Prescott High School history. Junior Ella Johnson ran a 21:05 in not only her first state meet, but her first season running cross country. Hats off to both runners. Two weeks ago, the boys team came within an eyelash of qualifying for state competition, finishing one point out of third place._ Congratulations to Reece Ptacek on being named Middle Border All Conference for volleyball. _ The talented sophomore caused headaches at the net for league foes this season. _ Ptacek, along with the likes of Aubryn Ennenga, Natalie Ptacek, Lila Posthuma, and Brianna Severson, will return to the court next fall with great optimism under Head Coach Geoffrey Snyder.
Speaking of postseason recognition,_a standing ovation to Jack Olson, Ben Rohl, Phil Seifert, Mason Barstch, Grant Stanton,_and Aiden Russell for being named All Conference in football._Russell, Bartsch and Ben Rohl were named All Conference both offensively and defensively._ Ellsworth Head Coach Rob Heller’s Panthers won their 18th consecutive game with their playoff victory over Osceola last Friday. Next up, a clash with perennial Heart of the North Conference power Northwestern._ The Panthers and the Tigers played in Ellsworth last year during the Covid-19 abbreviated postseason. _Last fall Ellsworth rolled to a 42-14 victory over Northwestern in a game highlighted by Mason Anderson’s three touchdown passes._The clash between #2 ranked Ellsworth and #1 ranked Northwestern will be played at Northwestern this Friday at 7 p.m._ All Conference running back Aiden Russell finished his final year in a Cardinal football uniform with 1,487 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns. Certainly among the top single season performances for any running back in Prescott High School history._ Additionally, several Middle Border Conference coaches and officials have applauded Russell not only for his play, but also for his demeanor on the field, calling the senior a “model of decorum and professionalism on the field.”_Well done._ The Durand Panthers, another 2021 Prescott opponent, advanced to the Division 6 quarterfinals with a win over Boyceville. Running back Simon Bauer ran for 146 against the Bulldogs and now has rushed for 2,487 yards on the season, tops in the state of Wisconsin. Durand will host #3 seed Unity this Friday. And in Division 5 La Crosse Aquinas, whom the Cardinals also played this season, also advanced to the quarterfinals where they will host #6 seed St. Croix Falls._ Bella Lenz and the Michigan Tech women’s basketball team opens its season at home this Thursday in an exhibition game against UWOshkosh. _ The Huskies are coming off a 20-2 season including a conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Midwest Regional championship game. With a strong core of returning letterwinners, the Huskies are picked to repeat at league champions and expect to be nationally ranked all season._ A duo of local hunters ventured north in the hopes of harvesting some elusive ruffed grouse. After being shut out last Saturday, the tandem spoke with fellow Polk and Burnett County upland bird hunters who also reported minimal success this season. Predation, loss of habitat, drought, and climate change were identified by local hunters as possible culprits in the dearth of ruffed grouse hunting success this October._ Now that the fall sports season has officially ended for all Prescott athletes, preparations for the fast-approaching winter seasons have begun in earnest._Boys Head Basketball Coach Nick Johnson, Girls Head Basketball Coach Joan Korfhage, and Head Wrestling Coach Jordan Poirier have been busy planning for their respective 2021-22 seasons._The New Richmond Tigers have left the Middle Border Conference and will be replaced by the Altoona Railroaders._ Familiar non-conference boys basketball foes return in the likes of Elk Mound, River Falls, Durand, and Hastings as well as the girls who will square off with Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Hudson, St. Croix Falls, and Menomonie._New to the boys’ schedule will be Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy out of Milwaukee who will be playing in Prescott on Feb. 12._ Former All Conference pitcher Hunter Black will reportedly become a member of the Prescott Cardinal baseball coaching staff next spring._The Durand Panther alumnus is currently teaching at Malone Elementary this year and resides in River Falls. The righthanded throwing Black frustrated hitters back in high school and today does the same with amateur opponents with a tremendous changeup._ Prescott fans are still smarting upon hearing the news that KDWA Sport Editor Nick Tuckner will be hanging up his head set._The extremely popular Hastings High School alumnus has endeared himself to hundreds of Cardinal athletes and fans over the past two decades._ From play-by-play broadcasts, coaches show interviews, local news features, and serving as master of ceremonies for countless local events, Tuckner has become a household name to many living in the 54021 zip code._Good luck Mr. Tuckner in whatever venture you choose._ You will be sorely missed._ Speaking of Tuckner, the popular voice of the Cardinals has been nominated as Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Media Person of the Year for the second time._