By Cripe Olson
News
from the Hip

SHOTS from the Hip

Although the Prescott girls basketball team fell to Hudson last Friday by a score of 57-39, the Cardinals gave their Big Rivers Conference neighbors a good tussle. First year Head Coach Joan Korfhage’s charges played an aggressive zone defense and kept pace offensively with last year’s Division 1 state runner up. Midway through the second half Prescott remained within striking distance at 32-28. However, a 9-0 run midway through the second half by the Raiders proved to be the difference. Prescott, seeking its third consecutive Middle Border Conference championship, begins league play this week.

The NBA has made the switch from Spalding to Wilson basketball this season. The official basketball from 19461983, Wilson basketballs have returned to the court with some players blaming the new orbs for the drop in field goal percentages this year. Claiming the Wilson basketballs do have the “touch” or “softness” of the Spaulding, players have also carped about how long it takes to “break in” the Wilson.

Years ago, playing basketball at Adams Junior High in Hastings, Neb., players used to hide basketballs in the equipment room after practice so we could find the good basketballs the next day. Nothing was worse than grabbing one of those lousy rubber outdoor basketballs for use indoors. So, in a sense, I understand the concerns some NBA players have about the switch.

Congratulations to Ellsworth Panthers Max Grand and Jack Janke on being named All State by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Associations. Both seniors, Grand was one of five running backs and Janke one of two defensive backs to be named among the best by the WFCA in the small school division.

Speaking of awards, they keep pouring in for the Prescott Cardinal girls golf team. The two-time WIAA Division II State Champion also had five players named to the Golf Coaches Association All-Academic Team. Not only did Maddie Reiter, Liz Rohl, Ava Salay, Rhianna Stutz, and Jessica Heinsch excel on the links this fall, but they did the same in the classroom. Each received a “High Honors'' award from the state association. It makes it really easy to root for young people who excel in extracurricular activities and at the same time show the same commitment to their work in the classroom. Brava!

In the spirit of the beginning of the Holiday season this week, here is list of thanks and no thanks for 2021….

Thanks to the performance of Aiden Russell on the football field this fall. The senior running back rushed for over 1,500 yards this season and was a mainstay on the defensive side of the ball. Not only was his performance laudable, but Russell’s behavior and decorum on the field was also worthy of high praise.

No thanks to bleacher behaviors related to the mocking and berating of high school game officials whose ranks have been greatly diminished recently due in part to weekly abuse lobbed their way by zealous fans.

Thanks to all the volunteer youth coaches who put in long hours to provide extracurricular experiences for the kids in our community.

No thanks to this year’s horrific drought that dampened outdoor activities from canoeing and kayaking to inland stream trout fishing. Let’s hope for some healthy snowfall this winter.

Thanks to Dallas Eggers, Jim Johnson, Dennis Gagnier, Matt Monteith, Charlie Block, Brady Randolph, Paul Most, Randy Hansen, the Swanson brothers, Tracey Budworth, and others for all their volunteer work at Firehall Field this season.

No thanks to the horrific length of Major League Baseball games. Pitching changes, instant replay, and increased strikeouts have made the game painful to watch. At the professional level the game is in real trouble.

Thanks to umpires, referees, and game officials willing to work games at the youth, ninth grade, and junior varsity level. Without these people there would only be varsity games and lower levels would become nothing more than glorified scrimmages. In baseball, we are inching closer to the time where the calling balls and strikes will be made by an adult plucked from the bleachers standing behind the pitcher’s mound.

No thanks to a shot clock in high school basketball. No need for high school teams to cater to the college and professional levels when less than 4% of high school basketball players go on to compete at the NCAA level.

Thanks to Prescott High School alumni Tyler Dunning and James Hernandez for cleaning up the spray-painted vandalism this fall on the newly installed equipment shed at Firehall Field.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

November 23, 2021