Sports Update: Week of March 24

Sophomore Morgan Whitethunder powers through his leg of the 4x800 meter relay. With seniors Collin Berra and Brad Wensel as well as sophomore Anton Cassidy, the team had time of 9:57.62.
Sophomore Morgan Whitethunder powers through his leg of the 4×800 meter relay. With seniors Collin Berra and Brad Wensel as well as sophomore Anton Cassidy, the team had time of 9:57.62.
March 29

UWEC–The track team attended the Eau Claire North Varsity Invite at UW-Eau Claire Thursday afternoon. It was the team’s second and final chance to qualify for indoor state. None of the athletes qualified for indoor.

But, lots of athletes improved, including Hannah Tubbs, who PR’ed in the high jump and the girls 4×400 meter by 20 seconds.

“We did great, grew as a team,” said head coach Abraham Severson.

TOMAH–The boys baseball team traveled to Tomah for their first game of the season. The boys brought the W back home with a 16-12 win.

Spring Showers Bring Lots of Rescheduling: Athletic director Andrew Osegard shares the behind the scenes on keeping spring sports safe

Spring in Wisconsin means a rollercoaster of weather. This year has been an especially weird season for the state. An abnormally warm winter and a sudden snowstorm with days of rain for the last week have caused a struggle with spring sports. Athletic director Andrew Osegard found himself tackling various obstacles.

“Spring is a pain. If we could have played in January or February, we would have been fine. But now it’s very tough with the rollercoaster of different conditions we have,” said Osegard.

With spring sports being outside, many of them on fields, and strange weather, there are certain rules to follow to keep athletes safe.

“For our kids to play, we have to play safely, that’s the biggest thing,” said Osegard.

The tennis courts have to be completely dry, there can not be any puddles on the fields, and golf depends on the course’s call. Most sports also can not be held in frozen conditions either. Given these factors going into competitions to keep the players safe leads to decisions to be made behind the scenes.

“Tennis is a lot easier to reschedule because a lot of the other teams have more open dates. You don’t have to replace officials, you don’t have to do all those extra things. Transportation is easier because most of the time you can also use the vans. Tennis, we make those calls a bit quicker,” said Osegard.

Baseball and softball can also be a struggle to reschedule with officials and the conditions of fields. But the sports that cause the most chaos are the ones on the track and the ones on the course.

“It’s a bit different for golf. We have to plan with the courses to make sure it’s a day they don’t already have something going on. We usually set those at least a year in advance to make sure we have a date scheduled. A lot of times if we don’t hold it that day it’s straight up canceled, it’s not postponed,” said Osegard, “Track and field are by far the worst to reschedule. There are so many schools, you have to have a timing company, and they’re very limited. So if you get weather that you can’t hold your track meet for, it’s almost 99% of the time it’s canceled.”

Despite what crazy weather throws their way, the athletic directors always make sure they’re keeping their athletes safe.

Sophomore Alice Vanderperren works on her project for class. The project will then lead to a discussion with the class. Students receive grades based on their discussion with the class. (Lily Olson)
Obstacles: With the recent grade check rule change the softball team had struggled

There was a change that came to BRFHS this year that involved students’ grades.

The grade checks are done with more frequency and there is a  new policy that if you fail a class at the end of a trimester, you have to wait a certain amount of days before you can play a sport in the next trimester. For example, girls who failed a class during trimester two have to wait until March 28th to play softball. Otherwise, there are periodic grade checks throughout the season.

“When I was in high school, grade checks were every day compared to every couple of weeks. So now when teachers have to put their grades in, they’ll announce like this week we’re doing a grade check,” said softball assistant coach Austin Janowski.

The softball team has felt this impact heavily. During their first game of the season, they had six girls out from failed grades last trimester.

“Unfortunately, the grade checks have affected us. It hurts us numbers wise, and that hurts us trying to get better, trying to learn, and trying to be a team. It really brings the whole team down when they see a couple of their friends not able to play, and I know it brings the whole mood down having to have that conversation with said students because it’s not a fun conversation,” said Janowski.

Recognizing their struggles with grades, the coaches knew they had to do something to help their team.

“As coaches, we discussed that we would much rather you come to practice and work on your homework and ask us coaches for help if need be. We encourage them to do homework before, obviously, but if they are behind, we encourage them to bring it to practice, get it done, watch what we’re doing, and be a part of the team. Just because you’re working on homework doesn’t mean you’re not part of the team,” said Janowski.

From the beginning of the year, sports teams at BRFHS have felt the impact from this change. A lot of changes have been made as teams persevere. Janowski is among other coaches that have been pushing their student-athletes to be their best not only on the field but off too.

“Keep your grades up. That’s the biggest thing. It’s not like we’re expecting these girls to have a 4.0 and nothing below a B. A D is still passing, so you’re trying and you’re attending the class at least. You’re giving effort and that’s all we ever want, is effort and have that drive,” said Janowski.

Junior Lily Miller finishes the 1600 meter at the Golden Eagle Invite at UW-La Crosse.
Junior Lily Miller finishes the 1600 meter at the Golden Eagle Invite at UW-La Crosse.
Setting the pace: Miller gets surprise results and looks towards the future

BLACK RIVER FALLS — Junior Lillian Miller’s first meet of the season was explosive. She attended the Mauston’s ‘Golden Eagle’ Invite at UW-L. She placed 7th in the 800 with a new PR and 5th in the 1600.

“I was really surprised because it was the first meet of the season and I don’t usually PR in the 800 because it’s usually right after the 1600 so I don’t have a lot of time to recover,” said Miller.
Bringing six points home after the first meet left Miller with the need for more.

“I do have my eyes on indoor state, it will just be a lot of work,” said Miller.

Some struggles come with indoor meets that don’t happen at outdoor meets. For example, since the track is shorter, it equates to more laps for the distance runners, and sore throats from the conditions. With this being said, Miller finds that practicing outside after the meet helps regulate these feelings, giving her a positive outlook for the rest of the season.

“I think the season is going to go good because our training has improved. And I think everybody is getting better every day and attitudes are getting better,” said Miller.

Sports Update for March 24

UWL — The track team attended the UWL meet for their first chance to qualify for indoor state on March 23. The boys team placed 17th and the girls placed 19th.

Junior Lillian Miller had an electric first meet of the season. Miller placed in two of her events, bringing six points back to Black River Falls. She also PR’d in her 800 meter.

After reflecting on the team’s first meet, head coach Abraham Severson is making plans for the Eau Claire North Varsity Invite for the teams second and final chance to qualify for indoor state.

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About the Contributor
Lily Olson
Lily Olson, Reporter
Lily Olson is a junior at Black River Falls High School. She is involved with FCCLA, Raise Your Voice, Science Club, and Pep Club. She is also the editor-in-chief of the yearbook. In the fall she plays tennis and was captain this past season. But the best part of her days is hanging out with her friends. She can’t wait to see all the stories come to life this year.

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