By Jim den Hollander
The Wisconsin Elite Hockey League, set up as a way for keen hockey players to prepare for their respective fall seasons, is underway.
Regional teams have been selected and the South-Central Region is well-represented by players from the RWD, Baraboo and Sauk Prairie youth and varsity programs.
South Central U-16
Local organizations are well represented on a pair of u-16 teams with the Brandt twins, Caden and Carsen, incoming juniors with RWD and Carson Zick from the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds all teammates on the U-16 Blue team.
Thor Peterson, a member of the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity squad is playing on the U-16 Teal team roster.
The Blue team has been the busiest so far, playing a half dozen contests in the second half of August and compiling a record of 5-1.
On August 15, the South-Central squad played a pair of games at the Verona Eagles Nest against the North Central region collecting a 5-2 win in the first before surrendering a 4-3 decision in the second game.
The following weekend in Ozaukee, the South-Central squad took a pair from Southeast Kelly squad by 5-2 and 9-2 scores.
On Sunday, the team was back in Verona, collecting two more wins, starting with a third straight against Southeast Kelly, 8-1, followed up with a 10-2 decision against Northeast.
The team carries a 40-13 edge on the scoresheet into September, getting the Labor Day weekend off before heading to Rice Lake Sept. 12 for a pair against the Western Wisconsin squad.
The U-16 Teal team made the trek to Chippewa Falls for its first two games, Aug. 15, dropping the first but putting in a solid effort to battle the same Western Wisconsin team for a 4-4 draw later.
The team has played four more games – two in Verona against Southeast Grey August 22 and another pair in Stevens Point against Northcentral Sunday but details on those games were not available.
The Teal squad will be on home ice in Verona against Sept. 12 to play both the Southeast Kelly team and Northeast.
South Central U-18
Hakon Peterson, an incoming senior defenseman with the Sauk Prairie Eagles is the lone Sauk County participant on this team which has played three games so far.
Details are so far unavailable on the results of a pair of games played in Verona Aug. 21 against the Southeast Region team and the following day at Verona again, one game against the Northcentral Region team.
The Southcentral squad has another trio of games scheduled to be played at the Champion Center in Appleton Sept. 11-12.
South Central U-18 Girls
Three members of the Badger Lightning are competing with the South Central 18U squad including defenders Signe Begalske and Katelyn Allen from Sauk Prairie and Mallory Ruhland from Elroy.
The team opened its season splitting a pair of games against Southeast in Beaver Dam Aug. 22. After dropping a 3-1 decision in the first game, the team grabbed a 2-1 win in the getaway game.
The U-18’s were scheduled to travel to Baldwin to play Western Wisconsin Sunday, but details on that contest are not yet available.
South Central U-14
There are two South Central teams at this age level, U-14 Teal and U-14 Blue. There are four Sauk County players and all four play on the Sauk County Teal squad.
Three players, Landon Froese, Brock Hill, and Rylan Burch are from Sauk Prairie while RJ Manley plays for RWD.
The team opened its competitive schedule Sunday with a pair of contests at the Omni Center in Onalaska, tying the Western Region team in the first game 3-3 but no details are available for the second contest against the Southwest region entry.
The team will next be in action Sept. 12, playing host to both the Northeast Region team and getting a rematch with the Southwest region squad.
South Central U-14 Girls
The South-Central U-14 Girls are well represented by Sauk County skaters.
Forward Tahni Barger and defense Sarah Hash both split time between the Sauk Prairie Flyers and Sauk Prairie Monkeys while Paige Othmer was a defender for RWD Cheavers as well as the Badger Lightning. Reese Olson played for the Baraboo T-Birds as well as the Badger Lightning.
The South-Central team opened its season with a pair of home games in Verona Sunday, dropping the first 3-1 against Western Wisconsin. More details will be coming soon on those first two games.
Next up for the South-Central squad will be a pair of games at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Sept. 12, both against the Southeast with faceoffs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.