By Jim den Hollander
The focus of high school sports is currently fall sports – football, cross country, boys’ soccer, girl’s golf and tennis, swimming, and volleyball.
We know several players from local teams are already taking part in before/after programs and varsity high school teams will be stepping on the ice in the next few days or weeks to begin captain’s practices, allowing students to begin preparing for their upcoming seasons.
For the RWD Cheavers, the actual season will begin Nov. 5 with a get together at Monk’s with practices getting underway three days later.
The annual pre-season scrimmages will take place at West Salem with both the host Panthers and DeForest Norskies taking part.
For the seventh time in nine seasons, the Cheavers will open the campaign against the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Red Raiders. The other two times the teams squared off in the second game of the campaign. This time around the game will be played at the South Wood County Recreation Center.
New this season will be a Thanksgiving Weekend tournament in Somerset and the other Holiday tournament, the annual Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic will return to its normal eight-team field with several new teams raising the caliber of the event.
The Somerset event will involve both the varsity and junior varsity teams with other teams from Eau Claire North, New Richmond and of course, the host Somerset teams taking part.
The RWD varsity team will open the event on Nov. 26 against the Eau Claire North Huskies immediately followed by the JV Cheavers against the New Richmond JV Tigers. Opponents and start times for the second day will depend on game results.
The Monk’s Battle for the Cheeseburger Classic will see familiar teams like Wisconsin Rapids, Tomah, McFarland, and Kenosha, but will also this season involve the Onalaska Hilltoppers, La Crescent Lancers and River Falls Wildcats.
Here is a look at the RWD Cheavers’ schedule as of Sept. 1. Games and start times are subject to change between now and the start of the season.
One different thing this season will be the Badger Conference Challenge which will pit teams from the Badger West against the Badger East. Opponents and start times will be determined based on standings at the time and the site is still to be determined as well. It will be played Jan. 15.
Badger West Conference games are in bold type.
23 — @ Wisconsin Rapids
26-27 — @ Somerset Spartans Holiday Tournament
30 — vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers
3 – vs. Edgewood Crusaders
7 – vs. Baraboo Thunderbirds
9 — @ Monroe Cheesemakers
11 – vs. Baldwin-Woodville Hawks
14 — @ Oregon Panthers
17 – vs. Sauk Prairie Eagles
21 — @ Tomah Timberwolves
28-30 MONK’S BATTLE FOR THE CHEESEBURGER CLASSIC
4 — @ Waupaca Comets
6 or 8 — @ Edgewood Crusaders
11 — @ Baraboo Thunderbirds
15 — @ Badger Conference Challenge
20 – vs. Monroe Cheesemakers
25 – vs. Oregon Panthers
27-29 JV Tournament at Lake Delton Ice Arena (Hosted by DeForest)
1 – @ Sauk Prairie Eagles (JV @ Monroe)
4 — @ Hayward Hurricanes
5 — @ Ashland Oredockers
8 – vs. Janesville Bluebirds