ON DECK: AMSOIL Speedway hoping for sunshineRamage to pitch in Kentucky; Kolenda enjoys successful freshman season; UWS recruits
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
Most people know how spring’s late arrival this year affected the local sport scene.
High school baseball teams were limited to playing only a dozen of their regularly scheduled 20 games; area golf courses lost a ton of money when their openings were a month later than last year; and the UW-Superior softball team didn’t even get to play a home game because of unplayable fields.
The college and high schools teams got through their seasons, but Mother Nature isn’t done yet and has been wreaking havoc with area race tracks.
The AMSOIL Speedway’s opener was rained out on May 24. The weather cooperated on May 31 but the races were canceled because of the death of Don Roseen, who spent much of his life being a part of dirt track racing. Roseen was a former driver, promoter and president of WISSOTA, the sanctioning body of dirt tracks across the Upper Midwest.
Roseen, 73, had been preparing the track for the opener earlier in the week when he was found unconscious in his car after an apparent heart attack.
AMSOIL’s new opening night went off without a hitch on June 7, as did a special USMTS event on June 12.
Because of the races on Wednesday, nothing was scheduled for Friday, June 14, which was a good thing because, of course, it rained. Then it rained again on June 21.
A full slate of races are scheduled for tonight and forecasts earlier in the week called for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. But an update on Thursday afternoon called for rain and temeratures in the mid-60s.
“The weather so far this racing season has been terrible,” said AMSOIL Speedway promoter Joe Stariha. “We have had three races cancelled and really should have cancelled the first night we raced, but we finally got two days of sunshine and did the best we could with the wet racing surface and got the race in. Hopefully, the warm weather we are now seeing this week is here to stay.
Big things will also be happening July 5 at the speedway when the World of Outlaw Late Models roll into town.
“Last year this show got rained out, so we are hoping Mother Nature is on our side this year,” Stariha said. “Some of the best of the best Outlaw Late Model drivers, such as “Kid Rocket” Josh Richards, Darrell Lanigan, and Tim McCreadie, just to name a few, will be racing for the huge $10,000 to win purse.”
AMSOIL hasn’t been the only local track hampered by snowy and wet weather. Races have been canceled more than once at both the ABC Speedway in Ashland and in Proctor.
May 23 — Practice Night (rained out)
May 24 — Opening Night (rained out)
May 31 — Regular Racing (canceled)
June 7 — Regular Racing
June 12 — USMTS Modifieds
June 21 — Advantage RV Mod Series (rained out)
June 28 — Regular Racing
July 5 — World of Outlaw Late Models
July 12 — Regular Racing
July 19 — Hall of Fame Night (Vintage Cars)
July 26 — Regular Racing
Aug. 4 — AMSOIL Twin 25’s
Aug. 9 — AMSOIL Qualifier
Aug. 13 — Fair Races
Aug. 16 — Fair Races
Aug. 23 — Season Championships
Sept. 6-7 — Northern Nationals
Dylan Ramage, a 2011 graduate of Superior High School, recently announced on Twitter, “My dream of playing Division I baseball is finally achieved, I’m now a Morehead State Eagle.”
Morehead State University is located in Kentucky.
Ramage also announced that he will play baseball this summer for the Lorain County Ironmen in Lorain, Ohio. The Ironmen are members of the Prospect League, which includes teams from Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Illinois and Missouri.
The Ironmen’s hitting coach is Joe Charboneau, the 1980 American League Rookie of the Year with the Cleveland Indians.
Ramage spent the past two seasons playing for Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa.
Former Superior High School Spartan Dan Kolenda enjoyed a successful freshman season as a member of the Niagara University Purple Eagles hockey team.
Niagara hockey, fresh off its fourth trip to the NCAA tournament, finished the season ranked No. 15 in the final USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll.
The 15th place finish is the best in program history and continued a record 19-week run in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll.
Kolenda, who graduated from SHS in 2009, finished ninth in scoring for the Purple Eagles with 13 points (five goals, eight assists). He also played in 35 of the team’s 38 games and had 11 penalties for 33 mintues.
Niagara wrapped up the season with a 23-10-5 record and the program’s first Atlantic Hockey regular-season title. The Purple Eagles’ 2013 campaign came to an end on March 29 in the NCAA West Regional semifinal in Grand Rapids, Mich. as Niagara suffered a 2-1 loss to No. 2 seed North Dakota.
Prior to playing at Niagara, Kolenda had 95 points (30 goals, 65 assists) in 111 games with the Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL). He was also named to the 2011 Robinson Division’s CCHL All-Star team after tallying 20 goals and 37 assists.
Kolenda, the son of Joe and Candace Kolenda, is majoring in biology.
Three student-athletes have announced they plan on attending UWS beginning with the 2013-13 season.
Pamela McLeod, of Gillam, Manitoba (Balmoral Hall Prep) is the second former member of the Norman Wild to commit to the UWS women’s hockey team, joining fellow recruit Kim Kobar.
McLeod piled up individual awards in 2011-12 as a member of the Wild. That year she was voted the top forward, favorite player and most valuable player as well as being the team’s top scorer. A versatile player, McLeod could see time at both forward and defense during her time with the Yellowjackets.
Other recent women’s hockey recruits include: Amanda Coey, Brandon, Manitoba; Kobar, The Pas, Manitoba; Hailey Adair, Brooklyn Park, Minn.; and McLeod, Gillam, Manitoba.
The UWS women’s soccer team also announced that Emily Ball and Lily Marcelius will join the Yellowjackets this fall.
Ball is a 5-foot-4 midfielder from Duluth East. In 2010 she was voted the most inspirational player for the Greyhounds. A year later, Ball was her team’s captain and voted the most dedicated player on the team. As a senior in 2012, Ball was named her team’s most improved player. Last winter, Ball was the team captain of the Greyhound girls basketball team.
Marcelius, from Minnetonka, Minn., played high school soccer at Hopkins High School, where she was a captain during her senior season.
In 2010, Marcelius was the grand prize winner at the Coca Cola Live Positively National Competition, where she won a free trip to South Africa to attend an international soccer camp and see a World Cup game.
Ken Olson is the sports editor of The Superior Telegram. Call him at 715- 395-5023 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org