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Rain never looked so good. A combination of warm temperatures early in the week, followed by constant showers, should soon clear the ice from most area lakes. Even when the lakes are open, fish continue to be impacted by what has been a chilly spring. "The spawn is delayed in most fish species," said Scott Toshner, a fisheries biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in Brule. Depending upon the weather, Toshner expected walleyes to begin spawning as early as this weekend or as late as the middle of next week.
A missed sign helped the Superior High School girls softball to a 3-1 win over Duluth Central Tuesday afternoon. With the game tied at one in the bottom of the seventh inning and one runner on base, senior Ashley Martin stepped up to the plate. Spartan head coach Amy Zembo signaled for Martin to bunt, but the senior didn't see her coach. "My first sign I was supposed to sacrifice a bunt, but on my second one I missed the bunt sign. I did not see her do that," Martin said.
Students in Deb Ganz's fifth-grade class got a sweet surprise recently. After tapping maple trees near the school and harvesting about 50 gallons of sap earlier this spring, the students got at least an additional 70 gallons of sap this past week. "We thought we were going to be done, but we're not," Ganz said. The fifth-grade teacher was surprised by the sap run so late in the season. The class had left its trees tapped and with bags still attached to gather sap, but they hadn't expected to harvest much more.
Approximately 6,400 people attended the 2008 Spring Fisheries and Wildlife Rules Hearings and Wisconsin Conservation Congress county meetings held in every county statewide April 14. In Douglas County, 60 people showed up for the local meeting in Solon Springs.
Just two days after falling in its season opener to Hayward, 5-0, the Superior High School girls soccer team turned the tables by earning a 5-0 victory over Barron Thursday evening at the SHS soccer fields. "We bounced back from a tough loss," SHS coach Aaron Bottge said. "I talked to them about playing with more heart because in our first game we got down a couple of goals and we weren't able to bounce back.
While many teams struggle to begin the spring sports season, the Superior High School boys tennis team has refused to slow down. Weather has not had much effect on the Spartans as they have already played in three matches and practiced in conditions that may have dissuaded many others. For example, when most people were bracing for a snowstorm April 10, the SHS tennis players worked to improve their skills. "We practiced outside. It was just snowing a little," said James LaPine, who plays No. 1 doubles for the Spartans.
The Superior High School Spartans have finished second in the Lake Superior Conference two years in a row. Now they're ready to take over the top place. "I think we have the best returning team," SHS coach Amy Zembo said. Zembo is confident her team has the talent to win, but she also knows the Spartans won't be able to run away with the conference title. "This season it's wide open as the talent is equaling out," she said. "Last season three teams tied for second place." Hermantown lost several key players, but Zembo still expects the Hawks to be strong challengers.
It's a bizarre mirror image -- two softball players with crutches, hobbling on opposite legs. "I said, 'We could put you together and make one player,'" said Jeremy Bird, starting his first year as head coach of the Northwestern High School softball team. Considering how much they want to play, the two athletes might take him up on that idea. Sophomore Anna Morgan and junior Lindsay Garay are both out for the season with knee injuries. Morgan suffered a tear in the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus of her right knee.
Good news for the women's hockey team was bad news for the softball team this year at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The softball team has a long history of attracting multi-sport athletes, many of which play hockey. Normally little conflict exists between the two seasons, but the women's hockey team had never advanced as far into the playoffs as it did this year. As a result, when the rest of the softball team was in Florida to open its season, three players were skating on the ice in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Before the Packy Paquette Invitational even started, Superior High School track coach Kris Leopold knew the Northwestern High School girls would be looking for redemption after placing second to the Spartans in last week's Simpson Invitational. "I sat my kids down and said, 'These girls, they don't lose too often. They got second in this meet the other night that they always win. What do you think they're thinking right now?'" Leopold said.