Kristen Anderson received her degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which hasn’t helped her erase all of the heartbreaking near misses and memories as a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.
However, the Williams Bay resident and Schaumburg, Illinois, native has found perspective after the many disappointments, especially concerning the franchise’s decades of postseason failure, better than most folks concerning their beloved North Siders.
“I attended Catholic school, and I remember when they lost their first 14 games of the year and praying every day that they would break the losing streak,” Anderson, 29, said of Chicago’s 2000 campaign that ended with a 68-94 record. “They knew what I was praying for.”
Stateline area girls tennis teams begin their WIAA postseason march next week.
Those competitions start with subsectional round action, with all teams from southern Wisconsin playing Monday, Oct. 5.
Delavan-Darien hosts one Division 1 subsectional of the Stoughton Sectional. Athletes from Badger, Burlington, Elkhorn, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker and Beloit Memorial will join the Comets. Meanwhile, Milton is in the Stoughton Subsectional.
Both events start at 9 a.m.
In Division 2, the East Troy Subsectional, which starts at 8 a.m., includes teams from Big Foot/Williams Bay, Catholic Central, East Troy, Edgerton and Whitewater.
The Whitewater and Stoughton sectional competitions will be played starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7.
The state individual tournament is scheduled from Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 15-17, at Nielsen Stadium in Madison. The state team tourney, also at Nielsen, will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24-25.
ELKHORN -- The Elkhorn Area High School All-Sports Booster Club will host its first Hall of Fame banquet and ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10.
The event will be held at the Monte Carlo Room. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. and the induction of the inaugural nine-member class starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $20 and support the school’s athletic programs and scholarships. They are available at EAHS, Frank’s Piggly Wiggly, Sentry Foods and Someplace Else Restaurant.
Milton High School’s girls golf team has been one of the state’s best all spring. And Andrea Wieland’s Red Hawks are heading into WIAA postseason competition with plenty of momentum to boot.
The Red Hawks established a school record with their 311 score while winning the 16-team Janesville Parker Invite last Saturday at Riverside Golf Course. Then Milton earned its first Badger South Conference title, shooting a 321 to dominate the field at Baraboo Country Club on Tuesday.
That allowed the Red Hawks to score 11.5 team points, counting league dual meets, to claim the overall conference crown.
They hope to continue their consistent hot streak as the race to the state meet at Madison’s University Ridge begins with regional action next week. Milton will host a tournament Thursday, Oct. 1, at Oak Ridge, one of two events in the Division 1 Mukwonago Sectional.
The top-ranked Red Hawks’ lineup features senior CheyAnn Knudsen, sophomore Mia Seeman, junior Leah Foster and freshman Taylor Hakala -- all but Foster earned spots on the all-conference team.
The rest of the regional field includes Stateline area squads from Badger, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Beloit Memorial, Elkhorn and Burlington.
Wieland’s talented bunch should be one of four teams to advance to the sectional round, which will be played Tuesday, Oct. 6, on The Pines course at Edgewood Golf Course in Big Bend, where they will battle for a shot at a trip to the Oct. 12-13 state meet.
Milton, which set the previous school low score with a 315 in its opening tourney of the season, knows all about that journey.
The Red Hawks have qualified for the D-I team field four times in the past five years, placing second in 2010 (behind individual champion Ashton Stair) and 2011, fourth in 2012 and fifth last year.
Knudsen tied for sixth in the medalist standings last year with her 157 (78-79), while Seeman shared 19th place at 168 (83-85).
Meanwhile, area schools will compete in two Division 2 sectionals.
Clinton, Edgerton and Beloit Turner are entered in the Jefferson Regional, which will be played Oct. 1 at Koshkonong Mounds in Fort Atkinson and is part of the Prairie du Chien Sectional on Oct. 6.
East Troy will compete in the Catholic Memorial Regional on Sept. 30 at Broadlands Golf Club in North Prairie, which leads to the Fox Valley Lutheran Sectional on Oct. 5 in Kaukauna.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Sandee Ortiz was the coach, April Shaffer the athlete. That relationship, like the one between parents and their children, often dictates a delicate balance.
But when those relationships click, the bond grows much stronger. In this case, Ortiz and Shaffer, who has a cognitive disability, became what they treasure most -- friends.
Ortiz has coached girls and boys tennis and taught at Delavan-Darien High School for the last 18 years and has run the local parks and recreation program for 19. She also has run a tennis camp for high school students for 17 summers.
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Nate Farrell broke his left foot during a pick-up basketball game the summer before eighth grade.
That’s the only time the Craig High School junior has stopped running since taking up the sport two years earlier.
Farrell has responded to that setback with back-to-back appearances at the WIAA Division 1 state cross country meet, where he clocked a 17:31.3 to finish in 106th place in 2013 -- the fifth-best time among freshmen.
STATELINE NEWS -- Dillon Hagstrom hates losing as much or more than any other competitive athlete. But coming up short on the gridiron pales in comparison to losing a loved one, and the South Beloit High School junior has endured both during the past 13 months.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Hagstrom was busy training to make the huge transition from running back to quarterback, not only learning the nuances of the SoBos’ offensive system, but the many intangibles involved in being the team’s leader and the pressure of playing the most important position on the field.
Then on the night of Aug. 4, 2014, his older brother, Cole, 21, passed away. The blindside hit rocked Hagstrom and his family -- he no longer could rely on his brother, his confidante and his friend for advice about anything, on or off the field.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- They may have a new leader, but the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater remains the team that everybody in NCAA Division III football is hunting.
The Warhawks won their second straight and sixth national championship in eight years last December. And they start their 2015 campaign on Sept. 12 at Belhaven, Mississippi, with college football’s longest winning streak at 32 games. They are ranked in the top three of three preseason polls, including No. 1 by D3football.com.
UW-Whitewater must replace such standouts as quarterback Matt Behrendt, wide receivers Jake Kumerow and Justin Howard, defensive back Brady Grayvold, defensive back and Delavan-Darien alum Marcus McLin and defensive lineman Mykaell Bratchett.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Ethan Cesarz has room to grow physically and in his knowledge of the game, sobering thoughts for opposing football coaches in the Southern Lakes Conference.
The Delavan-Darien High School standout measures 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, and he started his junior season Friday night when the Comets hosted East Troy in a nonconference contest.
The excitement is obvious in second-year DDHS coach Bret St. Arnauld’s voice when talking about No. 18, who was selected to the league’s first team at tight end and the second team at linebacker last fall.
STATELINE NEWS -- Adjustments are part of life and football in transitioning from high school to college, especially for a quarterback.
However, 2013 Milton High School graduate Evan Phillips said he has enjoyed an advantage that many other athletes don’t.
“Beloit was an ideal situation for me because we run basically the same system that we did during my junior and senior years at Milton,” said Phillips, who earned honorable mention status both years in the tough Badger South Conference. “We use a lot of the same passing concepts and a lot of the same play calls, and the way the quarterback runs the offense is similar. So, you could say this is my fifth year in this offense. And I didn’t know it until I got here, but Matt Lee, who was my offensive coordinator in high school, is our running backs coach.”