WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- It didn’t take long for the reality of playing NCAA Division I football to set in for Carter Hehr.
“I can summarize it based on my first two plays,” the 2013 Big Foot High School graduate said. “The first play I ran down the field on kickoff (coverage) against UCLA in the Rose Bowl and ended up tackling the returner. The very next time, I ran down the field and I got blindsided by a UCLA blocker. I mean blindsided in the sense that my body was parallel to the Rose Bowl grass. I learned that I have to keep my head on a swivel and do the hitting instead of getting hit. It is much more fun that way.”
And it meant that the 5-foot-10, 188-pound safety had arrived -- and he had realized a dream.
STATELINE NEWS -- Riley Pearson was a four-year varsity performer and three-year starter in football at Parkview High School, earning Rock Valley Conference honorable mention recognition as a sophomore while making the second team after his junior season.
He didn’t add first-team laurels to his resume as a senior. Not because the linebacker and fullback’s play diminished in any way -- he broke his right leg during the fourth game against Big Foot, so he wasn’t eligible.
“I broke my leg and tore ligaments in my ankle and needed surgery,” Pearson said. “A pile (of players) just rolled over my leg. It was all a freak accident. I couldn’t put any weight on my leg for about five months while in a cast, and then I was in a walking boot for another month. I had about a month when I really could start doing rehab and any kind of training to get prepared for my senior year of baseball.”
STATELINE NEWS -- Officials with the Macktown Warriors Youth Football program are crossing the border in hopes of increasing participation while building bridges and making connections.
Matt Strand has been with the organization, which started in 2007, for five years. It mainly serves the feeder districts of Hononegah High School in Rockton.
However, its annual camp also is open to neighboring communities South Beloit, Machesney Park and Beloit. And the idea is to expand it to Janesville and other Stateline area schools because this year’s event will be held at Beloit College’s Strong Stadium. Coaches from Beloit College and Hononegah High School will join Macktown instructors for sessions, which are for participants in kindergarten through eighth grade, that are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, July 20 through July 23.
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- They obviously don’t always think and act alike. After all, they’re brothers -- and six years apart in age.
However, David Ferris, 25, and Austin Scoville, 19, agreed something that worked well once should work again, or at least they were willing to try and find out.
The Janesville residents had gathered friends and classmates in Evansville, where they spent most of their youth, to play football. An impromptu chat while waiting for springlike weather to arrive rekindled the idea: What could they do to bring folks together and meet new people, get a little exercise, shake off the winter doldrums and have fun?
Greg Enz couldn’t have asked for a better first season after taking over the Big Foot program last year in succeeding Rodney Wedig, who directed the Chiefs to 11 consecutive WIAA football playoff berths -- Enz made it 12 in a row.
“It’s really quite interesting because you’re trying to get kids from very different programs and with limited time to work together,” said Enz, a former Little Chute head coach who was an assistant for the Divisions 1-3 North team in 2009. “At the same token, it’s a really awesome thing because it’s a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital, so the kids can learn more about selflessness, and coaches participate, too. It’s an experience that everybody should get to participate in.”
Enz was referring to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star games, pitting graduated seniors in North versus South match-ups. The 39th annual event will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday, July 18. Players in Divisions 4-7 will meet at 2 p.m. and those in Divisions 1-3 tangle at 6 p.m. An eight-man contest starts the day at 10 a.m.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- They’ve not appeared on many people’s athletic radars across the Stateline area, but that anonymity won’t last much longer should they continue their recent string of success.
The Demon Elks rugby program finished first or second in the state from 2012 through 2014, and six of its athletes qualified for the 50-member Wisconsin Selects squad that competed in a national tournament in Denver over Father’s Day weekend.
“Our first couple of years we barely had enough guys to play and we didn’t win much,” said Jeff Gahart, one of the coaches who helped organize the Elkhorn-based team about 10 years ago. “But (our numbers) grew and we got a lot better. And the last four years we’ve enjoyed a lot of success.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- He’s put on plenty of miles in 20 years of "My Classic Car," and TV host Dennis Gage is ready to put on a few more as he cruises into Delavan for the 12th annual Cars Time Forgot show.
JANESVILLE -- They slapped an exclamation point on one of the best baseball regular seasons in Janesville Craig history Tuesday night. Next week, the Cougars hope to add a fourth state trophy to the school’s collection.
Second-ranked Craig (26-1) completed three-game sweeps of Big Eight Conference rivals Madison West and Verona in earning its first trip to the WIAA state baseball tournament since 2009 and the 12th appearance in program history.
Victor Herbst’s Cougars face Baraboo, a team that won its three postseason contests by a combined four runs, including an 8-7 sectional final victory over La Crosse Central.
Some of the Stateline area’s best basketball players will showcase their talents one final time at the high school level as they participate in the 36th annual Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star games.
Contests will pit the top seniors from the class of 2015 in North versus South match-ups in all five WIAA divisions. The girls games are scheduled Friday, June 19, with the boys showdowns set the next day. All of the action will take place at JustAgame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells.
The largest contingent of hoopsters from Rock and Walworth counties will be on the D-1 South girls roster, where four standouts hope to help their team earn a third win in four years after falling last year.
Athletes from the Stateline area are scheduled to perform in all four divisions of the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association’s Senior All-Star Games.
There will be five Division 1 teams, four in Division 2 and three each in Divisions 3 and 4.
Practices are planned Monday, June 15, and a round-robin series of games in each division will be held Tuesday, June 16, all at the Woodside Sports Complex in Wisconsin Dells.