Ladysmith XC set for 2020 season
The Ladysmith cross-country team has already gotten in a week of practice in what all hope is a full season as the 2020 WIAA sport season is set to get underway in what many may say is a season of, “lets wait and see.”
With things changing constantly, the one constant that has maintained is the fact that the time has come for kids to get back and be active in the sports they love as they have had months of waiting during the lay-off of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ladysmith cross country team, as always has great numbers and are led by Jacob Ebner, who is entering his fifth year as the cross country coach at Ladysmith, with 12 years of head coaching experience overall. Assisting coach Ebner this year is Bailey Keeble who enters her second season as the assistant coach for cross country.
This year’s squad will be led by another solid class of returners on both sides as Kylee Becker, Rachel Sovacool, Maddy Nybakke, Hope Burki and Payton Wold will help lead the way on the girl’s side. Becker is a returning state qualifier from a year ago, as well as an all conference runner in the Heart O’ North for the Lumberjills. Newcomers this year for the Jills are Raemalee Smith and Taylor Ptacek. “The girls team had a surprising high finish at the Sectional Meet to end the season last year. Kylee Becker, Rachel Sovacool, Hope Burki, and Payton Wold all had excellent races to end the year. This season their team gets a lot stronger with the additions of Maddy Nybakke, Raemalee Smith, and Taylor Ptacek. This is a team that has the ability to surprise some other teams at the end of the season as well as having some individuals who could achieve some notable accomplishments,” state coach Ebner.
Rounding out the girl’s team this year for the lumberjills are Grace Pearson, Sirianna Basham, Audry Martin, Gracie Nelson, Jaelin Waeltz, Kadence Wagner, Lily Fye, Elizabeth Opelt, Adriana Stewart and Kayla Wilmot who will all compete this year in middle school action.
On the boy’s side, they look to be led by returners: Zach Kostka, Blake Prince, Bishop Peterson, Jac West, Pete West Elijah Hendrick Eli Rogers, Nicholas Sovacool and Ethan Stewart. Prince and Stewart were both all-conference runners last year in the Heart O’ North for the Jacks as Stewart was also the team most valuable runner as a freshman a year ago. Mitchell Lehman is the lone newcomer this year for the Jacks as he enters his sophomore season. “After a disappointing fourth place finish at Sectionals last season which saw the boys team failing to qualify for the State Meet by only 9 points, that same team of boys is hoping to get another chance at qualifying this season. This season will mark the 50th anniversary of the last time the Ladysmith Boys CC team qualified for the State Meet. Our boy’s team brings back a lot of experience from last season, while still being a relatively young team. The entire team is made up of juniors and sophomores. Expect to see some great accomplishments out of this team and some of the individuals on the team this season,” coach Ebner pointed out.
The Jack’s middle school team this year will consist of Andrew Lehman, Dane Prohaska, Gavin Stewart, Isaiah Basham, Isaiah Kini, Nolan Poswitz and Cade Eichner.
Both the boys and girl’s teams are set to kick off the season on Sept. 3 at home as they get set to take the course as they take on Barron, Bloomer, Cameron and Hayward.