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Somerset girls basketball earns state academic honors

The Somerset girls basketball team shows off its medals for being named the Division 3 All-State Academic Team by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association.

During the second half of the 2017-18 season, the Somerset girls basketball team was one of the most improved teams in the area.

That may be a direct correlation to the work the Spartans produce in the classroom.

Last week it was announced that the Spartans were named the 2017-18 Division 3 All-State Academic Team by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. Not only did the Spartans win that state award, but their team 3.99 grade point average ties for the highest team GPA since the WBCA began awarding this honor in 2010. The 2017-18 Division 5 girls team from Kickapoo is the only other team honored by the WBCA to earn a 3.99 GPA.

The grade point figures are based on the students’ work in the current school year. Somerset coach Cory Lindenberg said the thought of nominating the team came when assistant coach Katie Francis, a SHS guidance counselor, was doing a grade check early in the season. Francis figured the team’s weighted GPA, because many of the girls are in AP or honors classes. When the 3.99 total was produced, the coaches decided to apply for the team honor.

The Spartans were an incredibly young team last winter, with just one girl returning with significant varsity playing time. The team started slowly, but ended by winning six of its final nine regular season games. Lindenberg said that’s where the girls’ academic skills paid dividends.

“To succeed in academics, some of it is smarts, but it’s knowing how to manage a class, how to manage their time. It shows up in their ability to process what they’re being told and to process what other teams are doing,” he said. “They’re able to handle big ideas and handle the game at a schematic level.”

Lindenberg said the girls’ comprehension abilities allowed the coaches to feed them heavy amounts of information and the girls could quickly process the information and put it to use on the court.

The girls whose combined scholastic efforts earned the honor include Anna Rybacki, Tori Gareis, Georgia Hammer, Liv Hoff, Eve Goldstein, Sophia Rivard, Madisen Beuthling, Taylor Paulson, Danielle Schachtner and Rachel Gaikowski.

Boys golf

Five area golfers were also recognized for their academic work by the the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin.

Jake Wittstock and Dominic Abbott of Somerset were honored for their academic work. So were Mason Bohatta, Jordan Woyda and Zach Anderson of St. Croix Central. To be honored, students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25, participate in at least 75 percent of a team’s matches, and be a sophomore, junior or senior.

The GCAW honored 375 golfers from 128 school districts this spring.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

(715) 426-1051
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