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Langeness, Widiker are new St. Croix Central varsity coaches

Chance Langeness and Mindy Widiker will be new varsity coaches at St. Croix Central this fall.

Langeness, a St. Croix Central Middle School teacher, will take over the Panther girls golf program. Widiker, a new teacher at the St. Croix Central Elementary School, will become the Panther varsity volleyball coach.


Langeness joined the SCC teaching staff in 2009. He’s coached several junior high teams and is currently the Panthers’ junior varsity softball coach.

“My first coaching job (at Central) was eighth grade girls basketball. It was such a positive experience,” he said.

Langeness has been looking for more coaching involvement at the high school level and the girls golf program was an ideal fit.

“Golf is my passion, my first love,” Langeness said.

Langeness said one of his goals is to start a youth clinic or youth program for St. Croix Central students to get more kids into the golf program.

Langeness is a graduate of Luck High School. His family moved to Luck in 1993 and Langeness played varsity golf for three years, helping the Cardinals win regional and conference titles.

While in college at UW-Madison, Langeness spent his summers working at the Luck Country Club. He created the junior golf program at Luck, serving as an instructor, organizing activities and the teaching team.

After graduating from college, Langeness taught in Arizona for five years before getting hired at Central.

A love of sports started early for Langeness. His family, which includes five brothers, moved around a lot. His younger brother, Cash, was a standout at Luck who went on to play quarterback for the University of Minnesota-Duluth football team.

“The six of us were always together playing sports,” Chance said.


Widiker brings a legacy of success to the Panther volleyball program.

She coached at Webster High School the past 14 years. In 13 of those seasons, her Webster team finished above the .500 level. Twice her team reached the WIAA tournament sectional finals, only to lose to Eau Claire Regis.

Widiker has spent the summer getting to know her new players at Central. They’ve already made a strong impression on her, with their hard work in open gyms and in the weight room. Widiker used a recent Sunday as an example. Her players spent the day at a volleyball camp in Eau Claire. That night, six of the players were back playing in a Panther open gym.

“From the beginning of the summer, I’ve seen improvement,” Widiker said about watching her new team. “That’s the whole goal, to see improvement.”

Widiker’s teams at Webster were known for strong basic skills. Her goal is to build that type of team at Central.

“I’d like to be fundamentally strong in all areas, if possible. We’ll work a lot on fundamentals and basic skills,” she said.

Widiker said she tries to build her team each year to best fit the athletes she has on the team. She said if the players are available, she favors working out of a 6-2 formation if possible.

Widiker, the wife of St. Croix Central School District Administrator Tim Widiker, is beginning a new job at Central this fall. After serving as a 5-12 physical education teacher at Webster, she has been hired at Central to teach physical education and health for grades K-4.

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.
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