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Nicks, Brynn Rau, Rachel Mudgett, ….

Nicks, Brynn Rau, Rachel Mudgett, Emily Schafer and Delani Clausnitzer but also had roles filled by a fair share of youth. With three quality pitchers and an improving offense, the Raiders are now a team looking to do damage as an unknown in its new northwest sectional half-bracket.

Thursday’s schedule included the third and final round of the GNC’s girls soccer tournament. I’m thinking today’s matchup is against Ashland, Rhinelander, Northland Pines or maybe Lakeland as the Raiders earned an upper-division finish in round-robin play under firstyear head coach Chris Reardon. Led by a core group of four returning seniors and three returning juniors, the Raiders are confidently kicking through a winning season, which ends the day after Memorial Day at Regis-McDonell. The post-season starts June 4, and with Rhinelander back in the D3 bracket after a one-year hiatus, a return trip to the sectional final will have to be earned.

This week’s schedule includes GNC golf meets at Rhinelander Tuesday and Northland Pines Thursday. There’s one more next week at Antigo before postseason competition starts June 2. Senior Kaleb Voight and sophomore Caleb Heckel are doing their best to play their way into All-GNC status.

The calendar page doesn’t show it, but I’m envisioning Medford’s boys tennis team picking up a meet this week in preparation for the WIAA D2 post-season run that starts the day after Memorial Day at the Black River Falls subsectional. With a lot of experienced depth that developed under head coach Jake Bucki a year ago, the Raiders are the GNC’s most improved team this spring and were part of a threeway battle for first with Rhinelander and Antigo all the way through the GNC tournament last weekend. With all of that success, now I can see why spring is suddenly almost over. Time flies when you’re having fun –– or not.

Matt Frey is the Sports Editor at The Star News.