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View from the cheap seats

View from the cheap seats View from the cheap seats

A weekly perspective on sports

I recall telling former Athens cross country runner Doug Riske that I would interview him after the WIAA Division 3 cross country sectional race on Oct. 25, had the Athens boy’s cross country team qualified for state for the first time in 51 years since Riske’s 1968 team accomplished this feat.

The Athens boy’s cross country team fell short of its goal of qualifying for state, however, therefore I never interviewed Riske. He is a proud Athens alum who can often be seen cheering for the school’s boys and girls cross country team during its home races with his good friend, Marathon native Allan “Fish” Stieber, who now lives in Owen.

It just so happens Athens senior cross country runner Johnathon Nowacki achieved his goal of making it on the podium in the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School gym, after placing 10th at the WIAA Division 3 state championships on Saturday. Nowacki is the first Athens boy’s cross country runner to place in the top 10 at state since Riske accomplished it during the 1967 and 1968 seasons.

Riske took third place in 1967 and second in 1968 in the state championship races. He was a member of the Athens boy’s cross country teams to qualify for state three straight seasons in 1966 through 1968. Riske’s coach was Jake Rogaczewski, who founded the Athens cross country program. Jake’s grandson and Johnathon’s cousin, Nicholas Rogaczewski, competed as an individual at the state cross country championship for two straight seasons before he graduated high school last spring.


Stratford’s football team is chasing the state record for most points scored in a full season, which is held by the 2015 Amherst team that scored 736 points, for an average of 52.67 points per game, in its 14-game season.

The 2015 Amherst squad was led by current Wisconsin Badgers football junior players Garett Groshek and Tyler Biadasz. The pair of great high school football players helped the Falcons win WIAA Division 5 state championships in the 2015 and 2016 seasons before they graduated high school.

I remember covering the Marathon boy’s basketball team’s loss to Amherst in the 2016 WIAA Division 4 sectional final at Appleton East High School. Groshek was a good point guard and Biadasz was a stout post player on that Falcons’ team, which lost to Cameron a state semifinal game that season.

This Friday, I’ll be covering the Edgar football team’s WIAA Division 7 Level 3 home football game against Gilman in person. Robin Rosemeyer played on Gilman’s 1986 state championship football team and he’s been the Pirates’ head football coach for many years. Gilman upset undefeated Almond- Bancroft, 35-15, last week.

Casey Krautkramer Reporter The Record-Review