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Paths to state released for WIAA spring 2021 sports teams

After canceling the 2020 spring season and tournaments, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association plans to try again in 2021 and has released its assignments for next year’s post-season.

_ In softball, sectionals were broken down into half-brackets in 2020, but the 2021 assignments do not show that.

In Division 2, Medford’s sectional shows some significant changes as five teams move in and four move out compared to the 2020 tournament that never happened.

Altoona, La Crosse Logan, Somerset, Sparta and West Salem replace Clintonville, New London, Shawano and Waupaca to create a 20-team sectional that covers a large geographical area stretching from La Crosse to Hayward to Rhinelander. Mosinee is set to host the sectional final on June 3.

In Division 5, there’s only one addition to the northwest-based Athens sectional, but it’s a big one as Thorp drops down from Division 4. The Cardinals’ last game was a 2019 WIAA state semifinal game in Madison.

Thorp brings another traditionallystrong team to a sectional that already features 2019 champion Gilman, Mc-Donell Central, Athens and Hurley as perennial powers. Rib Lake remains in the bracket as well.

_ There are some minor changes from what 2020 would’ve looked like in baseball. Medford remains in a Division 2 regional with 2019 state champion Antigo, Abbotsford-Colby, Merrill, Mosinee, Northland Pines and Rhinelander. The only changes in the entire 41-team Rice Lake sectional are the addition of Barron in Regional B and the subtraction of Mauston in Regional C.

In the Division 4 Athens sectional, Rib Lake and Gilman remain in Regional A, which gets a bit tougher with the addition of Athens. Butternut-Mercer, Owen-Withee, Prentice and Thorp fill out the regional.

There is some shuffling in the sectional’s other three regionals. The most noteworthy change may be Pittsville’s move to the Almond-Bancroft sectional as the Panthers trade places with Tigerton. Crivitz bumps out to Division 3.

_ Medford remains the assigned host of a WIAA Division 3 girls soccer sectional final, set for Saturday, June 12 at Raider Field.

The assignments do not show a halfbracket breakdown. The 16-team sectional field includes Antigo, who was a Division 2 team when the last tournament was held in 2019 and Amery, who was in Division 4 at that time. Ashland was the 2019 sectional champion, while sectional qualifiers Rice Lake and Lakeland remain in the field as well.

_ The WIAA is seeking a host for the Division 2 track and field regional but the sectional will again be held in Mosinee as it was in 2019 and was planned for 2020. The nine-team regional field Medford is in loses Rhinelander, who bumps back to Division 1, and gains Stanley-Boyd, who jumps from Division 3. Antigo, Lakeland, Mosinee, Northland Pines, Stratford, Tomahawk and Wittenberg- Birnamwood complete the regional field.

The only other sectional change is the addition of La Crosse Logan in the West Salem regional. The Rangers drop down from Division 1.

Gilman again hosts a Division 3 regional on Monday, May 24. Like 2019, the meet will include 11 teams, including Rib Lake. Stanley-Boyd and Abbotsford move out, while Bruce and Flambeau move in. The rest are Athens, Cadott, Ladysmith, Lake Holcombe-Cornell, Owen-Withee and Prentice.

Cameron hosts the sectional meet on May 27.

_ Medford’s Division 2 boys tennis subsectional changes a bit from what it would’ve been in 2020. Rhinelander bumps out to Division 1, which should favor the Raiders and Black River Falls shifts to the other subsectional, hosted by West Salem. Altoona and Eau Claire Regis, however, replace them and figure to bring in some solid players to the tournament. Newman Catholic dropped out of the tournament last week, creating a seven-team subsectional that still needs a host. Antigo, Ashland, Lakeland and Stevens Point Pacelli remain.

La Crosse Logan, the 2019 sectional champion, and La Crosse Aquinas headline the West Salem subsectional. Altoona hosts the sectional.

_ Medford’s path to state in golf is the same as it would have been in 2020. The nine-team regional meet, hosted by Northwestern at Hidden Greens North in Solon Springs, features Ashland, Hayward, Lakeland, Northland Pines, Rice Lake, Spooner and Tomahawk. The sectional meet is at Skyline Golf Course in Black River Falls. Spring Valley-Elmwood is added to the Somerset regional, while Bloomer moves from Somerset to the Arcadia regional, which also adds Stanley-Boyd and loses West Salem and Nekoosa.

The state meet won’t be held until June 18-19 at University Ridge just outside of Madison to accommodate the 2021 American Family Insurance Champions PGA Tour event.