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Published by APG Media of Wisconsin, LLC, 2019-10-28 16:57:56

Buckshot | April 2019

Buckshot | April 2019

Keywords: sports

APRIL 2019




- Fall Creek’s Cline showing exactly why he’s Division I bound
- Five questions with new Eau Claire Memorial girls soccer coach Olivia Hanson
- Former Menomonie Mustang Davidson returned to Chippewa Valley with Steel



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4: Bloomer’s Isabella Jenneman back on the
diamond after quick recovery from ACL tear
7: Five questions with new Eau Claire
Memorial girls soccer coach Olivia Hanson
8: Posterized: Menomonie’s Devin Williams
10: Fall Creek’s Marcus Cline showing why
he’s a Division I baseball talent
12: Former Menomonie Mustang Chase
Davidson returned to area with Steel
14: Virginia’s NCAA title has ties to Eau Claire
thanks to the Bennetts


Virginia head coach Tony Bennett celebrates with fans after the championship game against Texas Tech in the
Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 8, in Minneapolis.

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Bloomer’s Isabella Jenneman ready to slug again
after beating odds in ACL return

LOOMER — It was just a routine pop-up down the first base foul line. Bloomer
first basemen Isabella Jenneman was shading over into foul territory to make the
catch. Camped under it, the ball hit her glove, then she felt a jolting pain rush
through her knee.
“I could feel it pop as it twisted,” Isabella said. “Instant pain and it just swelled up.”
Looking on, Isabella’s mother, Becky, said she could feel her daughter’s pain. Twen-
ty-five years earlier, she went down grabbing her knee in a high school basketball game,
and now, she watched as her daughter lay on the ground, crying as her knee quickly
began to swell up.

“It kind of looked like a balloon,” Isabella said. “I couldn’t walk on it.”
Her coach, Keith Poirier, came out of the dugout to check on his star slugger.
“I waited for her to get up and she didn’t get up,” Poirier remembered. “She said her
knee hurt, but I told her to walk it off, but it was a lot more serious than it looked. You
wouldn’t have believed it was just one of the most innocent plays ever.”
Her father, Brady Jenneman, said the moment was “heart sinking.” He watched as his
daughter tried to hobble back to her base.
Not realizing the severity of what had just transpired, Isabella bandaged up her knee
and decided to bare through the pain for the rest of the inning. Between innings, it be-
came too much and she decided she needed to come out.
“She said she felt like her leg was in two pieces,” Becky Jenneman said.
After the game, a 9-3 victory over Cumberland on May 8, 2018, the Jennemans decided
they needed to take their daughter to the hospital. X-rays on her knee came back nega-
tive, but doctors wanted to run some more tests. There, Isabella’s fears were confirmed.
Just like her mother 25 years prior, Isabella tore through her ACL.
“I instantly started crying,” Isabella said. “I knew softball was over with and I didn’t know
if I would make it back to basketball right away.”


Bloomer’s Isabella Jenneman stands vigilant at first base during a softball game at Eau Claire
North on April 8.



Bloomer’s Isabella
Jenneman swings during
a softball game at Eau
Claire North on April 8.

ACL tears are one of sports most wanted to get off of them, they Buy OFnRe EGeEt One Buy OFnRe EGeEt One
dreaded injuries. Typically rehab takes weren’t comfortable, I couldn’t move Taco or Burrito Breakfast Burrito
about a year before athletes are back around well.”
to normal. The doctors told her she Purchase any taco or burrito at regular price and Purchase any breakfast burrito at regular price
would need at least eight months to Once she was back on her feet, the get one of equal or lesser value FREE. and get one of equal or lesser value FREE.
get back to sports. therapy really got started.
poVEarrxilooippdrffiitearorerte.pspsLua:irrm5ctih/ictai1posan5ete./inNc1goo9uTtapvcoaonlidJpoewhrintch’su.asntPoyrmeosether,enprtecdroisvucipsooiutn.nt EVoparrxxilooippdrfifiteraorerte.pspsLu:airrm5ctih/ictai1posa5nete./in1Ncgoo9uTtapvcoaonlidJpoewhrintch’su.asntPoyrmeosether,enprtecdroisvucipsooiutn.nt
“Her biggest fear was that she “I was kind of rushing myself
wasn’t going to be able to play sports honestly,” she said. “My therapist even ©2019 TACO JOHN’S INTERNATIONAL, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©2019 TACO JOHN’S INTERNATIONAL, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
again,” Becky said. said I was going a little too fast. … I
just wanted to get back.”
So, Isabella got to work rehabbing.
“The first six weeks I had to be on She was determined to get back
crutches, and that was the longest for the start of basketball season, two
six weeks of my life,” she said. “I just months before her original eight-
month timetable.


STAFF PHOTO BY SPENCER FLATEN “She had it in her mind that she was not
going to miss basketball or softball this year,”
Bloomer’s Isabella Jenneman looks for a shot while Regis’ Teryn Karlstad defends on Thursday, Feb. 14, in Eau Claire. Becky said.

On November 20, Isabella proved the doc-
tors wrong and walked out onto the court
at Elk Mound for Bloomer’s season season

Again, her father watched nervously as
his daughter ran up and down the court. He
said it was a physical game and Isabella was
playing tough in the post. And then, she lost
her footing and fell to the ground.

“My heart jumped out of my chest,” Brady

For a moment, it looked like Isabella had
come back too quickly. But, she rose back up,
shook out her knee, and finished the game
unscathed, leading the Blackhawks to a 41-
30 victory over Elk Mound with a team-high
10 points.

“I almost had tears in my eyes,” Becky said.
“We knew how hard she worked. She wanted
it, and she got it.”

After a successful basketball season, Isa-
bella turned her attention to softball as the
Blackhawks took a trip down to Florida to get
in some preseason games in late March.

“The first game you could tell that she was
apprehensive about the knee and pressing a
little bit at the plate,” Poirier said. “She didn’t
have a really good first game out there, kind
of let it all mentally come in and she broke
down a little bit.”

She went 0 for 3 with a walk and three
strikeouts in the first game, a 6-5 loss to
Dublin Jerome.

After the game she called home and spoke
to her mother who encouraged her to put
her brace back on to help get over the men-
tal hurtle of stepping back out onto the field.

She didn’t listen. Once again, she took
the diamond without the brace. This time
though, the results were different. She start-
ed the game 1 for 3 with a run and a walk.

Tied 8-8 in the bottom of the ninth against
La Crosse Aquinas, her four-spot came up in
the order. With Rylee Luzinski looking in from
second, Isabella rocked a walk-off double to
take the 9-8 victory.

The hit was vintage Isabella. Last season,
she hit four home runs and had 25 RBIs
before the injury. This year, she’s expected to
be the Blackhawks’ slugger and once again
hit fourth and play first.

Now, 11 months after she fell to the
ground grabbing her knee, Jenneman says
she is ready for one last season and a chance
to lead the Blackhawks to a conference title
and a trip to Madison.



By Jack Goods

Just four years ago, Olivia Hanson was running up and down the Eau Claire
Memorial soccer field as a player.

Now, she’s already the head coach of the program before even graduating
from UW-Eau Claire, taking over for Scott DeRusha this season. She’s experi-
enced an incredibly quick rise, first joining the Abes as a JV assistant three years
ago. She spent one year last season as head JV coach before getting another
promotion. The former Big Rivers player of the year is now in charge of a team
that’s won seven straight conference titles at 21 years old.

Hanson is our featured member of the prep scene in this month’s Five-point
Buckshot, a monthly Q&A with an influential person in the Chippewa Valley prep
sports community.

With your limited time as an assistant, do you find there’s a lot to learn
about being a head coach?

The nice thing is that I’ve gotten to work with so many different coaches. I’ve
kind of gotten to experience different styles in the way that I’ve developed my
philosophy. It’s been quick. When you look at it it’s really been only four years,
but the amount that I’ve learned in that short period of time has been immense.
I guess time doesn’t exactly determine knowledge.

Do you feel it is easy to connect with players since you were in their shoes

Seeing that I was an Old Abe, I bleed purple, honestly I’ve been an Old Abe
since I graduated, I think that helps me make a connection with not only the
girls and the school but the community as well. I’ve had so many different op-
portunities, even outside of school.

Many young coaches who get their first break start with a rebuilding pro- Staff photo by Spencer Flaten
gram, but you inherit an established one. Seems like you really lucked out. Eau Claire Memorial girls soccer coach Olivia Hanson (middle, pointing)
instructs players during a practice on April 12 at Memorial.
I have inherited a very supportive group of people. Between the family and
girls and the overall program, everyone has been there to support me with ev-
erything and anything I needed, as well as my assistant coach and my JV coach.
It’s more of a family aspect.

With prior experience working with the previous staff, is there anything
you’re expecting to change?

A lot of the things I have stepped into, I agree a lot with what Scott has done
in the past. We’re going to do a different formation this year, kind of just testing
things out because I didn’t get to work with the girls. He was a phenomenal
coach. I’m definitely stepping into some big shoes there. Every time you get a
new coach you just take a new perspective.

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My cooperating teacher has been really good about making my schedule
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It’s going to be a good transition because I’m going to be looking for a job in
the Eau Claire district, so it will be a nice little practice before the real thing. It’s
multitasking at its finest, but who isn’t doing that?





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Marcus Cline pitches against Osseo-Fairchild
during a baseball game on April 16 in Osseo.


Cline’s scorching-hot start showing
why he’s Division I-bound

BY SPENCER FLATEN ing new for Cline. He was an honorable PHOTO BY SPENCER NICKEL
LEADER-TELEGRAM STAFF mention all-district selection last year, and
was a second team All-Western Cloverbelt Fall Creek’s Marcus Cline surveys the field during a game against Osseo-Fairchild on April 16 in Osseo.
T here was no shortage of Conference pick as a sophomore after
Division I college base- earning honorable mention as a fresh- STOP IN AFTER P-NTuutei-ssDdaayy!
ball programs vying to man. THE GAME!
secure the services of Marcus
Cline. The recruiting interest began two years OPEN TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY - CLOSED MONDAYS
ago at a prospect camp in Madison. It in-
Minnesota. Central Michigan. North Da- tensified after he joined the GRB Rays trav- 7 1 5 . 8 7 7.9 9 1 1 VISA & MASTERCARD ACCEPTED
kota State. Gonzaga. Valparaiso. Just a few el baseball program last summer, bringing
of the schools that wanted to have the Fall him all over the country to play in front of FRIDAY NIGHT FISH FRY Best Burgers Around! LET US HELP WITH
Creek infielder suit up in their colors. scouts and college coaches. Hand-Battered or Baked Cod YOUR CATERING NEEDS!

His play to start his senior season is In the end, he decided to play for Wis- and Choice of 2 Sides Join Ribs • Chicken • Pulled Pork
showing exactly why he was such a hot consin’s only Division I program: UW-Mil- us for Potato Salad • Coleslaw • And More!
commodity. waukee. 5 pm to 10 pm
WEEKDAY LUNCH Graduation Parties - Team Parties
Through the Crickets’ first six games this “I really liked the team chemistry that $9.75 & DINNER SPECIALS Class Reunions - Birthdays
spring, he hit .688 with four extra-base they had there, and they’re getting a new Anniversaries - Weddings
hits and 14 RBIs. Through 16 at-bats, he field, which is nice,” Cline said. “I feel like
was only retired five times. it was a place where I can fit in right away Tuesday Chicken & Gravy FOR ALL OCCASIONS!
and make an impact as a freshman.” over biscuits
He’s also worked the count regularly. He
drew seven walks in the team’s first five He’s seen an increase in his power at Wednesday Pork on Potatoes
games, good for an average of over one the plate this spring, the result of a lot of with gravy & vegetable
per game. work over the offseason. He hit two triples Thursday Beef Tips & gravy over
and a home run in the first five games, potatoes, corn & bread
“I’m just relaxed at the plate,” Cline said. meaning a third of his hits to start the year Friday Prime Rib sandwich
“Just waiting for my pitch, looking to take were for extra bases. with two sides
it up the middle or go with it wherever it
goes.” “I got all the power I could out of my CALL FOR TAKE OUT ORDERS
swing,” Cline said. “It comes from the lower
He had high expectations coming into half and upper half. It all works together.”
the spring, but hitting nearly .700 exceed-
ed even what he thought his start to the In addition to leading by example —
year could be. although most players would be hard-
pressed to replicate the scorching-hot
And it’s not just at the plate where he’s form Cline is in — the four-year varsity
impressing. In those first six games, he player is part of a solid leadership group
pitched to a 3-0 record with a 0.47 ERA that has helped the Crickets start the
and 26 strikeouts in 14.2 innings. season unbeaten.

While he’s more at home at the plate, “I think when he made the decision
Cline said he’s got a good feel for his to go to UW-Milwaukee, he just became
pitches — his repertoire includes a fast- more relaxed. He hasn’t been trying to do
ball, curveball, changeup and slider — to too much with each plate appearance,
start the year as well. That much has been and again, that rubs off,” Johnson said.
evident so far.
Fall Creek began the season as the No.
“He’s comfortable in any situation,” Fall 10-ranked team in Division 3, and have
Creek coach Mike Johnson said. “Already proved why with wins in their first six
as an 18-year-old kid, he’s been in so games.
many baseball situations that he handles
it all with class. And that rubs off on his With a two-way player as solid as Cline
teammates, too.” to lead the way, the Crickets see a lot of
potential in the next couple of months.
Being a standout varsity player is noth-
“I want to keep going and keep getting
even better,” Cline said.



Former Mustang gets chance to come
home, path to staying close


Chase Davidson’s chance of a dreamlike return to the
Chippewa Valley seemed dashed a few weeks into the
Chippewa Steel’s first season.

The former Menomonie Mustang was moved back to
the area in the offseason when his previous team, the
Johnstown Tomahawks, traded him to the recently relo-
cated franchise. He appreciated his opportunity to move
away, discover his independence and learn the ropes of
the junior hockey circuit with Johnstown, but said if he
was going to be traded anywhere he was hoping for a

But a week and a half into the season, his time with the
Steel was cut short. Steel general manager and head coach
Al Rooney informed him the team would be moving on.

“After that I didn’t really know what to do,” Davidson
said. “Should I even keep playing?”

Thankfully he did, and after the Steel parted ways with
Rooney in November, Davidson decided to give new interim
head coach Carter Foguth a call.

“I knew they had some defensemen that were hurt and he
had let a couple of guys go,” Davidson said. “I thought it would
be a good opportunity because he originally liked me.”

Unbeknownst to Davidson, Foguth was looking for
someone who fit exactly his description, a veteran defen-
seman, as he worked to change the roster midway through
the year. Foguth was about to call him the same night
Davidson took the plunge.

“We were young on the back end, so I was definitely look-
ing for a guy like Chase who had not only played a lot in the
league previously but just his style of play,” Foguth said. “He
was a bigger, shutdown defenseman that played hard and
was tough to play against. That’s what I was looking for.”

So in December Davidson returned to get his homecom-
ing after all, which concluded April 6 when the Steel closed
their season against the Minnesota Magicians. He returned
refreshed and ready to make one final statement in juniors.

After Davidson was cut, he took a few weeks away from
the game to reassess, which included a bowhunting trip.
Then he found a new home, spending 17 games with the
South Shore Kings of the National Collegiate Development
Conference, a division of the United States Premier Hockey
League made up of teams from the Northeast United
States. While playing out of Foxboro, Mass., Davidson
notched a goal and three assists and tuned up the mental
side of his game.

“Their coaching staff has been great,” Da-
“I think going out to that other league vidson said of his decision. “Their rink and
helped me get some confidence back,” athletic facility is probably one of the nicest
Davidson said. in all of DIII hockey. ... Obviously being close
to home, they’ve got a good business pro-
The results on the ice weren’t spectacular gram and I know a few guys on the team.
in the Steel’s first season in the area. Chippe- Tuition, you can’t beat the tuition.”
wa went 19-38-2-1, but Davidson personally He’s spending the rest of the spring and
provided what Foguth expected. He wasn’t the beginning of the summer in the area
a heavy point-producer, notching a goal training and working for his mom in the
and five assists in 32 games, but still made insurance business at American Family
an impact defensively. Insurance.
With his decision to play in the WIAC,
“He was exactly what I was looking for Davidson will have the opportunity to
when we originally reached out to him,” Fo- truly return home when the Falcons travel
guth said. “That’s exactly what we needed.” to Fanneti Ice Arena to meet UW-Stout in
Menomonie. It’s a rink filled with memories,
One perk of playing so close to your some on the ice and others in the stands.
hometown is not needing a billet family, “I grew up going to all the Stout games,”
as Davidson instead commuted from his Davidson said. “I remember way back when
family home. With that, two of his worlds when they used to pack the rink and they
were colliding. would have bonfires in the parking lot. It
was crazy.”
“You almost have to kind of balance As for the Steel, they’re moving forward
things,” he said. “When you’re at home with Foguth after taking the interim tag off
you’re so used to hanging out with your of him earlier this month. The young roster
normal friends and seeing your family all he bolstered with Davidson is now filled
the time. During the season, the hockey’s with players with NAHL experience.
really your first priority. That’s one thing I “I got to kind of get my feet wet in terms
really had to adjust to.” of how I run things and the way we want to
do things around there,” Foguth said. “I’m
It took a bit of luck to get Davidson back excited for next year to start out with those
in the area, but he’s staying close for the guys and work our way up and see what we
next few years on his own volition. The tow- can do.”
ering blueliner announced his commitment
to UW-River Falls on March 20, putting him
only 43 miles from Menomonie. He believes
getting that second chance in the NAHL
this year benefited him as he looked for his
college home.

PHOTO BY BRANDEN NALL Hwy 53 to Hwy 29 East
Take the Seymour Cray Blvd Exit
Menomonie native Chase Davidson reacts to a play in a game against the Springfield Jr. Blues
on March 8 at Chippewa Area Ice Arena. - 715-723-6060



Virginia’s Tony Bennett spent early years here
while father Dick coached Memorial


Virginia head coach Tony Bennett celebrates after cutting down the net following the championship game against Texas Tech, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Minneapolis.

If you watched the college basket- through miracle after miracle, to the NCAA title with where he had fashioned a nice
ball championship game on April 8, an 85-77 overtime win over Texas Tech in the Twin team in his first coaching assign-
you probably saw the camera focus Cities. ment. For Bennett, the Old Abe job
in on Dick Bennett and wife Ann in offered a challenge – to keep it at
the stands from time to time. That brought the game close to home. a top state level and take it to the
Yes, this is the same Dick Bennett who came here next step.
They, of course, are the parents of Virginia Coach at age 29 to take the Eau Claire Memorial job and go
Tony Bennett, who guided the Cavaliers, somehow on to lay the foundation for his successful collegiate He did that.
career. But it was a stepladder job. His first
And yes, this is the same Tony Bennett who attend- team in 1972-73 went 16-5 but was
ed grade school here. shocked in regional play by Chetek
Dick Bennett came here from New London, 55-53.


Ayear later, in what many consider one of the greatest STAFF FILE PHOTO
teams in school history, the Abes went 20-2, but were
stunned by a last second basket in the sectional at Former Eau Claire Memorial coach Dick Bennett coached the Old Abes for the first time in the 1972-73 season.
Marshfield and lost to Marshfield.
The 1975 team went 21-1 and finally made it to the state
tournament, but lost its opener in disappointing fashion to
Janesville Craig, coach by former city star Stan Dufrane.

And his final Abe team in 1976 went 17-1 during the regular
season but wasn’t considered a title threat with its tallest
regular standing 6-2.

But fate was on Bennett’s side this time. Tim Bakken’s 20-
foot bank shot with five seconds to go beat Sussex Hamilton
in the opener and the next night, it was Kirk Etten’s 10-footer
from the baseline with four seconds left that upset towering

The Old Abes were in the finals but looking up, they saw 6-9
Kurt Nymphius, who would go on to a long NBA career, and
unbeaten South Milwaukee looking down at them.

It was the type of situation that Bennett thrived on.
To no one’s surprise, South Milwaukee built its lead to 11 in
the second half. Here come the Abes. Etten’s basket with 6:55
to play actually gave them the lead at 41-40. Nymphius erased
that in a matter of seconds with a 3-point play to make it 43-41.
Memorial had the answer. Bakken’s 22-foot jumper tied it at
43-43 with 5:50 to play and the Abes put the ball on ice. They
had a chance several minutes later but a missed free throw
boomeranged into Nymphius’ winning basket from short range
with 46 seconds to play.
The Abes, who had captured the hearts of the fans with their
David-vs.-Goliath effort, missed a couple shots in the fading
They lost – at least on the scoreboard. But the gutsy effort
made them winners elsewhere.
Destined for bigger things, Bennett was off the next season
to UW-Stevens Point to launch his collegiate career that would
eventually take him to the Final Four with Wisconsin’s Badgers.
But that may not have happened if he had taken his father’s
After the Abes’ crushing sectional loss to Marshfield in 1973,
the locker room was full of tears.
A distraught Bennett wiped his away and said:
“My dad was just in here with two words of advice,” he said.
After seeing the condition his son was in, Dad told Son, “Quit
It was one of the few times he disobeyed his father. And
basketball is better off for it.

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