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Area students named WIAA Scholar-Athletes

By Derick Kelly


Blackhawks Special Olympics Basketball takes State Title in three game sweep

Aiden Knight executes amazing form when putting up a jump shot in the final game of the playoff tournament Sunday, April 16, at U.W. Oshkosh. (Contributed photo)

By Melissa R. Collum

The Blackhawks Special Olympics basketball team took first place at the state basketball tournament held at UW - Oshkosh Kolf Sports Center this past weekend. Andy Banasik, Prairie du Chien  Superintendent/Athletic Director had the following to say about the Blackhawks victory. “Awesome to see our students here from Bluffivew and the players who graduated come back. It is great to see how they all work together. Winning a championship, it is a great feeling for all of them. This is our only 2023 state championship team in Prairie right now!”

The nine member team, lead by head Coach Becky Brunning played three games, triumphing in each. Tyler Henry made the first basket of every game and according to Burnning, “set the pace for all the games and everyone followed the lead.”


State tournament bound Blackhawks Special Olympics Basketball

Aiden Knight takes a free throw shot during a scrimmage game. (Melissa R. Collum/Courier Press)

The entire Prairie du Chien special Olympics basketball team and their coaches are heading to state tournament play on April 15-16 in Oshkosh. (Melissa R. Collum)

By Melissa R Collum


Prairie du Chien/River Ridge/Seneca girls soccer win season opener

Prairie du Chien’s Jasmine Olmstead (#4) looks to get the ball past the Galena/East Dubuque defender to teammate Allison Mathies (9). (Debbie Padilla-Kruk photo)

Blackhawk Tessa Czajkowski Higgins battles a Galena/East Dubuque player for possession of the ball match at Galena/East Dubuque last Thursday, March 30. (Debbie Padilla-Kruk photo)

On March 28th, the Prairie du Chien/River Ridge/Seneca Hawks Girls soccer team hosted the Aquinas Blue-Golds for a non-conference match and the season opener for both teams. Due to field conditions at the PDC High School stadium, the matches were played at Bluffview Middle School in PDC.
In varsity action, the Hawks started the season strong, beating the Blue-Golds 2-1. The game started off well for the Hawks, with the Hawks possessing the ball well in the first half. In the 24th minute, Aquinas committed a handball in the box, giving the Hawks a penalty kick. Tessa Czajkowski Higgins took the penalty kick and connected, giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead. In the 32nd minute, Aquinas answered, sending a nice pass through the middle of the penalty box which resulted in a goal. The teams went into halftime tied 1-1.


Blackhawk track teams off to strong start

The PDC Track team kicked off the spring sports season indoors at the 16 team Tri-State large school invite hosted at UW-Platteville this Friday. While teams ease their way into the season with these indoor meets, it’s a great way to see where you are at against some great D1 and tough SWC schools.
The PDC girls came looking to prove last year’s 2nd place performance was not a fluke, and the boys came looking to have a day of their own against some great competition.  
The girls were able to squeak past Waunakee for a 2nd place finish with 56.50 points, despite missing a large number of our athletes. The boys competed, but not to the level they wanted coming in 8th with 33 points.


Blackhawk Special Olympics Basketball advance to State

Pictured are the state bound Blackhawk Special Olympic basketball team. Back row (l-r) Justin Miller, Ole Peterson, Kevin Thien, Tyler Henry, and Ashton Graham. Front row: L-r Sara Ragels, Damon West, Matt Chase, and Aiden Knight. (Contributed photo)

Damon West makes a fast break against the Fond du lac Champions at the March 19 game. Ashton Graham on the assist. (Contributed photo

The Prairie du Chien Special Olympics basketball team came in 3rd in Stevens Point in tournament play this past weekend. The first game was against the Fond du lac Champions, we lost 41-35. The second game was against the Red Birds with the Blackhawks  victory 34-22 . The team is advancing to Oshkosh on April 14/15 for State!


PdC Special Olympics basketball take regionals

PdC Special Olympics team pictured after their win in Verona on March 5 (l-r) Damon West, Kevin Thein (back), Brett Kramer, Ashton Graham (back), Tyler Henry (back), Sara Ragels, Aiden Knight, Matt Chase, Justin Miller, Ole Peterson (Contributed photo)

The PdC Special Olympics team played in Verona Regional Tournament on March 5 taking first place to move on to Sectionals in Stevens Point on March 18.  The Blackhawks won their first game 47-20. In the second game the was won by a blowout at 41-20.


Blackhawk wrestlers earn fourth SWC Championship

The PDC Wrestling Team shows off their hardware after winning the SWC Duals on Saturday. The wins earned the Hawks the SWC Conference Title, something they have done four years in a row! (Contributed photo)

On Saturday, the PDC Blackhawk wrestlers traveled to Dodgeville for the SWC Duals. The format for the tournament is round robin, with every team in the conference wrestling each other once. The #1 ranked Hawks would go 5-0 on the day earning a SWC Championship. The dual wins moves the Hawks overall record to 25-4 on the season.
PDC 56, River Valley 9. Led by falls from Porter Kossman, Luke Kramer, Brogan Brewer, and Blake Thiry, the Hawks would only lose two matches against River Valley. Rhett Koenig had a technical fall and Mason Hird a major decision. In a matchup of ranked wrestlers, Ryder Koenig would earn a 3-1 decision over his River Valley opponent.
PDC 61, Belmont/Platteville 15. The Hawks would get falls from Rhett Koenig, Luke Kramer, Jack MacEachern, and Blake Thiry. The Hawks would win big, and only lose two matches in the dual. Porter Kossman had a major decision as well.


Blackhawk wrestlers place third in Division 3 at Bi-State Classic

Blake Thiry takes on Hayden VanderVoot from Hutchinson/Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart wrestling to take his overall third place at the Bi-State tournament. (Photo by Nate Beier)

Blackhawk wrestlers who placed at the Bi-State Classic: Blake Thiry (third at 195 pounds), Jeremiah Avery (sixth at 160 pounds), Luke Kramer (third at 152 pounds), and Rhett Koenig (second at 138 pounds). (Contributed photo)

By A.J. Gates, Grant County Herald Independent



Blackhawk wrestling team wins the Howard/Manley duals in East Troy

On Saturday, December 3rd the #1 ranked in the State PDC wrestling Blackhawks traveled to East Troy to open up their season in the Howard/Manley duals. East Troy is a 12 team tournament, split into three pools to determine advancement. PDC would open with Kenosha Indian Trail and open with a big 63-12 win. Recording pins were Rhett Koenig, Drew Hird, Brogan Brewer, Jack Simmons, and Mason Ihde. The Hawks would take on Waterford in round two. It would be much of the same, as the Hawks would prevail 63-6. Getting pins for the Hawks were Drew Hird, Luke Kramer, Jeremiah Avery, Maddox Cejka, Brogan Brewer, and Blake Thiry.