Loading

52°F

52°F

52°F

48°F

50°F

52°F

52°F

56°F

50°F

53°F

56°F

52°F
Search
TOP STORY

Baseball begins for Merrill Blue JaysSubmitted: 04/01/2015

Play Video
MERRILL - The weather looks like it's starting to finally warm up, and that means baseball is back.

For the Merrill Blue Jays, it means a fresh start.

"As a team I think we want to win, go farther in the playoffs than we have the last couple years," says senior pitcher Justin Pyan. "Last couple years you won a playoff game or two, I think we really want to go farther than that this year. Hopefully [get] a chance at state, if we can get one."

The Blue Jays play in the Wisconsin Valley Conference.

That means they'll face tough teams like SPASH, DC Everest, and Wausau West, but Merrill welcomes the competition.

"When you play in the Wisconsin Valley Conference, every game you want to be competitive in," says Head Coach Brian Artac. "That's really my goal: I want to be competitive in that game. I want to be in a situation where we can win the game."

Coach Brian Artac, along with assistant Shawn Schultz, feels his team can be competitive.

They give credit to their pitching staff, which includes workhorse Justin Pyan.

"Pitching really, really, really controls this game, especially in the spring of the year," says Artac. "Good pitching beats good hitting. I don't care what anybody says, that's the number one thing."

Weather can always be a wild card when you play in northern Wisconsin, but this year, the team is able to get out and practice on their own field before their season starts.

"Last year I don't think we went outside for like a month," says Pyan. "It sucks being inside. It gets a little boring, but being able to come out here early, it really gets you better ready for the year."

Merrill also has an advantage on other teams: they have 10 players with varsity experience.

"I think that's one of our strengths, is that we have some kids who have some visualization of what it's like to play varsity ball," says Artac. "I think that helps a little bit."

Merrill will open its season this Saturday with a double header against Antigo in Wisconsin Rapids.

"I think we'll be good this year," says Pyan. "I think we're going to surprise some people."

Story By: Dan Marz

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story

Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 LOCAL SPORTS

MERCER - The Northwoods offers us a vast and beautiful environment, but the author, interpretive naturalist, and guide leader John Bates tries to make Northwoods ecology easier to understand.

"To help people take the aesthetic blur of the Northwoods, everyone loves this place but I'm not sure if everyone knows why exactly," Bates said. "But it's beauty what are those components of that."

But Bates says those components can be hard to find when you go too fast.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERCER - Nature provides creative outlets for many people across the Northwoods.

Mary Burns uses a unique style of weaving while integrating the images of the North Country.

"I have a passion about birds, I have a passion about weaving too, it's like I'm never going to retire," Burns said. "I love what I do; I love all of the aspects of it."

Mary Burns love for weaving started when she was in high school. Now years later she has sold pieces to different parts of the country. Mary says living in the Northwoods helps her creativity.
"It's a really inspirational area to live in; I draw a lot of my weaving ideas from being out in the woods or on the water paddling," Burns said. "So if you look around at some of my pieces you'll see that influence."

+ Read More

ANTIGO - It may not look like it, but spring is here, and along with it comes the start of baseball season.

For the Antigo Red Robins, it means a chance to build on the success of last season.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - UPDATE 12:00p 3/28: Unfortunately Paige did not qualify to make the field for today's race.

Community members love to see their own grow up and succeed.

In that spirit, Eagle River has thrown its support behind one young woman as she begins her NASCAR career this weekend.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Not many athletes can say they set a school record in their sport.

Even fewer can say they've done it as a freshman, but Lakeland's Emily Scott is one who can.

+ Read More

Play Video

PARK FALLS - The Park Falls and Glidden school districts consolidated to make the Chequamegon School District six years ago. The merger was a tough experience for all involved, but the new combined athletic program didn't take long to prosper.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Grace Hoger and Lauryn Cook of the Northern Edge Figure Skating Club won state this past weekend at the top level.

"It's exciting," Cook said. "We'd just kind of heard that we won and we we're just, like, 'Wow. Oh my goodness.'"


+ Read More

Play Video

BUTTERNUT - Bo Ryan Martinovich, named after Wisconsin's Bo Ryan, was born on March 15, 2015. The day the Badgers won the Big Ten Tournament championship.

+ Read More

Play Video

ATHENS - A brother and a sister from Athens excel in the same track event, a coincidence that makes for some fun competition.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - It takes a lot of effort and talent to win a state championship, but that's exactly what the Northern Edge figure skating team did this weekend.

The girls got a police caravan to escort them back into town Sunday after winning the state championship.

+ Read More
+ More Local Sports
Search: