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Editor remembers bygone local sports
Random Thoughts - April 7
Random Thoughts by Wendell Smith

MUSCODA - This time of the year there is plenty of local excitement with sports tournaments – large and small. It has been that way for many years. For example -“Progressive” files from 1941 reveal the Muscoda High School team finished the Wisconsin River Valley League basketball schedule with 13 straight victories to win the title.

The locals lost the opening game of the season to Lone Rock by a 26-24 score. But from there on they were undefeated in conference play, finishing with a 29-18 win over Avoca. 

The final win-loss records for conference contests were Muscoda 13-1, Lone Rock 10-4, Blue River 9-5, Cazenovia 9-5, Sextonville 5-9, Lime Ridge 5-9, Avoca 3-12, Ithaca 2-12.

In the opening round of the area tournament Bloomington and Boscobel were the favorites with opening night victories over Blue River and Lone Rock.

Basketball didn’t get all the attention as boxing was also a high school sport in those days. The Progressive noted that the high school boxing season was about to begin with the first match at Boscobel March 17. The Muscoda team was coached by Frank Filardo.

The first home match was to be against Livingston, “with a reputation of being one of the strongest in Southwest Wisconsin.” The teams fought to a tie “that showed more leather swinging and furious action than any witnessed in the local ring for some time.”

For the next match, “against Lone Rock’s mitt slingers,” the newspaper account noted Muscoda “was hampered by injuries to three of its top performers” suffering two broken thumbs and some torn muscles.

As the boxing season came to its end there was just one more match remaining and that was against Boscobel. At that point Muscoda boxers had a season record of two wins, two losses and one tie.

Boxing was eventually discontinued as a high school sport, perhaps for good reasons.