This spring marked the 40th anniversary of Barron High School’s 1979 Div. 2 state baseball championship. The 1979 Golden Bears, who beat Edgerton 2-1 in the state title game at Wausau, remain the only Heart O’North Conference team to win a state baseball title. Barron leads the Heart O’North with six appearances at the state tournament (1977, 1979, 1986, 2002, 2004 and 2008) but only once advanced to a state championship game. Spooner and Cumberland have five state tournament appearances apiece. Chetek and Bloomer each have two, while Hayward, Ladysmith and Northwestern have all made it once. Former league member Rice Lake has played in three state baseball tournaments without a victory. Three HON teams have finished second at state, including the 2011 Spooner Rails, 2009 Bloomer Blackhawks and 1998 Cumberland Beavers, who upset the conference champion and top-ranked Golden Bears in 10 innings en route to their state berth. Pictured for the 1979 state champs are: row one (from left), Bruce Rasmussen, Brian Knutson, Al Amundson, Kevin McIntyre, Bryan Berg; row two, Mark Ricci, Jim Offord, Daryl Roberts, Dick Kuhn, Tom McDonald, Troy Larson; row three, coach Arlyn Colby, Brad Knutson, Mark Hauge, Ed McDonald, manager Vian Hazen, Doug Frandsen, Al Kallenbach, Brent Borgen and assistant coaches Jim Brinker and Dave Usgaard.