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ISSUE ELEVEN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITORIAL CONTENT

ATHLETE PROFILES 6

:. AQUINAS

8

:. CALEDONIA - MN

4 :. FROM THE COMMISH Director and Publisher Brian Meeter

10 :. HOLMEN 12

:. LA CROSSE CENTRAL

14

:. LA CROSSE LOGAN

16

:. ONALASKA

18

:. SPARTA

5 :. OUT OF THE DARKNESS The Chill has gotten off to their hot start by spreading the puck around and playing unselfishly

20 :. UW - LA CROSSE

21 :. IF YOU CAN’T BEAT EM’, JOIN EM’

22 :. VITERBO 24 :. LA CRESCENT - MN

Wheelchair use is no obstacle to downhill skiing

25 :. WEST SALEM

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Thank you for reading the

Greater La Crosse Sports Connection!

We need your help! We need nominations for the 2011 Greater La Crosse Sports Connection Awards Banquet. Each year, we use input from our community to select the best finalist for our awards banquet. In order for us to select the best candidates, we need nominations. To nominate your favorite athlete, coach, volunteer or Hall of Fame candidate, go to our website at www.lacrosseareasports.com. There you can fill out an online ballot. Once we narrow down the candidates, finalist will be profiled on WXOW Channel 19 in January. You can vote online for your favorite candidates in January, and award winners will be announced at a community-wide banquet in February. Go to our website NOW and join us in making this event an even greater success! Enjoy the newest issue of the Greater La Crosse Sports Connection Magazine! As we grow, join us and help make the La Crosse Area the best community to celebrate sports and life. For more information on this magazine or the La Crosse Area Sports Commission, please visit: www.lacrossesportscommission.com.

Sincerely, Brian Meeter Executive Director La Crosse Area Sports Commission

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COULEE CHILL

Out of the Darkness By Ryan Pomerening

Among the Chill’s returning players is their goalie, Paul Moberg. The Forest Lake, Minnesota native has been nothing short of outstanding, allowing a mere 1.93 goals per game. “He’s had a great start to the season. He’s just in control of games,” Strot said, referring to his prized goalie. Stats show much of the Chill’s success can be attributed to unselfish play, with 20 different players recording a point, and five of them having scored at least five or more. With so many players contributing, there is still one area in which Coach Strot would like the offense to improve: “We’ve gotta do a better job finishing around the net. We’ve missed some good opportunities.”

Players appreciate a coach who is willing to go into battle with them. Coach Garret Strot of the Coulee Region Chill may not suit up with his players for game day, but he works in modest conditions. Many coaches are provided an office with a desk, chair, and sometimes a window. Strot gets by on the bare necessities, setting up his work station in a narrow corridor sectioned off from the locker room. There’s no door or window, and the only lighting is whatever the team room can provide from down the hall. While it’s not the most glamorous set-up, Strot doesn’t seem to mind. “I’m getting used to it,” he said while sitting by his desk in the glow of his opened laptop. “Other people come in and say ‘Jeez, it’s kinda dark in here!” But all things considered, he has good reason to be happy. In their first season, the Chill are off to a hot start and look to have a promising season ahead of them. Not long ago, the Coulee Region’s newest sports team was nothing more than an idea. Mark Motz was the owner of the North Iowa Outlaws of Mason City. After spending five years with the organization, he wanted to build something closer to home, so he decided to bring hockey to Onalaska.

The Chill has gotten off to their hot start by spreading the puck around and playing unselfishly. That is not to say the players don’t have individual goals. Playing in a developmental league, many members of the Chill have hopes of playing on the Division I level in college and earning a scholarship. Coach Strot mentioned that many people may not know the players on this level are not provided a salary or any sort of scholarship. In fact, it costs them money for housing and other expenses. Said Strot, “Most of them are 18, 19, 20-year-olds trying to get their way to college.” The Chill appear to have plenty of players who could succeed on the college level. But for now, they are having a great year in the Coulee Region. Little can be told about the Chill organization with it being so young. But if the season up to this point is any indicator, much can be expected from this squad. The people of the Coulee Region will have exciting games to watch, as the team has the talent to make a run at a Robertson Cup in their first year. And who knows? If they keep winning like this, maybe Coach Strot will get to move out of the dark hallway and into an office with a door and a window.

Once the ink dried on the new five-year lease with the Omni-Center, Motz went straight to work in finding the right pieces for a successful team. So far it appears the pieces have come together very well, and the community is excited for their new hockey team. “We’ve been hearing a lot of great responses,” said Strot, “one of our captains who was with us last year said ‘Man, they love us here,’ so they’re really enjoying it.” The NAHL is considered a developmental league and every team experiences a lot of roster turnover. But even while dealing with many changes, this team brings back plenty of experience with a large group of players from last season’s team in Mason City. When asked which players stand out to him, Coach Strot spoke highly of his returners from last season. “The biggest thing that’s helped us early on is the returners, and, to be honest with you, we have ten returners and all of them have stepped up their game and are playing really well.”

Ryan Pomerening is a senior and a communications major at UW-L

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Len Schley is an avid local sports fan and enjoys volunteering his time as a volunteer and mentor to young athletes. 6 | ISSUE ELEVEN | WWW.LACROSSESPORTSCOMMISSION.COM


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These Businesses Proudly Support

Caledonia Athletics

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Holmen Athletics

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Premier Catering Proudly Support

La Crosse Central Athletics

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These Businesses Proudly Support

Onalaska Athletics

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ADAPTIVE ALLEY

IfWheelchair You Can’tuseBeat ‘Em, Join ‘Em! is no obstacle to downhill skiing By Julie Nelson

Wheelchairs and snow, as you can well imagine, tend to be a lousy combination. But if Andy White has his way, more people who use wheelchairs will be able to look forward to the winter’s first snowfall. Winter is when Andy can leave his wheelchair at the bottom of Mt. La Crosse, transfer to the lift (no small task, he says, “but it’s worth it!”) and ski down the slopes, feeling the wind in his face and a freedom of movement that doesn’t happen on land. Andy has used a wheelchair most of his adult life and has never been one who likes to be left behind. About five years ago, Andy decided to learn to downhill ski. Now the 38-year-old White is a gold medal winner in Special Olympic downhill skiing, and he’s thrilled to be participating in a sport many people fear as being too dangerous. The adaptive ski Andy uses is a bi-ski, or two skis with a bucket seat and harnesses to keep the skier from falling out. Andy sits on the ski, which has outriggers on each side, and is able to change its direction by twisting his torso. The brakes come from Chris, a regular ski buddy who is tethered to Andy’s ski. Chris is able to make wide or narrow turns, and keep the both of them under control. Skiing is part of the enjoyment for Andy; the other part is his regular connection with Chris. The two of them start out their evenings on the bunny slope and then progress to the more difficult runs as Andy regains his “ski legs.” The annual trip to Wausau for Special Olympics is the highlight of Andy’s season. Though cerebral palsy prevents Andy from remembering which races he did the best in, he is able to recall that he raced in five events, some slalom and some super glide and that he took home both gold and silver medals. Andy loves the sport so much that he would like to encourage other wheelchair users to give it a try. Mt. La Crosse has five adaptive skis available for use, two bi-skis and three mono skis, which can be operated independently. Anyone who would like to give one a try can contact Mt. La Crosse, the YWCA or the North American Squirrel Association(NASA). Scholarships to cover lessons and the cost of rental are available.

Julie shares Andy’s joy in seeing everyone be able to participate in activities they love.

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Off The Trails

Snowshoeing on Conservancy Land By Jim Joque

(Reprint from January 2010 issue of Silent Sports magazine)

One e-mail I received went something like this, “Jim, I am planning a trip near Ironwood in Upper Michigan. Can you fill me in on a few scenic areas to snowshoe up there?” Another read, “Hi Jim, I would like to know if you can give me some suggestions on trails to snowshoe between Eau Claire and Wausau.” Whenever I am asked about snowshoe locations, I often recommend state parks and trails, county parks and national wilderness areas. But until this past year, I was unaware of another excellent category of public land sometimes available for snowshoe enthusiasts called conservancy land or land trusts. A conservancy or a land trust is a nonprofit organization with established goals of protecting land for the purpose of environmental preservation. These organizations work with landowners to preserve their properties, seek land donations and purchase land to keep natural for future generations to enjoy. “Land trusts are now one of the fastest-growing and most successful conservation movements in American history,” according to the Land Trust Alliance, a national nonprofit organization. When the alliance was created in 1982, there were fewer than 450 local and state land trusts across the country. Today, there are more than 1,700 organizations conserving more than 37 million acres. In the five years prior to the publication of the 2005 National Land Trust Census Report, the acreage protected by local and regional land trusts doubled from 6 million to 12 million. Although the Western states lead in having the largest number of land trusts, the 2005 report shows two Midwestern states were in the top 10: Michigan with 44 (105,419 total acres) and Wisconsin with 54 (77,958 acres). The Midwest had 4 percent of the total U.S. conservancies with 524,786 acres in all. These numbers have increased since the 2005 report. Today, in Wisconsin alone, more than 200,000 acres is held in trust, according to the Gathering Waters Conservancy website at www.gatheringwaters.org/wilandtrusts. (From there click on Land Trust Maps to find the eight regional land trust areas and their respective Wisconsin conservancies.)

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Off The Trails

Where does snowshoeing come into the picture? Well, a conser-

Another hike for catching an even more spectacular view of the

vancy in Wisconsin, where I live, sponsors annual snowshoe hikes.

valley is farther north in the Lenox Tract. To get there you hike

The Mississippi Valley Conservancy, founded in 1997, is a nonprofit

through two other MVC properties and enjoy some wonderful

land trust out of La Crosse protecting over 9,500 acres of mixed

forested areas amidst some old gravel pits. And the southern La

terrain, including bluffs, wetlands, streams, prairies and coulees.

Crosse Blufflands offer another perspective, with more forested

About 2,000 of those acres are actually owned by MVC and the

areas to hike and more challenging climbing.

remaining properties are protected by conservation easements. The property is spread across seven counties, including Buffalo,

The La Crosse area coulees and bluffs offer some of the best hik-

Trempealeau, La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon, Crawford and Grant.

ing and snowshoeing terrain in Wisconsin. Link says there are

The properties owned by MVC have trails and open areas available

miles and miles of trails to explore on each MVC-owned tract.

for public recreation including hiking, bird-watching, nature photography, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting and fishing.

Other Wisconsin conservancies promote public use of their

Two properties are open for biking, too.

property. However, it is important to know that not all land

All of the MVC-owned property is open for snowshoeing, accord-

public. Some properties are owned by private owners and held

ing to MVC conservation specialist Abbie Church. “We have at least one, if not two, annual snowshoe hikes,” Church said. “We definitely encourage silent sports to try to get more people out and about appreciating nature.” Last January, MVC hosted an organized snowshoe hike in the La Crosse Blufflands. For current snowshoe event dates and locations, go to the website at :: www.mississippivalleyconservancy.org. Twelve years ago, my wife and I lived in Onalaska where I worked for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. This past December, I returned to explore MVC property. It was enjoyable visiting areas that were so close to where I lived, but were not open to the public at that time. I used to snowshoe in the Hixon Forest, the Myrick Park Marsh area and in many other areas around La Crosse. But it was exciting to ‘shoe in new areas. I visited Tom Link, an old friend who works at UW-La Crosse and a MVC member. Although there was very little snow on the ground the day of my visit, we did hike some of the hilly landscape and took in a few panoramic views. We took a back road off State Highway 16 into the bluffs. Taking County Road FA north, we came to a parking lot and trailhead for several land tracts. It was a short hike west to the Beck Tract. There we got a great view of La Crosse and a wide span of the Mississippi River Valley below.

trust properties are owned by the conservancies and open to the in trust for future conservation. Those properties need to be respected and not assumed usable by the public. The landowners retain the right to decide who is welcome. The best policy is to always ask the conservancy what properties are owned and what properties are accessible for public use. Never assume. For example, the North Central Conservancy Trust out of Stevens Point has 28 easements for about 2,500 acres. But the easements are still in private hands. Jim Joque is the coordinator of disability services for the University of

Wisconsin-Stevens

Point. He is also an adventure

education

instructor,

teaching

courses

on

camping,

backpacking and snowshoeing, and a trip leader for the university’s wilderness orientation program. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Governor’s State Trails Council.

Jim Joque is the coordinator of disability services for UW-Stevens Point is also an adventure program instructor WWW.LACROSSESPORTSCOMMISSION.COM | ISSUE ELEVEN | 27


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Get Fit La Crosse

Adapt Your Winter Workouts By Dennis Kline

If you are interested in getting back outside to play a sport this spring or just want to get active, I have a few tips. The winter months can be a long haul, and decreased activity is a fact as we wait for the weather to cooperate. If your desire is to perform at the best of your ability with minimal risk of injuries, you need to get started soon.

These key adaptations include short and long term parameters. The short term changes are those that are from specific training. For example, if you go out and run a half mile three times a week you will become better at running a half mile. The great part of this is you will run faster almost every session, but at a certain inevitable point you won’t.

I know mid-March seems far away, but the reality is that your season starts in about 20 weeks and will last another 10 weeks. The importance of activity now will have a large impact on future health and performance in the spring. You need to start now so the body can begin to make key adaptations that will ensure whole body system integrity.

That’s where the trouble starts. Most specific training adaptations are short lived and need to be changed nearly every six weeks to allow long term adaptations to prevail so continuous progress can occur. Back in the ‘90s, I would tell athletes that if they had thirty days of progressive practice, results would come. I mean c’mon, that’s why we all train; to get better at something we like to do. Nothing is more frustrating than putting forth effort and not seeing results. Too many times I have seen individuals that perform the same program for years and end up with minimal to no progress. So between now and the start of your spring sport, you should plan three training programs each lasting approximately six weeks with two weeks off for winter holidays. Each program should contain physical activities that are rich with multijoint movements and are repetitive in nature from day to day, so that progress can be easily tracked in your training dairy. Then when it is time for a new program, new exercises and methods can be introduced so that progress will be new and continuous all at the same time. It’s like changing physically demanding jobs every six weeks, such as going from landscaping services to stocking shelves in a warehouse. These adaptations and general concepts are a large reason why college coaches are always interested in the three-sport athletes versus a single sport athlete, a rare breed these days. Here’s the take-home message: The only routine thing about training is your devotion. Once you begin your session, follow your program for the prescribed time frame. To get the best program for you, contact your local certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. I am sure they can help! Go to this magazine’s website to find three training programs you can use this winter at www.lacrosseareasports.com.

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Whatever your sport is… Don’t you want to be able to see what you’re doing?

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For a free personal consultation, call (608) 392-5751. Or click on franciscanskemp.org and find us under “medical services.”

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CARE THAT INSPIRES

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GET CONNECTED

Upcoming 2010 Events NOVEMBER EVENT 2010 Business Members Onalaska Tourism Viterbo Athletics S&S Distributing Human Powered Trails La Crosse Loggers Crescent Printing Company Central High School Logan High School La Crosse Radio Group Brookstone Inn Trim Design La Crosse Bike Rentals Shelby Youth Baseball Holiday Inn Express Signature Chiropractic LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce Coulee Bank JKHerman Design Premier Catering First Supply Gundersen Lutheran Logistics Health, Inc. CenturyLink AmericInn Motel and Suites Advertising Concepts Big E Event Company Treehouse Gifts Hampton Inn Viterbo University Sports Leadership Franciscan Skemp North La Crosse Business Association Radisson Hotel W & C Printing Stoney Creek Inn

1

~ Pilates Studio Grand Opening-Onalaska

5-6

~ Bull Riding- La Crosse Center

11

~ YWCA Outstanding Women Banquet

20

~ Turkey Trot-UW-La Crosse

DECEMBER EVENT 4

~ Holmen VS Viroqua Basketball- La Crosse Center

12

~ Rotary Lights 5K Fun Run-Riverside Park

29-30

~ Bi-State Wrestling-La Crosse Center

Business memberships are a great way to connect with the La Crosse Area sports community. You receive a web listing, a digital version of The Greater La Crosse Sports Connection, a business listing in the magazine, and a web link in the digital version of this magazine. Publisher Brian Meeter Design & Layout JKHerman Design • www.jkherman.com Editor Leanne Johnson & Lauren Seidl

To find out more OR PLACE AN AD visit: www.lacrossesportscommission.com or call: 608-782-2250 WWW.LACROSSESPORTSCOMMISSION.COM | ISSUE ELEVEN | 31


Greater La Crosse Sports Connection Issue 11  

Winter Sports Athlete Special Edition