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MAYHEM IN LA CROSSE! Unique Sport Growing in La Crsse Area!

Crosse Area La

Sports Commission


ISSUE Thirteen APRIL 2011



Take a closer look at the Mississippi Valley Mayhem to see what flat track roller derby is all about.

5 :. RECREATION DESTINATION A location to rent equipment and learn where the best outdoor recreation spots are is closer than you think.


The first annual Gundersen Cup will benefit a local soccer association and Gundersen Lutheran.


See what’s happening around the area.



The Gundersen Cup: June 10 –12

Games played at “Fields for Kids” soccer complex 2500 Hauser Street, La Crosse

Strap on your shin guards and tie up your cleats! The first Gundersen Cup is quickly approaching. It’s a soccer jamboree, open to all ages, to benefit Gundersen Lutheran Global Partners and Coulee Region United Soccer Association. Gather your team and register by May 13. Visit for a downloadable registration form and more information. E-mail or call (608) 385-1076 with questions.

Gundersen Lutheran’s

Heart to Heart

Health and Wellness Festival June 11, 2011, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gundersen Lutheran Onalaska Campus

Come to the Heart to Heart Health & Wellness Festival and enjoy a variety of fun activities to get you active and healthier. It includes a Heart Walk to raise your heart rate, awareness and money in the fight against heart disease. Check out the booths, demonstrations, car show, games, raffle, food court, music and more. Proceeds benefit heart disease prevention programs and services of Gundersen Lutheran Heart Institute. Heart Walk registration and event details are online at For questions, e-mail or call (608) 775-3994.

Heart to Heart Health & Wellness Festival

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3/21/11 10:10:51 AM

Not your typical valley girls Mississippi Valley Mayhem show La Crosse what roller derby is all about

By Lauren Seidl Look out La Crosse. The Mississippi Valley Mayhem are here to play, and they play rough. This local flat track roller derby team is in its third season and doing everything it can to spread the roller derby love throughout the community. For those unfamiliar with the sport, flat track roller derby is a high action, hard hitting game that takes place on a flat roller rink. During each game, or bout, five women from each team are allowed on the track at a time: three blockers, one pivot and one jammer. A bout consists of two thirty minute periods, and within each period there are an unlimited number of jams. A jam is a scoring period that can last up to two minutes. Confused yet? Don’t worry, learning the lingo is half the battle; it’s easy to catch on to actual game play.

To start each jam, two whistles are blown: The first allows for the pack to take off and the second signals the jammers to take off. Pivots set the pace of the pack and wear a stripe on their helmets. Jammers wear starred helmets. Once a jam is over the teams get back into position and the process starts over.

Points are awarded for each time the lead jammer passes the pack consisting of both teams’ blockers and pivots. The jammer who makes it past the pack first is given the Photo by Krissa Valentine-Harnish title of lead jammer, and she is the only one who can score during the jam. With so much blocking and passing on roller skates, falls are bound to take place during bouts. This is part of what makes watching roller derby so entertaining. The other part is the personas put on by everyone involved. Face paint, intimidating makeup and nick names such as EmaLeethal give the roller derby community a personality of its own.

Photo by Krissa Valentine-Harnish


But there’s more to the Mississippi Mayhem than crazy outfits and punk personas. The team aims to better the community and act as positive female role models. Each home game benefits a different charity; one game held in January benefited the National Federation of the Blind. “We’re trying to give off a positive vibe so we can be good role models for the community,” says team co-founder Amanda Boucher, better known as The Ambusher.

Boucher knew she had to become involved in roller derby after watching a few bouts. “When you first look at it, it looks like brute force,” Boucher says of the sport, “But then you start playing mind games and reading body language. Ninety-five percent is using your mind. It’s very mentally stimulating.” Boucher believes that when women watch roller derby, they either have to play or they don’t; the love of the sport is black or white. And for all of the women on the Mississippi Valley Mayhem, participating in roller derby was a must. “All of these women are professionals, mothers, wives,” says team member Jenneral Payne, “It’s our release. Our ‘me’ time.” Most women who joined the team had no experience with roller derby and little experience skating. “It takes will power,” Boucher says, “You have to work really hard and you’re going to get bruises.” These women are showing girls that they can give back to the community by doing something other than wearing a sash and tiara. Females can turn to flat track roller derby for something that’s both fun and athletically-stimulating. Bouts for the Mississippi Valley Mayhem take place at the Omni Center and usually begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door for adults and $5 for children ages 3-12.

Fans are encouraged to bring chairs with rubber feet or cushions to sit track side with no additional cost. Consessions are available during bouts played at the Omni Center

Mississippi Valley Mayhem Schedule 2011 Home: >April 15 - MVM vs. Mad Rollin’ Dolls’Unholy Rollers (Madison, WI) >May 28 - MVM vs. TBD >June 18 - MVM vs. Northstar Rollergirls Northern Lights (Minneapolis, MN) Away: >Apr. 2 at Harbor City Roller Dames (Duluth, MN) >May 7 at Rockford Rage (Rockford, IL) >May 21 & 22 at Brewhaha Tournament (Milwaukee, WI)

Photo by Krissa Valentine-Harnish


Recreation Destination

UW-La Crosse’s Outdoor Connection offers recreational tools and resources for the entire community Now the the temperature is finally on the rise, everyone is looking for ways to spend some time enjoying the great outdoors. With an area as beautiful as the Coulee Region, the possibilites of outdoor adventures are endless.

Equipment rental is available for anyone to take advantage of, not just UW-L students. Renting is easy and prices are reasonable. An OC employee can help adventure-seekers find exactly what they’re looking for. Recent renovations made the renting experience more customer-friendly by making it simple for renters to see all the equipment themselves. Rental lengths range from one day to one week, with prices varying accordingly. The OC also rents out bike racks, canoe racks and roof top carriers for anyone who needs assistance transporting equipment. Employees will even help load you up. If you need tips on finding the best opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors, the OC can help. Equipped with maps and brochures of trails and state parks, this is a one-stop location for outdoor recreation.

But not everyone is aware of where the best hiking trails are or where it’s safe to drop a canoe into the river. Those who do know of great areas to enjoy some recreation may not have the equipment to do so. One great go-to spot for the tools and know-how of outdoor activities is the Outdoor Connection. The Outdoor Connection, or OC, is located inside the Recreational Eagle Center on UW-La Crosse’s campus. The OC is stocked with camping and backpacking equipment, canoes, kayaks, bicycles, roller blades and much more to kick-start any fun to be had outside.

Renting a 2-4 person tent? Keep it the whole weekend for $16. Need a sleeping bag, camp stove or additional camping supplies? Ask the OC about their other camping rentals.


Take Ladder Golf to the park with you. Rent it for the day for the cost of $8.

Cleat up f r a cause Gundersen Cup soccer jamboree set to benefit Gundersen Lutheran Global Partners and local soccer association By Jill Weber Get ready to strap on your shin guards and tie up your cleats! Plans for the first Gundersen Cup, a soccer jamboree to benefit Gundersen Lutheran Global Partners and Coulee Region United Soccer Association (CRUSA), are in full swing, and organizers are anticipating a very exciting weekend.

ship communities, all of our volunteers pay for their own transportation and lodging expenses,” Liz explains, “That way, donations from events like the Gundersen Cup can be used to directly support medical services (i.e. surgical supplies, medications and diagnostic screening tools) in addition to supporting education and public health initiatives. These partnerships are all Mark your calendar for June 10-12. The tournament is about helping communities improve their quality of life open to all Ages—U5 (under age 5) through adult—and in a sustainable way.” is being held at the award-winning “Fields for Kids” Soccer Complex at 2500 Hauser Street, La Crosse. Teams CRUSA, a non-profit organization dedicated to the will be separated into 12 age divisions, with U15 through growth of children and the game of soccer, will use proU18 and adult teams playing five versus five small-sided ceeds from The Gundersen Cup to continue to keep the games. All teams are guaranteed three games with cer- soccer program strong in the Coulee Region. “Events tified referees and field marshals, and U5 through U8 like the Gundersen Cup ensure that we’re able to fund teams will play under the “Friday night lights” just like scholarships for children of all ages who may be new professional players! to the soccer program, in addition to continuing to offer the use of our fields to area schools and non-profit Games will begin the evening of Friday, June 10, and organizations like the Boys and Girls Club,” says Robin, end on Sunday, June 12.“We’re expecting more than “We’re also able to fund special projects such as coach100 teams to participate and up to 1,500 individuals at ing camps and maintain the beautiful fields we have.” what could easily become the largest single soccer event in Western Wisconsin”, says Robin Swartz, co-chair of Registration for the Gundersen Cup is open through Gunderson cup, “We’re excited to have people of all ages Friday, May 13. A downloadable registration form, and abilities playing the game they love for two worthy which includes prices and more information about this causes.” Robin has been actively involved with CRUSA exciting event, is available at Quesfor the past 15 years. tions about the tournament can be emailed to Proceeds from the soccer jamboree will benefit both Gundersen Lutheran Global Partners and CRUSA. In 2008, Gundersen Lutheran coordinated the Global Need a ball to practice with? No problem. Partners program in an effort to develop long-term sus- Gundersen Cup is teaming up with One World Futbol tainable partnerships beyond its borders in Porcupine, Project to provide ultra-durable soccer balls to you S.D.; Tanzania, Africa; and the Matagalpa district of Ni- and Gundersen Lutheran Global Partners communities. Log onto anytime between caragua. Global Partners is funded by philanthropy and fueled by area volunteers, according to Liz Arnold, Gundersen Cup co-chair, and Gundersen Lutheran Global Partners program coordinator. “When we travel to our partnerJill is a Communication Specialist at Gundersen Lutheran

now and June 30 to purchase a ball using the “Give One Get One” link. Use the code GUNDERSEN in the coupon field and the “Give One” ball goes to a Global Partners community! Some balls will also stay local and be donated to area organizations that work with low-income families.



Click on events for more information.

16th: 1st Annual Fire House 5k Run/Walk in Onalaska. Fire House 5k 23rd: Galesville Area Fire Department 5k. Galesville Area Fire Department 5k

23rd: Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine, and Cheese Festival 29th: May 1st: Great Lake Lacrosse League Conference Tournament on UW- La Crosse Campus. Great Lakes Lacrosse League Conference Tournament

MAY 14th: Forest Hills Tennis Registration on Block Party 21st: Robin Gjertsen Memorial Golf Outing, four person best shot memorial tournament Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine, and Cheese Festival The 9th Annual Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine, and Cheese Festival is rapidly approaching. Get your tickets now for the April 23 event! Tickets are still available for sale at the following Festival Foods locations: Onalaska, Holmen and La Crosse. Purchase tickets at the Quillin’s Food Centers of Foodfest, French Island, La Crescent and the Village, or visit the Bodega Brew Pub or Pearl Street Brewery. Tickets are also available online at As usual we will be featuring Wineries and Breweries from all over the Midwest and further. Event starts on April 23 at 2 p.m. at the Oktoberfest Grounds and ends at 6 p.m. Two bands have been signed to be this year’s entertainment. Guitar Logic and The Mighty Short Bus will both be playing tunes throughout the day. A limited number of tickets are being sold so get yours fast! For more information about the Festival visit: 7 WWW.LACROSSESPORTSCOMMISSION.COM

Greater La Crosse Sports Connection April, 2011  
Greater La Crosse Sports Connection April, 2011  

This magazine features local sports and recreational activities in La Crosse, Wisconsin.