WISCONSIN SPORTS SERVICES DEC 2013
Happy Holidays from Buckyâ€™s Locker Room! Buckyâ€™s Locker Room invites you to stop by any of our convenient Madison or Milwaukee area stores this holiday season! We offer a unique selection of Wisconsin Badgers items as well as Packers, Brewers, Golden Eagles, and Panthers. Find great gifts for the sports fans in your life and save with the special coupon offer just in time for the holidays!
BADGER TRACKS- NOTES FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DAN KLINKHAMMER SNOWFLAKES IN ‘NAM
he Christmas holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year. Like millions of other Americans, I turn into a big kid when I start hearing Christmas songs on the radio. The red, green, blue and gold decorations brighten up even the dingiest of houses and everyone seems to have a little extra “giddy-up” in their step. The thought of Santa Claus, Christmas Trees, Midnight Mass, piles of presents, cookies, candy, friends and family conjures up some of the best memories of my entire life. As I reflect on past Christmases, you’d think that my most memorable would be the year that Santa brought me my first bicycle or the year that I got a wristwatch or maybe the year that I got a Packer football uniform. Nope, none of the above. My most memorable Christmas was in 1971, when I was doing a year-long tour of duty in Vietnam. Sometime around Thanksgiving of that year, my mortar platoon was relocated to a barren section of the ridgeline that surrounded the City of Da Nang. There was nothing on that hill but rocks, dirt and sand. We spent the next 30 days building ammo and perimeter bunkers, sleeping quarters, mortar pits and a Fire Direction Control Center. Our proudest moment came when we completed our two-hole outhouse. It was a work of art and we all felt like Kings of the Castle when we sat on that throne!!! It seemed as though we were working 24/7 and as December 25th approached, we were one very tired and beat up crew. In addition to building our firebase, we also had to defend it. So, when we weren’t pounding nails and flinging sandbags, we were pulling guard duty or conducting fire missions for the ground troops in the area. We were really busy, really tired and really homesick. As Christmas got closer, the homesickness got worse and by the time Christmas Eve arrived we were all feeling like the world had forgotten us. We were having the biggest pity party of all time and to make matters worse, I had to pull guard duty at midnight on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to me!!?? It was unusually cool on that night, as my buddy Greg and I reported to our assigned bunker. We were both bundled up in our fatigue jackets. This was some really strange weather for South Vietnam. As we got settled into our bunker, Greg claimed the first “standing shift,” so that meant that I got to sit on the folding chair. As we swapped Christmas stories, I leaned back in the chair and started daydreaming, with visions of my Wisconsin hometown, running through my head.
When I was a kid, we had a streetlight right smack dab in the middle of our front yard. On one hand, I hated that darn pole in the summer, because I had to mow and trim around it. On the other hand, we loved it in the winter because we used it as our “snow meter.” As school kids, we were always hoping for a snow day and we’d spend a lot of time looking out the picture window at that streetlight to gauge the wind and snowfall. I remember getting up in the middle of the night just hoping to see blizzard conditions via the streetlight. It was also kind of cool because the village would always decorate the streetlights at Christmastime. There’s nothing more serene than a decorated streetlight, at midnight, in a rural Wisconsin town. The terms “wholesome” and “safe” come to mind when that picture flashes through my mind. I remember one Sunday evening when my Mom was standing in the kitchen watching all of us looking out the picture window at the streetlight, my Dad was busy reading the paper and our cat was playing with the ornaments on the tree. I distinctly remember her saying, “Where’s Norman Rockwell when you need him?” With a thud, my chair flopped forward and I found myself staring out the front of the bunker, right into the middle of a snowstorm! I am ashamed to admit it but my daydream must have turned into a brief snooze. It had started to rain and the wind was whipping around pretty good. I shook my head, rubbed my eyes and took another look, and the swirling rain looked just like snow against the night sky and illumination of the flood lights. I actually stuck my hand outside the bunker to check for snowflakes. It seemed that real. As it turned out, it was just the combination of my childhood memories and the overactive imagination of a 19-year-old kid stuck in a combat zone a million miles away from home. Regardless of the reality, for a brief moment I was home. In that moment, I wasn’t cold, tired, hungry, thirsty or homesick. For those few seconds, I wasn’t involved in the war in Vietnam. I was standing in my living room, looking out the picture window at the streetlight in my home town. It was an awesome feeling and those two seconds carried me through the next 8 months of my tour in Vietnam. Every time I was feeling homesick, I’d just close my eyes and think about that streetlight. It always seemed to help! To this day, when I’m home for Christmas, I make a point of it to drive by that streetlight and give it a grateful salute. It meant that much to me.
This holiday season, regardless of your religious beliefs, I hope that your kids develop a memory of their childhood that will one day be that crutch to lean on when they are out on their own. I sincerely hope that everyone has a safe and fun-filled holiday season, and I would hope that you all take a few moments to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers. Their sacrifice allows the rest of us to look out our windows and see the light.
By: Brian Meeter, WSS Marketing Director
re you looking for an opportunity to showcase your business with a growing organization? In just six short months the Wisconsin Sports Services, with the help of great local host organizations, has run seven events, reaching over 1,500 participants and their families. Some businesses are already seeing the benefit of sponsoring WSS events, such as Bucky’s Locker Room, the Hampton Inn, and La Crosse Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. There are many different ways to get involved with the Wisconsin Sports Services, but the key is flexibility. We are able to create a custom branding program that is sure to get your product in front of a captive audience. Some benefits of sponsoring a WSS event:
Growing audience base. Now is a great time to get in on the ground floor! Great sponsorship opportunity for hotels, restaurants, retailers, travel-based businesses, and destinations. Dynamic website, updated continuously. Customizable sponsorship packages. Ability to get your message or product to sports groups, known for their purchasing power!
Below is a list of sponsorship opportunities. Contact Brian Meeter for more information at email@example.com or 608-780-2054.
Badgerland Nationals Wrestling Tournament Fall Softball League Badgerland Baseball – Ring Sponsor Fall Fast Pitch (Girls) Tournament Central (web page for each tournament we host) Tournament Index for each sport Badgerland State Basketball Championships Badgerland Spring Basketball Championships
Thank you for considering our sponsorship opportunities. For more information and to get a firsthand view of our work, visit www.wisportsservices.org.
Bucky’s locker room: sponsor of wss athletics
ucky’s Locker Room is pleased to support Wisconsin Sport Services! We look forward to our partnership with the organization and to serving the coaches, athletes, and families who participate in WSS programs. Bucky’s Locker Room has been the official retailer of University of Wisconsin since 2004 and is the leading merchant of Wisconsin Pro sports team apparel. Whether you’re looking for Badgers, Brewers, or Packers items, Bucky’s Locker Room offers something for every sports fan. We carry a wide selection of styles for everyone, including women and children. Come visit us and make Bucky’s Locker Room your one-stop-shop for the whole family! Bucky’s Locker Room has over 15 years of athletic apparel retail experience in Wisconsin. We are the official apparel vendor at all University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s sporting events. You will find apparel representing all 22 Badger sports, including wrestling, volleyball, and swimming in our stores and at our website. We are officially licensed by the NCAA to produce University of Wisconsin Badger merchandise. This allows us to offer an exclusive and matchless selection of Badger products. Support your favorite Pro sport team with a jersey, name and number tee, or hat from name brands including Adidas, Majestic, and Reebok. If you are looking for gifts, we’ve got you covered with items such as glassware, home décor, pennants, and plush toys for the Badger, Brewers, and Packers. There are 9 stores conveniently located around Madison, including Insignia on State Street and our shops in the Kohl Center and Camp Randall. Another four stores called Name of the Game are available in the Milwaukee area. These locations also carry items for the Marquette Golden Eagles, the University of Wisconsin Panthers and Milwaukee Admirals. (See next page for locations.) Bucky’s Locker Room invites you to come check us out! Get in on all the exceptional products sold exclusively at our stores and enjoy a unique shopping experience with us soon! You can also visit us on-line at http://www.buckyslockerroom.com to purchase University of Wisconsin Badger apparel and novelties.
By: Lance Klinkhammer, WSS Staff
ello again to all the youth basketball folks out there! It’s officially winter which means the youth basketball season is in full effect. Here at the Wisconsin Sports Services we’re proud to announce that our Badgerland Super Savers were a success in Elk Mound, La Crosse and Chippewa Falls. We’d like to extend a big THANK YOU to our host organizations: Elk Mound Girls’ Basketball Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Greater La Crosse Chippewa Falls McDonell Basketball If your team wasn’t able to register for any of our events in November and December you can still get in on the action in January and February! Here are the dates and locations of our Super Saver tournaments in the upcoming months: January 11th @ Chippewa Falls McDonell High School January 18th @ Mathy Center – Viterbo University – La Crosse February 1st @ Logan High School – La Crosse February 8th @ Rice Lake High School Information and entry forms can be found on our website; follow the “Basketball” heading and click on “Badgerland Super Savers” to find our webpage dedicated to those events. And then there’s the BIG ONE in March…we’re already receiving interest from all corners of the state from teams that will be attending the Badgerland State Basketball Championships! If your team would like to play in this event, let us know and we’ll tell the world you’re coming on our State Tournament news feed. Again, this tournament is open to ALL Wisconsin boys’ & girls’ youth basketball teams in 4th-8th grade and don’t worry – we don’t want your local “A” team playing against your “C” team, which is why we’ll be offering multiple levels of play in this event! The girls’ tournament will be held on March 15-16, 2014 and the boys’ tournament will be held on March 22-23, 2014. All pertinent information, including the entry packet, rules, tournament timelines, etc., is available at wisportsservices.org. At the WSS, we really want this event to be a big one, but what’s a State Tournament without souvenirs, right? The Wisconsin Sports Services, in partner with Signature Concepts, will have an online apparel store available in the weeks prior to the event for all spectators and participants to order their unique State Tournament apparel! We’ll notify all participating teams when the apparel is available for purchase on our website. Lastly, Mother Nature has reminded us of just how brutal winter can be with the snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures that have recently covered the state. Getting to that all-important game time on the weekend becomes that much more difficult when you throw icy roads and falling snow into the mix. Whether you’re traveling to a basketball tournament or to your relatives’ house to drink egg nog and open gifts, we’d like to wish everyone safe travels this holiday season!
Badgerland Baseball Championships Update
By: Jake Wenzel, WSS Staff
The WSS would like everyone to note that the Badgerland Tournament of Champions event will be undergoing a name change. Due to a few other events in Wisconsin having a similar name, we have decided to change the name to the “Badgerland Baseball Championships” to avoid any confusion. We ask that any information on your local association’s website regarding our tournament be updated to make sure that everything is current. Planning for the second year of the Badgerland Baseball Championships (BBC) is well underway and all signs are pointing to an exciting event this upcoming summer. The 2014 BBC will be expanding to offer the age divisions of 10U-14U in what once again should be a very competitive event. The 2014 BBC will also be marketed to every team in Minnesota in an attempt to create a dynamic field of teams. The WSS and the Milwaukee Brewers once again have an agreement to award the first place teams their rings on the field at Miller Park before a Brewers game in September of 2014. Without the Milwaukee Brewers we would never be given the memories of seeing the excitement of the players as they stand on the same field as their favorite Major League players.
Due to the great support from many local associations, we have locked in host associations for the 10U, 11U, 12U, and 14U divisions. The Wisconsin Sports Services is still seeking a host group for the 13U division. If your community/association is interested in potentially being a host and would like more information, please email Jake Wenzel at firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 BBC Locations July 25-27, 2014 10u—Kaukauna, WI 11u - Waukesha, WI 12u - Holmen, WI 13u - TBD 14u - Kaukauna, WI
To stay current with information regarding the 2014 BBC and other baseball events, please check our website at www.wisportsservices.org.
By: Jeremy Innes ,WSS Staff
The Midwest Wrestling Tour has been created. The tour will encompass the Gopher State Nationals, the Badgerland Nationals and the Hawkeye Nationals and will showcase the phenomenal youth wrestling that the Upper Midwest has to offer. Rest assured that participants will be able to expect the same level of excellence at the Badgerland and Hawkeye Nationals that they have come to know at the Gopher State Nationals. At this point, we plan to award a belt that is customized for each wrestler who competes and places in all three events. The Gopher State Wrestling Nationals, with more than 1,100 participants in 2013, has earned the reputation of being one of the toughest and best run tournaments in Minnesota. The event has drawn wrestlers from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Louisiana and Wyoming. Wrestlers from all states are eligible to compete in all Gopher State Wrestling events. The inaugural Badgerland Nationals event was a huge success. Over 350 wrestlers from five different states invaded La Crosse, Wisconsin in March of 2013. Participants were very pleased that caliber of the event was the same as the Gopher State Nationals. We look for this event to really take off in 2014 and perhaps even double this year's participant numbers. The Hawkeye Nationals will complete the three legs of the tour. Look for the Hawkeye Nationals to happen for the 2014-15 season. The North Star Wrestling Tournament was created to give beginning or developing wrestlers in grades K-8 an opportunity to compete in a prestigious tournament without the pressure of having to face the high level/elite wrestlers. There is also a high school component to the tournament. Since it is being held after the Minnesota High School State Tournament, any wrestler in grades 9-12 can participate. This event will be held at the Hopkins Lindbergh Center on Sunday, March 2.
2014 Wrestling Events: January 4-5 * Badgerland Nationals February 8-9 * Gopher State Nationals February 23 * Gopher State K-6 Team Tournament March 2 * North Star Wrestling Tournament Date TBA * Hawkeye Nationals Questions? Visit our wrestling page: www.wisportsservices.org or contact Jeremy Innes at 763-746-1720 or email@example.com.
WSS ADULT SLOW PITCH
By: Adam Klinkhammer, WSS Staff
With single digit temperatures and snow covering all of our favorite ball diamonds, December is a difficult time of the year to start thinking about softball. If I appear green in the face it’s the envy that I feel about the southern states and their warm weather. Can you believe they are playing in Texas right now? Since there is nothing we can do about Mother Nature and the disappearance of warm temperatures, we are using this time to try and formulate our program for next year. The plan is to offer two events in August of 2014. The dates and details have yet to be finalized, but we are tentatively planning to offer a MN-WI Border Battle on August 9-10 and a USSSA State Tournament in Janesville on August 16-17. Stay tuned as we will publish information as it comes available. However, we do already have in place some services we will be offering to the adult softball community in 2014. Read on to learn more.
Free Agency Central
Wisconsin Softball Tournament Index
Free Agency Central is a tool that was created by the WSS staff to assist in helping players find teams and teams find players. An easy registration process delivered online will allow players to register themselves as “Free Agents” and be included on a list to help teams find players in their area. Players can include the position(s) they play, what nights they are available, home city and contact information. Teams can also register themselves as “Looking for Players” in case the shortstop bails on late notice before a big weekend tournament.
Currently, there is no one-stop shop for all the tournament opportunities available to teams in Wisconsin. In an effort to bring all this information together we created the Wisconsin Softball Tournament Index. This Index allows ANY tournament operator to upload their event’s information including date, location, entry fee, divisions offered and contact information, and they can also upload a printable registration form. These services are free and were built for the betterment of the entire Wisconsin softball community.
The Night Before Christmas – Softball Style By: Adam Klinkhammer ‘Twas the night before Christmas and at the ballfield Were 10 inches of snow, a bountiful yield A few more in December and we’ll meet our quota But the goal is not to beat Minnesota The bats are nestled all snug in their bags Along with the gloves, cleats, eye black and rags Mizunos, DiMarinis, Combats and Eastons Are waiting for the next yellow ball to be feastin’ While visions of home runs dance in my dreams In my sleep, I hit much farther it seems But it’s warm too with the sun on my face And I find it hard to top such a beautiful place Pop flies, short hops and ground rule doubles I blame my bat but it’s the least of my troubles I tell everyone that I went five for six But there was an error somewhere in the mix With butt towels hangin’ and bat bags in a row Everybody came to see the famous bomb show A bad call by the ump made me to beg his pardon And then drove me to find the nearest beer garden The parking lot is packed with coolers and barbeque But only because those teams went 0-2 A low outside pitch and I back off a little Because real ball players stay out of the middle With the courtesy foul being thrown out this year It’ll only give more teams more time to drink more beer NIT’s, Qualifiers, Nationals and Worlds In Florida, those yellow balls are batted and hurled Oh how I miss the dugout chatter With “Come On” and “Let’s Go” distracting the batter I can’t wait for the softball season to begin All those games, tournaments and trophies to win While we still wait for the teams to be chosen We can dream while our fields are still frozen We can dream of hot day games and night We can dream of the sight of a softball in flight The season will come soon enough you’ll see Before you know it you’ll be taking BP And even though it’s full of George Strait’s exes Why, oh why do I not live in Texas?!
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
5th AVE AWARDS
HOLMEN PARK AND RECREATION
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF GREATER LA CROSSE
ONALASKA PARK AND RECREATION
ELK MOUND GIRLS BASKETBALL
HOLMEN YOUTH BASEBALL PARENT’S ASSOCIATION
HOLMEN VIKINGS WRESTLING CLUB
CHIPPEWA-FALLS MCDONELL HIGH SCHOOL UW-LA CROSSE VARSITY WRESTLING
Happy Holidays from the Wisconsin Sports Services!
Wisconsin Sports Services- December 2013 Newsletter