The WIAA baseball tournament begins today around the state and for many teams it means a chance to start over. For teams that struggled or underachieved the slate is wiped clean...and in a "one and done" tournament atmosphere who knows what can happen if a team gets hot. For many teams though this will be the end of the line...and for many of the seniors the end of their organized sports careers. They started when they were young...6 or 7 in some cases. Some played several sports while many started specializing early hoping to grab the lottery prize of a college sports scholarship. For most that dream did not come to pass...but the years they spent in the locker rooms and the buses and the on the fields of play will stay with them forever. And it doesnt just come from the sporting arena. That same kind of camaraderie can also be found in the band room...and on the stage...and in many of the other extra-curricular activities that a school system provides. It's easy to cut programs like this when it comes to budget crunch time...but what is never calculated by the bean counters when that happens is what is lost. When I was in school at Wausau East (granted a long time ago) there was not the specialization you see today. There were many students, me included, that participated in many extra-curriculars. I played sports...but I also was in the band(right next to some of the top athletes in the school)...I was in the school plays (my sophomore basketball coach called me Burt Lancaster when I would have to leave practice early)...and I wouldnt have traded those experiences for anything. I don't see that today. Kids are pigeon-holed too much. Too their detriment. I can guarantee you that 30 or 40 years down the road, most of the stories swapped, will not be about algebra class or what grade you got in English...or even about the score of a particular game. The stories will be about the bus rides...and the practices...and the coaches...and the thrill you felt when you put that uniform on and competed. For those who are moving on...Congratulations for putting in the time and effort it takes...for those coming back...enjoy every minute, it goes by in the blink of an eye.
We have a couple of high school games tonight on Foxsports AM 1390 & FM 93.9. First DC Everest will host Rhinelander at 4:45...that will be followed by the Woodchucks game and then we will have the Wausau East at Merrill game in its entireity. Botth high school games will be available afterwards as podcasts on foxsportswausau.com
For those of you wondering where the Woodchucks game was last night on Foxsports Radio...our play-by-play announcer Sean Kellerman was injured when he struck his head on a stadium beam at Copeland Park and had to be taken to the hospital. With no available replacement on the road trip we had to cancel the broadcast. Hopefully he will be recovered for tonight's game. The Chucks won 5-3 in 11 innings. CJ Chatham and Ryan Donovan hit solo homers in the 11th for the win. They play in La Crosse again tonight.
Songs Of The Day (from my I-pod)
Neutron Dance-Pointer Sisters (1984) first appearing on their album 'Break Out", it became a hit on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack
Never Be Anyone Else But You-Rick Nelson (1959) a classic from the laid back Mr. Nelson...his backing band was top-notch on these songs...led by the incomparable James Burton