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25th Season in the Books

This past Saturday was the Boys State Championship. It marked the end of the 25th season coaching high school.  25 seasons for girls and 3 with the boys.

Time for a little reflection. 

None of this would have ever been possible with out a great support group around me all this time. 

Michelle has been terrific about this all the years. At first it was just 14 weeks but the past three years it has been 28 straight weeks. It has helped a little that both kids enjoy swimming and don’t mind me coaching them. Next year will be super fun because we will have Anna race for 14 weeks and then Luke will be actually compete as a freshman. 

The Athletic Directors have been awesome during this time also. Peggy at DSHA, the now retiring Mr. Domach hired me at North, and during some transition there is Bob, Mitch, and now Brian. And the two AD’s from the co-Ops have been strong supporters also in Mike at Kettle Moraine and John at Pewaukee. 

The assistant swim coaches over the years that have helped and made we see my flaws, keep me in check, and remind me that we are doin things right each day at practice. That goes back to Christine who got to coach her sister, Kris with the awesome laugh, Bridget who as a former swimmer, Laura who was tutorin MU hoops at the same time, Coach Lee who brought in beach gear for taper, Murph who made the jump from DS to North, Courtny who was a positive and energetic influence, Mollie who filled in for a pinch, Elle who needs to be a head coach somewhere, and my current two awesome assistants Jordon and Sara. 

On the deep end of the pool, where I have no reason to ever be, there have been some great divers who became coaches to fill their passion in the sport. And the wired part is the the swimming community is small but the diving community is smaller and I think this batch all knows each other. Emily took over in the early 2000’s them it was Erin before we got to Tina, Brian, Emily J and now to Alex. Finding a great diving coach is tough. My advice is to hang on dearly when you find one. 

The athletes and families that have made the years spectacular are next. 430 athletes to be exact.  There is a spreadsheet with all their names and he years they were on a team. 

Thanks to everyone for making the past 25 years awesome!  Not sure I will make another 25 years, but this first quarter of a century has been nothing short of terrific. 


Clash On

clash-iphone-320x480aThe biggest swim meet of the high school boys season is tomorrow. Which is then followed up by the State Championship next Saturday. And I would not normally admit this, but I am going to miss this team when the season is over. Not for the normal reasons, but probably because this is a team that really, really, really values Team over Self.

Most people would say it is the coaches that can instill that. Or maybe because of the great leadership. Or even the environment created with Trust. All of these are partially true and do contribute.

But the real catalyst behind it, in my opinion, is the online game of Clash of Clans.

Now before you start laughing, you need to follow the sequence of events.

During week 1 of the season, the boys told me that I needed to start playing. In a search to stay connected with the kids, I downloaded the SuperCell game. I started playing. I got to a high enough level that I could join, ready for this, the WNKMP Squad.

And what I found out was that the leadership structure in Clash of Clans is not very different than in the pool. It forces us to rely on other people, it makes us realize even more that the #TeamFirst attitude allows us to be better as a group and as a result better as individuals.  There is a different level of commitment and teamwork needed each day. Those things transfer directly to practice and meets.

Coach Mission joined. And then Ms. Salty joined. Swimmers play. Divers play. Alumni play. Even future WNKMP kids are playing.

It just takes us to a new level as a Team.

The Superbowl occurred and we get to practice and the first things we talked about was AngryNeeson52. This would have never of happened other years, and if it did, it would not have lasted very long.

One purpose and one goal now. In the pool and out of the pool.

Clash On!!

Collection Issue

WI vs ILSome people collect stamps.  Some collect buttons.  Michelle collects Precious Moments.

I save/collect my ticket stubs from Games and Concerts.  And I have a big problem.

A friend of mine reminded me that it was the anniversary of seeing the Who at Alpine a couple weeks ago.  I ran into the basement to see if I had the stub.  Looked for a while, and then remembered that I was “Scrap-booking” before it was even a real thing.

I must have gotten a hard piece of particle board from my Dad that roughly a D size print, or a 2 x 3 foot piece.  On this board are ticket stubs from August of 1986 to June of 1990.

I decided to type out the list.  Here it is:

08.26.1987 – Molitor hitting streak ends at 39 games at County Stadium.
10.31.1987 – Navy at Notre Dame Stadium for football
11.16.1987 – Yes at the Mecca 7th Row on the Floor Center
12.31.1987 – Globetrotters vs Generals at Mecca
02.03.1988 – Wisconsin beats Marquette in Bank One Classic at the BC
05.16.1988 – Yount passes Cecil Cooper on Brewers All Time RBI list
06.01.1988 – Beach Boys/Chicago at the Marcus Amphitheater
06.17.1988 – Inxs at the Marcus Amphitheater
07.19.1988 – Daryl Hamilton hits first Major League HR at County Stadium
07.21.1988 – The Who at Alpine Valley
09.09.1988 – The Rolling Stones at Alpine valley
10.14.1988 – Andre Agassi beats Tim Mayotte 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 at the BC
02.19.1989 – Wisconsin beats #4 Illinois 72-52 at the Fieldhouse
05.04.1989 – Nylons play at Carroll College at Shattuck Auditorium
08.13.1989 – Phillies vs Cubs at Wrigley Field
09.03.1989 – Greg Norman wins GMO at Tuckaway Country Club
11.04.1989 – Navy at Notre Dame Stadium for football
12.09.1989 – Marquette beats Notre Dame in hoops at the BC
12.16.1989 – Michigan beats Marquette 82-73 at the BC
12.29.1989 – Wisconsin beats Boston College at Bank One Showdown at the BC
04.04.1990 – UNLV routes Duke 103-73 in NCAA Title Game in Denver
04.24.1990 – Brewers beat KC Royals in our 1st engagement activity
06.16.1990 – 3rd Round of the US Golf Open at Medina Country Club

These were just the ones on the board.  I am sure there are plenty more.

The total cost of the 4 concerts at Alpine and Marcus was $99.  Ticket for Molitor’s streak ending was $3.50

I remember bits and pieces from each one of these.  And I have more ticket stubs not on the board.  All of which are floating around the house in various places.

In return, after every game we take the kids to now, I hand them the ticket.  Hopefully they get the same memories that I had at all of these events.

And We Are Underway

Anna 1st Swim ClassBy the time most of you read this, Anna’s first high school swim practice will be well underway.  And although I am not sure how the season will go for us being together everyday, I do know that we are both very exited about the opportunity potential.  Will it be easy?  Probably not, but there should be enough excitement for both of us.

The hardest part for me is that this is not really how I envisioned it starting.  We will be practicing at Waukesha South the first week for sure, potentially longer.  Her initial school meeting are at Butler Middle School.  Also not at the High School.  And yes, I know, kids are resilient.  They bounce back quicker than us adults.

And I also know that through adversity we find strength.

And that is what we will need not only week one, but for the next 4 years of High School, and probably for a lifetime.

Anna GogglesOur first home has already been moved to a neutral site because of the fire damage.  That makes Anna’s first home against DSHA on September 5th.  A little coincidence since that was the team that I coached for the first 16 years of my coaching career.  Hopefully the AD that hired me back in 1991 will come to the meet.

Between the two of us, we have a great support system all around.  Hopefully we will not need to call on them a great deal and can allow all of them to enjoy a front row seas on what will be a great journey.

Camp is Over

As quickly as it started, it was over.  6 days, 5 nights, and the majority of the time without a cloud in the sky.  Ranger Rick said he could not remember a hot, dry stretch like this since 1995.

Monday was great and the last activity was taking some of the Program Assistants on a hour canoe trip.  Tuesday we took the PA Preps over to Neosho Millpond for a little canoeing, while Wednesday the future PA Preps split time between Outdoor Cook and Canoe.  Thursday was family dinner, and then Friday was clean up and the return trip home.

And although it was a little hot the 2nd half of the week, and we all wish we had more AC, all in all it was a great week.  14 Seniors received their chairs, there were some practice jokes, and each night when the sun went down the temperature outside made it good, bordering on great sleeping weather.

Stripes, Lipstick, Cricket, Pancakes, Waffles, Grumpy/Happy, Fred, Sparky, Care Bear, Rizzo, Digit, Fonzie, Bee Bop, Zig, Bullseye, Elmo, Detergent, Grasshopper, Snickers, Cherry, Moe, and Bubble Gum – These are all great individuals in their own right with very unique backgrounds.  And when we put them all together, it makes a great atmosphere.  A camp where the above set the course of action so that we can see young female adults have the opportunity to lead younger adults.

51 weeks til we do it all again!


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