Bounce, Bounce, swish, bounce, bounce, clank, these are just some of the sounds that echo throughout the Katchel gymnasium at 6:30, every Monday through Friday morning. These sounds do not come from your average students playing a pick up game, nor does it come from the national championship men’s basketball team, or the Final Four finalist women’s basketball team. These are the sounds of another Championship team, The women’s wheelchair basketball team.

 

These lady Warhawks are up before the roosters crow, and hit the gym early, rolling, shooting, dribbling, passing, and practicing for what hopes to be a forth national title in as many years.

 

This years team however is a lot different from past championship teams, as younger players are going to have to step up to replace the veterans that were lost.

 

The Warhawks are lead by Senior Jillian Host better know as Beans and Junior Mariska  Beijer aka Mars. Host is the captain of the Warhawks, while Beijer won a bronze medal as a paralympian for the Netherlands.

 

Three seniors, a junior, a sophomore, and a freshman round out the rest of the Warhawk team. Vanessa Erskine (Sr), Lydia Sprain (Sr), and Rachel Nepper(Sr), Yarden Hershko(Jr), Dani Ebben(So), Amanda Sengdetka(Fr).

 

The 2014 – 2015 season has already gotten off to a rocky start for the lady Warhawks, as they went 1-3 during their home opening tournament on November 21-22. They were able to beat their boarder rival Illinois 45-38, but fell short to the University of Texas-Arlington twice, and the University of Alabama.

 

In a 70-28 blowout, it was sweet revenge for Alabama Crimson Tide, as they have lost the last three National Championships to these very Warhawks.

 

When asked how they plan on improving this season the girls had multiple responses on how they as individuals plan on getting better. “I am in the weight room 3 times a week, I do shooting 2-3 times a week, and I get together with teammates occasionally to work on things like passing, shooting” said Ebben.

 

Other teammates, like freshman Amanda Sengdetka, are working on the simpler things like lifting weights, to improve their shot distance.  They also get together and watch film and study their opponents, as well as themselves. Some of the girls will even practice with the men’s team.

 

The Warhawks will have plenty of time to keep practicing and getting better as nationals don’t occur until late March. In the mean time they need to keep grinding away, according to the head of the wheelchair program, Jeremy “Opie” Lade. “We don’t focus on winning or losing; we try to focus on developing athletes on the court and off the court.  If we take care of improving our fundamental skills, our knowledge of the game and our team first mentality the winning and losing will take care of itself.”

 

Winning and being a successful program however is important for the Warhawks to keep getting top-notch recruits to come to this smaller division three school. “Our main recruiting focus is how supportive our campus is of wheelchair basketball and our great tradition of being successful.” Opie added.

 

The lady Warhawks are in dire need of some fresh recruits as next season four of the eight girls will be leaving as this their senior season. It is a huge transition time, but these girls are determined to stay on top.

 

The University of Wisconsin Whitewater is used to being on top in Division three athletics. They have become a perennial powerhouse, winning 16 national championships in the past five years alone..

 

Last year, the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Warhawks pulled off a feat that has never been done by any college across any division, taking the triple crown in men’s sports.  Their Football, Basketball, and Baseball, teams all took home top honors.

 

The men were not the only team to bring home hardware in 2013-2014. The Women’s Gymnasitc team also won a national championship, while the Men’s Wrestling team fell short placing second and the Women’s Basketball team made an appearance in the Final Four.

 

Then you bring Wheelchair Athletics into the mix, which is a sport little known around campus. This is quite surprising, considering they have put together 15 national championships of their own, and added another two to the trophy case last year.

 

Wheelchair basketball started in the year 1946 in two Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals in Birmingham (CAL) and Framingham (MA). World War II veterans were being treated for various degrees of paralysis. Realizing that they would be in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives, veterans were looking for ways to stay active, enter wheelchair basketball.

 

UW-Whitewater Wheelchair Athletics has been around since 1973 with the formation of the men’s wheelchair team, and over 40 plus years they have been around they have won 12 championships. If you do the math that’s an average of a championship about every three years.

 

The women’s team did not come about until the year 2008, which in that year they started as a club team. They became a true collegiate team in 2011 which just so happened to be when they won their first of three consecutive national championships.

 

There are a few common misconceptions when it comes to wheelchair athletics. The first is that it is completely different from other athletics, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Just ask sophomore Dani Ebben.

 

“We are just as much of athletes as anyone else. People always see us as “different” and while we have some differences, we can do just about anything that anybody else can do and lead normal lives.”

 

Its hard for abled body people to see people with disabilities in the same light, and it drives senior Vanessa Erskine, better know as Mizz, a little bit crazy. “It’s not a sport created to make it easier for someone with a disability to be able to do and feel good about themselves as a “basketball player” or whatever sport they choose to play.”

 

Mizz believes that it might even be harder to play wheelchair basketball then in is regular basketball. I would say that adaptive athletes might even be more coordinated than a regular athlete because they have to not only play the sport but also have to maneuver the wheelchair.”

 

Another common misconception is that is takes people in a wheelchair longer to do things then in would an able body person. While it does take longer for some daily activities, others can be quicker. “Luckily, being on wheels makes me faster than people walking so I don’t have to leave for class as early. I do have to make sure though, that I can get to one of the available seats in the room”

 

Some of the bigger challenges for these athletes are simple day to day tasks such as grabbing things off higher shelf’s, and being able to drive a car can be a little bit harder, but if you ask any off these Warhawks, they don’t feel even a little bit different then any able bodied person.

 

A typical day for them consists of waking about around 5:30 am to be in the gymnasium by 6:15. Practice from 6:30 to 8:30 then for most of them, to their first class. After class it is then back to scrimmage from 11:30 to 1:00 pm. After scrimmaging its back to class again. They then find time to either workout, do homework, and hang with friends before they call it a night. Impressive schedule for anyone to maintain, but for most they are powered by an outside force to keep going.

 

 “Powered by Tradition” is the school motto and is believed and followed by all Warhawks. However, some have a little bit different view of what being a Warhawk truly mean to them.  

 

“To me being a Warhawk means working as hard as you can all the time. Our program was built off of hard work and dedication and continues to be successful by athletes and staff giving everything they have all the time.”

 

Vanessa knows that in order to be successful it begins with hard work, but that’s not the only thing these Warhawks are going to have to do to repeat.

 

Ebben acknowledged that hard work is definitely apart of it, but more so. “It’s going to take a lot trial and error honestly. We are all filling in different roles than last year, and we just have to figure out what works and what doesn’t.” Trust in each other was another big thing Ebben stressed that the Warhawks need to work on this season.

 

Basketball is just a way a life for these girls and getting the world out about adapted athletics. Wheelchair athletics runs a program called cornerstones for success. “Cornerstones for success is a unique program that dispels myths about persons who have a disability and shows your students how they can be successful in and out of the classroom.”

 

Cornerstones for success is a two part program the first involving the personal lives of the athletes, and the second is a demonstration. During the demonstration students are shown the basic fundamentals of wheelchair basketball.

 

The Cornerstones for Success is meant for all age groups, as they have presented to elementary, middle, and high school students. These college athletes are great presenters and provide real life stories ranging from success they’ve had to overcoming their disability.

 

Schools or individual groups can contact wheelchair athletics if they wish to set up a presentation of Cornerstones For Success.

 

The wheelchair athletic program at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater not only turns out championship caliber teams, they also produce championship caliber people. Whitewater disability graduates are employed at a rate of 90-95 percent.

 

Makes one wonder what’s in the water at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: December 23, 2014, 8:45 am | No Comments »

Jobs Gives Commencement Speech to Stanford Graduates

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: November 30, 2012, 11:18 am | No Comments »

30  Nov
Early Voting

Get Your Early Voting Done Now

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: November 30, 2012, 11:17 am | No Comments »

29  Nov
Black Friday

Black Friday

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: November 29, 2012, 5:14 pm | No Comments »

16  Nov
Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: November 16, 2012, 2:05 pm | No Comments »

Susquehanna Steel Corporation has shut down Blast Furnace Unit 1 which has caused a $100 million dollar drop off in industrial property value for the city of Kittatinny. They laid off a total of 1,200 workers, which is over half of their labor force. This means only one thing that taxes are on the rise and cuts will have to be made.

Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz handed out the city’s new proposed budget to the members of the city council and held a press conference yesterday afternoon. The press conference lasted about an hour and the mayor seemed hard pressed at times to find the right words. Some of the most notable changes are the tax increase, garbage pick-up, and police wages and lay-offs.

In the new budget proposed a tax increase of .3 mills was proposed. This could lead to increases of thousands of dollars for some families. However the cities income from taxes is still less than last year. The mayor said that these are going to be trying times for the city and that everyone is going to have to make some sacrifices.

That included him, in a heart filled gesture the mayor said that he and the rest of the council members are willing to take a 10% pay cut. Police officers also joined in and said they too would take a 10% pay cut even though they are losing two of their officers starting the first of the year.

Chief of Police Roman Hruska was also in attendance at the press conference and was notably upset that he was losing two officers. The loss of these two officers means that there will now be no Kittatinny officers on duty from 4 am to noon. The city will contract Schuylkill county sheriff’s deputies to handle that shift.

When asked what he thought of the layoffs and no coverage in the morning hours Hruska said one word “Unacceptable”. The city has about 17,000 citizens and to not have our own police staff to protect this city is wrong Hruska added.

President of the Pennsylvania Police Association, Bjarne Westhoff, also had a chance to speak out on this issue. She was very upset as well and talked about the slower response times that this would lead too. A city of this magnitude needs to have its own staffed officers ready to go and the people of this great city should be protected at all times.

Reelections are coming up in April and the mayor and all city council members will be up for reelection. The budget is not set and stone and still has possibilities for revisions, but is sure to be a hot topic for the next 2 months. The mayor has his work cut out for him and what he does with the budget is sure to greatly affect his reelection chance.

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: October 16, 2012, 9:45 pm | No Comments »

105.9 Throws a Rockin’ Tailgate Party

105.9 The Hog was in Madison this past weekend and threw one of the best tailgate parties around! The Hog Located in Janesville was on location at Choles’ Floral serving up beer and food for the Hog Pen Tailgate Party.*

If guests were lucky enough to get on the guest list this time around they got free drinks including Budweiser, Bud Light, Lime-a-Rita’s, and Goose Islands 312.  They also received free shots of Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, and Monster Energy Bombs.

Food was also given to guests and was catered in by Knutes of Madison. There were serving up burgers, brats, cheesy potatoes, along with potato salad.

When talking to Ricky who won tickets by being caller number 9 he said “free food, free beer, football, and The Hog What could be better?” Not a lot if you asked around. It was a common theme among tailgate goers at.

Hannah Kubiak Promotions Director at The Hog is responsible for this great event. “Every Badger home game we’ll be here” she said. Fans can win tickets and bring up to 3 friends into the event she added.

Chloe’s is located only a few blocks from Camp Randle it’s the perfect location for a tailgate party. She and about 8 others hosted and set up the event which lasted about 2 hours.

The Hog did a great job hosting this event and fans of The Hog and Badgers should try to win these tickets. The next time The Hog will be up at Chloes’ will be Saturday October 20 before the Gophers of Minnesota take the field.

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: October 16, 2012, 9:43 pm | No Comments »

Living out one’s dream to go to Florida is now easier than ever, just ask UW student Ryan Stewart. The Wheaton Illinois native applied and was accepted into the Disney College Program, for their spring term. Stewart is finishing up his fall semester and will leave for sunny Orlando in January. He was extremely excited “I can’t wait I’ve always wanted to move down to Florida since I was little and now I’m living out my dream.”

 

Stewart already has some family in the Jacksonville area so being in Florida is nothing new. However he  is nervous about the program he mentioned that when you start your internship you move in with 5 random strangers. He’s not quite sure how its going to be, “you can either have a bunch of nice guys or people who are messy and dirty.” Rooming with people you don’t know can be very difficult but he said the time away from his family is what hes most worried about. The Internship is 6 months long and hes hoping that his family will come down and visit.

 

Stewart chose the Disney College Program because it gives him a chance to earn credit as well as get paid. Those 2 factors were crucial and helped him in his final decision to accept. He said that the fact that I can get paid and get credit made it that much more easy to go. Stewart is a business marketing major and his hoping he can learn from one of the biggest companies in the world. “To be able to put this on your resume is priceless, not to many people can say they’ve worked for Disney.”

 

If all goes well for Stewart he wants to  transfer to UCF or the University of Florida to finish up his last 2 years of school. The road ahead might be hard, but if everything goes right it will be worth it for Stewart.

 

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: September 21, 2012, 1:24 pm | No Comments »

07  Sep
Hello world!

Welcome to Blogs.uww.edu. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Posted by Marshall Yde-Bonchek, filed under Uncategorized. Date: September 7, 2012, 7:43 pm | 1 Comment »