The Warhawk Men’s Bowling Club team bounces back from COVID-19 tournament closure in 2020 to win back-to-back national titles

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater boasts national title coming out of the 2020 tournament closure returning with back-to-back championships.  

The tournament’s 2020 cancellation threw a gutter ball with the team’s championship momentum to include new rules and protocols added in 2021.

The Warhawk Men’s Bowling Club team roster consists of eight bowlers. The group competed for the national title in Anderson, Indiana April 10-11.

The team returned anew, with new members and a new team without the help from senior players mentoring them. Coach Shawn Wochner recalls his university cancellation one-hour before showing up to the 2020 tournament.

Coach Wochner picked up the team’s seven-ten-post-pandemic-split after losing five seniors to graduation. Wochner shares his memory of and the lasting affect from the national lockdown with his team and president of the tournament.

“The first thing I would say is it was an honor to even be able to compete this season. College bowling is down over 100 different teams this year and we are the only University of Wisconsin school that competed this season,” Wochner shared who doubles as the tournament president enforcing new COVID-19 protocols and procedures.

The Warhawk Men’s Bowling Club team returned from a cancelled season with the following new set of rules.

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Coach Shawn Wochner, featured on the right, works passionately to provide his team with tournament experience every year. Wochner doubles as The Club National Tournament president.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater supported Coach Wochner’s decision to return under the strict adherence to the “COVID-19 Protocols and Procedures Championships Tournaments Guide,” which states:

  • No spectators allowed during the competition.
  • All persons, to include spectators, must always wear an approved face covering while in the building, including during competition per updated regulations as recommended by the Center for Disease Control.
  • Persons refusing to wear a mask will not be allowed entry into the building. Violations may result in membership suspension and disqualification from the tournament.
  • No competitors allowed on either side of person approaching bowling lane at any time.

Bowlers became shipmates braving the uncharted waters of COVID-19 to compete for the 2021 championship.

Wochner’s team would return from virtual uncertainty to chart their course with new university social distance polices to include required antigen testing.

Wochner’s reflection outlined the antigen testing requirements to return to campus. The team championed on through nasal swabbing to compete.

“In my 11 years of experience, this is the first team to win our sectional qualifier, which expressed to me their heart, their fight and their talent. I am so excited to see their performance this year,” Coach Wochner stated attributing to the team’s success.

Bowlers sailed through the scurvy of the pandemic through the irritability of nose swabbing, wearing masks, and hitting the lanes despite all odds.

Coach Wochner expressed his appreciation of the university who backed his team’s return in 2021 to compete for the tournament title.

The team under Wochner’s leadership worked diligently to keep the Warhawk Men’s Bowling Club team afloat.

Steering the ship as both a tournament president and coach, Wochner weighted every single decision to risk walking the plank of the university’s strict policies as the captain.

Congratulations on a safe and successful back-to-back championship season and hope next year the team will not have to swab the tournament protocol deck.

Coach Wochner celebrated his seventh Coach of the Year award and will return in fall to build future leaders on his team.  

The Warhawk Men’s Bowling Club Team was the only University of Wisconsin school to compete in the tournament.
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Social media convergence and the digital reflection of self

When the average reader credits citizen journalist bloggers as trained reporters, who share clickbait and tabloid on social media, the result ends in the lack of transparency when consuming digital news. Consuming online news can trick the untrained eye leading to believing myths. Studying journalism acquainted me with world renowned philosopher Dr. John Rawls. Rawls opened my eyes to respect the habit of being the ends as a moral agent with my audience. Citizen bloggers masquerading as journalists rarely consider the reader’s right to decide the truth from false. My first habit inspects ethics and credibility before consuming blogs as news.

Blogs are my last resort when seeking online news unless the source has academic credibility like The United States Army War College. I seek legacy reporting websites as a first choice for national news. After interviewing members of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, I quickly became acquainted with convergence reporting that had me intrigued. Viewers converge with print journalists online at www.jsonline.com and on Twitter during breaking news. The editors receive leads, then write the story once confirming source credibility as true. Convergence puts the credibility back in the hands of the reporter.  

I follow The Post Crescent from my hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin, which offers great lifestyle features at www.postcrescent.com. On a state level, The Wisconsin State Journal offers outlets for freelance reporters. I submit found footage through blogs and have interviewed reporters, editors and assignment managers for class projects.  As a writer in the freelance journalism community, I subscribe to the news that keeps me working. I consume my news from websites and endorse credible outlets who use editors with a solid reputation. The news I seek ranges from Wisconsin State Capitol hearings to Madison Common Council reports.

On an international level, I seek military editorials from Military.com and The U.S. Army War College as my go to favorite news sites. My pursuit to become a combat correspondent combined with my military service follows my childhood hero’s path of Walter Cronkite. My favorite local broadcast news site offers portals for uploading found footage at www.nbc15.com, who interacts with viewers. I prefer to access the news through Facebook pages and websites who converge with viewers because of social distance interaction and safety. Search engines help when I crowdsource niche subjects like veteran affairs for feature stories. Google comes in handy when seeking out newsworthy sources. I only use Google for searching out subjects to write about. I prefer to interact online with viewers when consuming the news.

Social media outlets and news resource pages allow convergence with readers. When consuming news, my first stop seeks out the opinion of viewers. Social media platforms offer leads. Breaking news coverage on social media offers added advantages. My primary resource for news consummation comes from social media outlets. Convergence coverage between journalists and subscribers happens on-the-spot in the comments section. I tend to comment when a journalist makes an error or offers the viewer an opinion in their editorial. Journalism online allows for partisan editorializing with the ever-growing rise of citizen journalism. Commenting educates viewers when journalism ethics disappear.

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