Desktop Sportsman (08/12/09)My wife took a photography class while going to school at UW-Stout about five years ago and we spent a day at Arkansaw Creek Park taking pictures, especially of an old railroad bridge that was in the park as a decorative piece. We have it hanging on a wall in our home. Now the park is in ruins after last week’s heavy rainstorms (six inches in two hours) flooded the park. The bridge is on its side as the power of the water knocked it right off its concrete moorings.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
My wife took a photography class while going to school at UW-Stout about five years ago and we spent a day at Arkansaw Creek Park taking pictures, especially of an old railroad bridge that was in the park as a decorative piece. We have it hanging on a wall in our home.
Now the park is in ruins after last week’s heavy rainstorms (six inches in two hours) flooded the park. The bridge is on its side as the power of the water knocked it right off its concrete moorings.
Amazing isn’t it that something you can fill a glass with can move a lot of iron just like that?
As with all things in life, you never can fully experience anything until you see with your own eyes. I thought it incredible last year to watch on television those images of homes literally falling into Lake Delton for largely the same reason, fast rushing water. Now I can take a short walk from my home and see the same thing close up, along with uprooted trees, destroyed buildings and torn away river banks.
There’s a lot that will take place in the aftermath, but all I can’t think about now is what a neat little place it once was. I’m glad we got a snapshot of it.
— If you talk to Kansas City Chiefs officials and fans alike it seems they’re of the same mind about the Chiefs eventual move of their training camp facilities from River Falls to St. Joseph’s, Missouri.
Yes moving to St. Joe’s will be more convienent, shorter and bring in more fans to watch the Chiefs train.
But River Falls has been a great host and a great experience.
One couple I met during a Chiefs’ practice last week said they hadn’t been to River Falls before and wanted to do so before the team moved. They made a vacation out of it, riding a motorcycle all the way up to the North Shore then River Falls on the way back. “It’s beautiful country,” the woman from Missouri told me. “I’m glad I got to see it.”
The Chiefs official and one of the Kansas City media persons I talked to both said the same thing. Both said they looked forward to coming to Pierce County every year for the past 19 years.
“It’s a nice town and the university has made every effort to accommodate us and meet our needs,” the Chiefs official said. “Heck, the lockerooms we use in the Hunt Arena are as nice as anything you’d find around the rest of the NFL.”
Indeed, there really isn’t much more either River Falls, UWRF and state could do short of giving the Chiefs officials and players gold bars in welcoming baskets every year. And yet it still is not enough to keep the Chiefs around. The economics of the game have pretty much ended the Cheese League, as KC will be the last team that trained in Wisconsin to pull up stakes, either after this year or next for a new multi-million dollar facility opens up at Missouri Western University. But that’s not something River Falls can control. Of what it could control, the community, the county and the state have acted as welcoming and as accommodating to a group of strangers in the Midwest tradition. We can all pat ourselves on the back for near two decades worth of hospitality. It’s not everyday and a major organization like the NFL comes around your hometown but when it did, the people of Pierce County did the utmost to make them feel welcome. No more need be said or done.
— The WIAA has offered two playoff proposals in its two biggest sports, football and boys’ basketball, that try and solve its most contentious issues, realignment and private school enrollment classification, all in one swoop.
The football plan was designed by former Baldwin-Woodville head coach and new WIAA exec. Wade Labecki. It replaces conferences with regional areas and takes the top four teams in each regional for the playoffs. The is similar to what’s done in Iowa for football. Labecki is trying to be proactive in this because what drives conference realignment more than anything is football and there’s concern among WIAA officials that some schools may opt out of conferences for football so they can play an independent schedule and get to the playoffs just by winning five games.
I like the idea as a concept but it’s going to need a lot of tweaking.
There’s no way Ellsworth is go with playing in the same region as Tomahawk, even if its only once a year. What about JV and freshman games? Do you use traditional conference set ups for those (anyone up for a trip to Tomahawk on a Tuesday night?) I know many of the inner-city Milwaukee and Madison schools will object playing in the same regions as their more powerful suburban counterparts. Still, it’s a plan worth strong consideration.
What’s not worth considering is five divisions in basketball with four teams each at state. Enrollment disparities is an issue with football but not in ‘hoops. What is an issue is smaller private schools from big cities winning all these championships and clocking rural, small town schools in the process. If the WIAA wants to make it a rule to bump up a Racine St. Catherine’s Whitefish Bay Dominican or Eau Claire Regis a division because their are in metro areas, so be it. But it’s no excuse to water down the basketball playoffs even further. Five divisions is too many for a state the size of Wisconsin (Minnesota has too many with four). Besides, the big schools will never go for it. They think it is their birthright to have eight teams at state. The Milwaukee schools will be against this as well. They like having two to three teams at state.
— Some collegiate news: Plum City’s Logan Radle will be playing football at UW-La Crosse while Plum City’s Amanda Daleiden will be playing basketball at UW-Stout.
— Ellsworth High School Head Baseball Coach Steve Block is one win away from 300.
— Glenwood City High School is looking at resurfacing their track.
— Ellsworth’s Morgan Place couldn’t accept the prize of a Mexican vacation after winning a marathon in Red Wing due to NCAA rules. So she gifted to another runner.