STATELINE NEWS -- Officials with the Macktown Warriors Youth Football program are crossing the border in hopes of increasing participation while building bridges and making connections.
Matt Strand has been with the organization, which started in 2007, for five years. It mainly serves the feeder districts of Hononegah High School in Rockton.
However, its annual camp also is open to neighboring communities South Beloit, Machesney Park and Beloit. And the idea is to expand it to Janesville and other Stateline area schools because this year’s event will be held at Beloit College’s Strong Stadium. Coaches from Beloit College and Hononegah High School will join Macktown instructors for sessions, which are for participants in kindergarten through eighth grade, that are scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, July 20 through July 23.
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- They obviously don’t always think and act alike. After all, they’re brothers -- and six years apart in age.
However, David Ferris, 25, and Austin Scoville, 19, agreed something that worked well once should work again, or at least they were willing to try and find out.
The Janesville residents had gathered friends and classmates in Evansville, where they spent most of their youth, to play football. An impromptu chat while waiting for springlike weather to arrive rekindled the idea: What could they do to bring folks together and meet new people, get a little exercise, shake off the winter doldrums and have fun?
Greg Enz couldn’t have asked for a better first season after taking over the Big Foot program last year in succeeding Rodney Wedig, who directed the Chiefs to 11 consecutive WIAA football playoff berths -- Enz made it 12 in a row.
“It’s really quite interesting because you’re trying to get kids from very different programs and with limited time to work together,” said Enz, a former Little Chute head coach who was an assistant for the Divisions 1-3 North team in 2009. “At the same token, it’s a really awesome thing because it’s a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital, so the kids can learn more about selflessness, and coaches participate, too. It’s an experience that everybody should get to participate in.”
Enz was referring to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star games, pitting graduated seniors in North versus South match-ups. The 39th annual event will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday, July 18. Players in Divisions 4-7 will meet at 2 p.m. and those in Divisions 1-3 tangle at 6 p.m. An eight-man contest starts the day at 10 a.m.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- They’ve not appeared on many people’s athletic radars across the Stateline area, but that anonymity won’t last much longer should they continue their recent string of success.
The Demon Elks rugby program finished first or second in the state from 2012 through 2014, and six of its athletes qualified for the 50-member Wisconsin Selects squad that competed in a national tournament in Denver over Father’s Day weekend.
“Our first couple of years we barely had enough guys to play and we didn’t win much,” said Jeff Gahart, one of the coaches who helped organize the Elkhorn-based team about 10 years ago. “But (our numbers) grew and we got a lot better. And the last four years we’ve enjoyed a lot of success.
JANESVILLE -- A team made up of Craig high school runners recently finished 22nd out of 524 teams in a grueling, 200 mile relay race from Madison to Chicago.
The Ragnar Relay is an overnight running relay race where each runner of a 12-member team completes three legs throughout the race, with legs ranging from 2.7 to 9.9 miles at a time. Each runner will complete between 13.2 and 20 miles.
Craig's team was organized by Nate Farrell, a state cross country qualifier last year as a sophomore, as a team building effort over the summer.
The team also included Caleb Mollet, Blake McCann, Ben Kubiak, Joe Cooper, Dayne Farris, Mark Fiore, Payton Bender, Trajan Perleberg, Anthony Schrader, Tyler Brown and Christian Gilmore.