Portage County Gazette 20th Anniversary: Sports Time Capsules
As we celebrate 20 years, we take a look at some of the stories that have graced the pages of our publication.
Five years ago:
The 2014 AAA State Champion Plover Black Sox American Legion Baseball team had its run come to an end just short of a trip to the American Legion World Series at the Great Lakes National Regional in Terre Haute, Ind.
Austin Schulfer and Cal Giese each earned a win on the mound as the Black Sox won their first two games at the National Regional and were one of two remaining unbeaten teams at the double-elimination tournament, before a 14-1 loss to Midland, Mich. Plover battled back to advance to the Regional Championship Game, where it lost 8-5 to Midland to end the season with a 34-8 record and match the best finish in program history. Midland went on to finish as the National Runner-up at the Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C.
10 years ago:
Twin brothers and former Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) hockey players Aaron and Austin Wessell shared their experience as two of the seven University of Wisconsin students who served as the Bucky Badger mascot during events throughout the year.
“To outsiders, it might seem like a cheesy thing, like, ‘oh, you’re the mascot,’” said Austin Wessell. “But with the huge number of events that we do throughout Madison and other Wisconsin communities, because we travel all over the state, I just really get an appreciation for doing things that make people happy.
“Like visiting Children’s Hospitals or hospice care, it just makes you feel good that you’re doing something that other people enjoy and get a kick out of,” he said.
20 years ago:
Former University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) guard Terry Porter signed a three-year contract to play for the reigning NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs. A two-time NBA All-Star during 10 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Porter played for the Minnesota Timberwolves for three seasons and then spent the 1998-99 season with the Miami Heat, before he signed with the Spurs.
San Antonio went on to reach the playoffs in each of the final three seasons of Porter’s career, including a trip to the 2001 Western Conference Finals, as Porter advanced to the playoffs in 16 of his 17 seasons in the NBA.
The Plover 13-year old baseball team capped its 1999 traveling season by winning the Plover Tournament. Team members included Ted Schlafke, Jake Owens, Jimmy Haluska, Mitch Miskoski, Adam Macht, Garrett Wroblewski, Brian Churas, Scott Kingston, Mike Plaza, Alex Riordan, Jimmy Fletcher, Jason Pezewski and Matt Korpal.