I'm sure you remember the "Kearns Korner" column the La Crescent student newspaper in 1969 right? I know I still have copies framed at home hanging on the wall. What insight! Well it's back in Blog form. I love high school and college sports and may put a thought or two down on games coming up, or some we may have already broadcast. And yes, I still look the same as the picture above.
The regular season for the boys high school basketball teams ends Friday night February 15th. Valentines night will decide the MVC title with a showdown between Onalaska and Central at the Mark Sutton gym. Both teams are 19-2 while Onalaska has just one conference loss and Central and Aquinas two. The Blugolds host Holmen on Valentines night. The Hilltoppers control their own destiny and with a win would clinch the title outright. If Central and Aquinas both win there would be a three way tie. The Hilltoppers and Blugolds were expected to do well. The Red Raiders 19-2? I don't think anyone saw that coming. Hats off to Todd Fergot and Central on a great season to this point. I say to this point, because the tournament begins Tuesday night. What a battle it will be, especially in Division two with Onalaska, the number one team in the state in division two, Central the number four team in the state in division two, along with Holmen and Logan all in the same half of the sectional. In division three the fifth ranked Blugolds are one of the favorites, and in division four is tenth ranked Onalaska Luther. That's just scratching the surface. We'll have the Ashland at Logan game on Tuesday night the 19th to kick things off. Onalaska, Central, Aquinas, and Holmen all have first round byes and will play Friday night. We could see another Central vs. Logan match up and possibly Central vs. Holmen and even Onalaska and Central again if both would advance to the sectional. There is a lot of basketball to be played, but there is a good chance we could have an area team, or hopefully teams in Madsion the 7th, 8th and 9th of March. Uwl and Viterbo wrap up their regular seasons Saturday and begin conference tournament action the week of February 19th as well. Be listening we will have plenty of basketball action on WKTY and our sister station WIZM. It will be my 41st straight state tournament. Hopefully I will be working again!
You'll want to be there.........where? The La Crosse Center Thursday night for the rematch. It's Onalaska hosting Aquinas in a girls-boys high school basketball doubleheader. The Onalaska girls and the Aquinas boys won the first meeting in front of 5000 fans. All four teams have gone on to have plenty of success. The Onalaska girls are 6th in the state in division two and have a 14-2 record and are 8-0 in the conference. The Aquinas girls are 11-3 overall and 4-3 in the MVC. It is a must win for the Blugolds if they entertain any thoughts of getting into the conference race. The boys game went down to the wire last time with the key match-up Bronson Koenig vs. Matt Thomas. The Hilltoppers had a chance at the end, but Koenig with some help from Michael Conway defended the last possesion well and Aquinas won 46-44. The Hilltoppers are the top ranked team in the state in division two at 15-2 and have one conference loss, to the Blugolds. Aquinas is ranked third in division three and are 15-2 overall and the only unbeaten team in the MVC at 8-0. It should be another great match-up between two of the best teams in the state, and two of the best players in the country. Matt Thomas is averaging 31 points a game, the most in the state, but he had to work real hard for every point the last time the two matched up. I look for a higher scoring game, and a close game the second time around. Don't forget about the other game in town Thursday night as Logan is at Central. That game can be heard on 1410 WIZM with Dan Deicher. Central is 13-2 heading into their game Tuesday night at Holmen, with their only two losses to Onalaska and Aquinas. The season is winding down and the tournament is just around the corner. Don't miss these great games!!!!! See you Thursday night at the La Crosse Center.
I have seen many great performances by High School and College basketball players over the years from John Ford back in the day to Tony Mane at Uwl. Tony might have been one of the best shooters I ever saw play. He was only about six feet tall, yet could get his shot off no matter what size player was guarding him. He took shots that would be bad shots for most players, falling back, drifting to one side or ther other, falling down, driving to the basket, you name it Tony could make it. There were no bad shots for Tony Mane. One of the greatest performances ever is one I didn't get to see. It was Matt Thomas' game recently vs. Tomah. Matt had 12 points after the first 70 seconds. 24 at the end of the first quarter, 37 at the half and finished with 50 points. That is an Onalaska school record, breaking his own record of 43 he had set a few games earlier. He played only 20 minutes of the game. He broke the family record as well. Yes the Family record. His mother played High School basketball in Iowa and once scored 48 points. I have been telling you about the two Division one basketball players that are both in their senior seasons. More special things will happen before this season is over. Get out and see them. Both will play this weekend at the La Crosse Center in the Pepsi Midwest Players Classic. There are games starting at 10:45 Saturday morning and six games total. Each game will start 20 minutes after the prior game is concluded. We will broadcast four of the six games on WKTY. For a complete schedule of games go to: midwestplayersclassic.com Hope to see you at the La Crosse Center Saturday January 18th
Pardon my language, but where the hell has 40 years gone. Last November marked my 40th year at WKTY and it has gone by in a flash. I wish I had kept track of how many games I have done, all the cities and towns I have traveled to and all the wonderful coaches, officials, athletic directors and fellow announcers that I have had a chance to work with. Maybe because it has been so much fun is the reason it has gone by so quickly. Some would argue working day and night much of the winter can't be that much fun. Sometimes I wonder myself when I get home after midnight and get up at four the next morning. I was fortunate enough to work with my dad for 8 years before he left us much to early at age 57. That was in 1981, hard to beleive it will be 32 years this fall. He had started at WKTY the year the station went on the air in 1948 and was a fantastic play by play man. He could talk faster than anyone I ever heard and you could understand each and every word. To this very day I still have people call me Charlie. Then they stop and apoligize, and I say, hey no need to apoligize, it is a compliment as far as I'm concerned. I am honored to have broadcast the UWL National Champioship games in football, and the Aquinas football and basketball state championship games and the Onalaska state championship basketball games going back to John Sheltons two state Championships and last years Hilltopper state championship win. That's just a few. With the recent influx of D-one basketball players I often get asked who is the best. Right now it's Matt Thomas of Onalaska and Bronson Koenig of Aquinas. Former Aquinas star Scott Christopherson is often included in the conversation, and no "best ever" conversation is ever complete without talking about John Ford. For 38 years I maintained I had never seen a better basketball player than John Ford. He was decades before his time. Now it might be a toss up. Matt Thomas is an unbeleivable scorer and rebounder and is very good defensively. Bronson Koenig can score if he needs to, is a fantastic defender and is the best passer since John Coggins who played for Uwl in the 60's. Saw a lot of "scoonies" games going with my dad back in the day, he used to hit guys in the chest with passes, because they had no Idea they were coming. Koenig, who is going to Wisconsin and Thomas who is going to Iowa State are both unbeleivable talents who don't come along very often. Who is the best? I can't decide and maybe will by seasons end. I do know if you don't get out and watch these guys and their teams you are missing out. And how about the Central Red Raiders who are 10-0 to start the season. I would say one of the most enjoyable nights of broadcasting in 40 years was the Onalaska vs. Aquinas game at the la Crosse center. 5000 people at a high school basketball game! It was fantastic and so was the game. Good news is they will do it again on January 31st at the La Crosse Center. The girls game at 6:00 and the boys game to follow. I would be remiss if I didn't thank management at WKTY for letting us bring you all the high school and college sports since 1948. Get out and see a game.
Should be a good one tonite at the Mark Sutton Gymnasium as the Holmen boys visit. Central is unbeaten at 6-0 and Holmen is 5-2, we'll have it Tuesday night at 7:20. Something that I have heard many people ask for has happened. The Aquinas vs. Onalaska boys game Friday night has been moved to the La Crosse Center. It had been schedule to be played at Aquinas. Hats off to the administrations at both schools and the La Crosse Center and Art Fahey to make this happen. No one wants to give up a home game, but it will afford the masses who want to see that game, in a great setting, that opportunity. Not only that, but they have moved the girls game between Aquinas and Onalaska to Friday night as well to make it a boys-girls doubleheader. The girls game begins at 6:00 and the boys game at 7:45. The Onalaska and Aquinas girls each have only one loss each and it is a key early season conference game. Thanks again to both schools and the Center for putting this one together. There will be no advance ticket sales, just the day of at the La Crosse center box office starting at 4:45. All tickets will be general admission and will be $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for students and will good for both games. You won't want to miss these two, lets fill the place up Friday night. We will have both games on WKTY. Not to be forgotten is the intra city match up Friday night at 7:20 at Logan as Central visits. The girls game between those two teams is Thursday night at Central at 7:20 and we'll have that game as well on WKTY.