Teagan Olson returning his first of four interceptions for a touchdown.
By Patti Miara, Public Relations, Menomonie Thunderhawks
Menomonie, Wis. The Menomonie Thunderhawks opened their 2016 football season last Saturday with a close, hard-fought victory over the South Metro Patriots by a score of 18 to 6. The Thunderhawks are considered the underdog in the Northern Elite Football League due to the many new players, so this win not only shows that they are a force to reckon with, but also gives the team the confidence that they needed.
The Thunderhawks jumped off to a 12 to 0 lead in the first quarter and then held off the stubborn Patriots for the win. The defense led the way with eight interceptions in which rookie Teagan Olson (Defensive Back) had four of these. Olson on his first interception was able to return the ball all the way to the house for a touchdown. Defensive Linemen Adriac Bethel and Taylor Ruf each had an interception. Olson also made a tackle which prevented the Patriots from getting a touchdown.
Head Coach Bob Brown would like to “highlight that the defensive coaches Jayme Schulner and Andrew Frank did a great job at preparing the guys for the game and is proud of the team and that we will continue to grow.”
Matthew Pope (Offensive / Defensive Line Coach) stated that “we have a solid core of returning veterans, led on offense by Evan Ostergren, Nate Nicholson and Ryan Casper. Adam Schwintek has joined, Derek Casper and Dalton Ebert to lead our defense. These fine men have a real chance to shape the future of the team. This group is bolstered by a host of talented newcomers on both sides of the ball. I look forward to seeing many of these players grow as athletes and make more contributions on the field.”
Pope also stated that “a bevy of new coaches have brought their collegiate and semi-pro experience to the team. New Offensive and Defensive coordinators, along with a receiver and special teams coach, a defensive backs coach, and a strength and fitness professional have given us the best staff we have had in a while.”
As for what is next for the Thunderhawks Pope stated it best by stating that “while we are the Thunderhawks, a phoenix may be a better symbol of this team reborn. We start the season with the win. There will be more. Hard work, blood, sweat and tears lie before us but I couldn't be more excited to see what we become. Nor could I be more thankful for UW Stout, the community of Menomonie, and all of our sponsors for their continued support.”
Justin Randall (Running Back) stated that “we are hopeful that we can build off this victory into next week against the Force.” On May 7th they play Fox Valley Force in Appleton, WI at 12:00.
Not only was the game exciting, the entertainment during the game was fun and the fans had a blast. The Thunderhawks Dance Team started off prior to the game doing a routine to a mix that was created by Dance Team Leader Brianna Benn. After the Dance Team the National Anthem was sung by Sue Ann Hedler, who sang it beautifully. During half-time, Roc the Thunderhawk had a Dance Challenge. Anyone was allowed to join in and dance to three songs (The Electric Slide, The Twist and YMCA) and the top three dancers received awards.
The Thunderhawks are also collecting non-perishable food for Stepping Stones Food Pantry and for every item brought in you will receive a $1 coupon towards use in the Hawks Nest up to $10.
Next Saturday, the Thunderhawks open the Northern Elite Football League campaign when they travel to Appleton to take on the Fox Valley Force. The game kicks-off ay 7:00 p.m. at Appleton North High School.
The next home game will be May 14th against the Chippewa Valley Predators at U.W. Stout’s Williams Stadium at 12:00. Sue Ann Hedler will be signing The National Anthem and Kids From Exceptional Athletes will be performing the half-time show.
Ticket prices at the gate: $7 for adults, $5 for 11-17 year olds and students and free for those 10 years old and under.
State Farm & The Jackie Hunt Agency
C&D Larson Excavating
Comforts of Home (River Falls)
AirTec Sports (Menomonie)
Sport Warehouse (Eau Claire)
Lucette Woodfire Pizza and Brewing (Menomonie)
Country Kids Club Daycare (Elk Mound)
Menomonie Motorsports (Menomonie)
Silver Spring Foods (Eau Claire)
Morton Buildings (Kaukauna & Colfax, WI)
Insty Prints (Menomonie, WI)
|April 30||S. Metro Patriots||Williams Stadium||12:00|
|May 7||@ Fox Valley Force||Appleton, WI||7:00|
|May 14||CV Predators||Williams Stadiium||12:00|
|May 21||@ River City Rough Riders||Winona, MN||2:00|
|June 11||MN Valley Warriors||Williams Stadium||12:00|
|June 18||River City Rough Riders||Williams Stadium||12:00|
|June 26||@Western Wildcats||Blair-Tayor HS||1:00|
|July 4||@ CV Predators||Carson Park, Eau Claire||6:00|
|July 9||Fox Valley Force||Williams Stadium||12:00|
|July 16||Western Wildcats||Williams stadium||12:00|
|July 30||Playoffs||Wild Card||TBA|
|Aug 13||Elite Bowl||TBA||TBA|
Thunderhawks Finding Ways to Help in the Community
Roc the Thunderhawk Making Appearances Around the Community