Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Uniting for a good cause

by Mike Ramczyk

April 21, 2011

Williams Bay — Back in January, when the American Cancer Society contacted Williams Bay softball coach Jeff Kuespert about hosting a Coaches vs. Cancer game, his answer was a no-brainer — yes.

This particular cause hit home for Kuespert, whose father-in-law died from cancer in December. So Kuespert reached out to Big Foot softball coach Craig Utesch, who also jumped on board.

This year’s Big Foot-Bay tilt will mean something more than the annual rivalry. On Monday, April 25, the Bay will host Big Foot in a Coaches vs. Cancer game at 4:30 p.m. at Williams Bay High School.

A Coaches vs. Cancer game is a way for people to donate money to help fight cancer.

“I thought the Big Foot game would be perfect,” Kuespert said. “We are hoping for a good crowd. Everyone’s affected by cancer in some way, and it’s a good cause, so why not? It will be a nice place for the community to come together as one, which is something we need more of in this world.”

The game also hits home for Utesch. Last year, his assistant coach Tony Greco’s wife, Becky, was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes. She is in remission now. Utesch’s daughters were coached by Becky in softball. Also, one of the players on the current Big Foot squad has a father who is a cancer survivor.

“We are looking to raise money and have fun at the same time,” he said. “We are having a hit-a-thon Friday, and we are still looking for sponsors. It’s great to raise money for this.”

Kuespert said the team already had a hit-a-thon, where players received 5 cents per foot from their furthest hits.

At the game, there will be a wall of hope on the visiting dugout, where people can post a personal message to a loved one for a donation. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

There also will be a 79-second drill at the game, where kids will sift through the crowd with a collection box for donations. Also, the players for each team will wear purple and white T-shirts which name different sponsors.

As for the game, Utesch is looking forward to playing the Bay.

“It’s always fun to play each other,” he said. “It’s nice to play our neighbors and keep the rivalry alive. It’s usually a good game.”

Big Foot 12, Evansville 5

The Lady Chiefs picked up their first win of the season April 12 at home against the Blue Devils.

The bats came alive for Big Foot (1-3 overall, 1-2 Rock Valley South), with the Chiefs jumping out to a 6-3 lead after two innings and scoring runs in the first five innings. The team erupted for 10 hits.

In the first inning, Lindsay Worland, who led the way with three hits and four RBIs, hit an RBI single. Later, Worland scored on a Sam Wrzesinski single. In the second inning, Jen Petkoff smashed an RBI triple, and Worland added another RBI single.

Wrzesinski went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Petkoff was 2-for-4. Kristen Glade, Dana Hinske and Sam Young each added a hit and an RBI for the Lady Chiefs.

On the hill, after Petkoff allowed four runs in the first four innings, Courtney Glade picked up the slack in a big way. The senior, who pitched despite a back muscle pull, didn’t give up a hit.

“Courtney was relaxed and let her fielders do the work,” Utesch said. “She did a nice job. She is getting her snap back on her pitches and healing well. It was a solid win all-around.”

Big Foot will travel to Palmyra-Eagle Thursday.

“We must go out and play confidently,” Utesch said. “Our pitchers are getting comfortable. We need to keep hitting the ball. We must play at the level we’re capable of.”