View from the cheap seats
A weekly perspective on sports
Casey Krautkramer Reporter The Record-Review
I received a nice compliment from
Bill Coker of Hamburg while I took pictures of the Athens summer high school softball team, which is not affliated with the school district, on Sunday.
He told me I did a great job playing bean bags at Tanner Westfall’s graduation party on Saturday at the Weiler barn in Athens.
My girlfriend and I challenged Gabe Weiks and Dakota Zillmer of Athens in a game of bean bags, or cornhole, whatever you want to call it at the graduation party.
I recall Weiks telling his bean bags partner Zillmer he wasn’t playing as well as he normally does, because the slight wind affected whether the bean bags landed on the board or far from it.
The wind definitely also affected my bean bags throwing ability early in our game, but just like sports coaches do, I made an adjustment in my throwing motion to compenstate for the wind. I basically had to throw the bean bag to the right of the board, and then the wind would curve the bean bag to the left onto the board.
Bill’s twin daughters, Sophia and Sydney Coker, played bean bags against their friends on the boards next to us. I can already tell from watching them play softball on Sunday they are going to continue the streak of talented athletes in their immediate family. The Coker twins will be freshmen at Athens High School this fall.
Their father, Bill, was a great athlete at Athens High School. My co-worker Ross Pattermann told me Bill is still a good softball player, even seeing Bill play in a recent local tournament.
Bill’s wife, Jennifer (Rauen) Coker was a great basketball player at Athens High School. Now I know where the Coker twins got their height from; sorry Bill it wasn’t from you.
Jennifer was a six feet, two-inch center on the Athens Bluejays’ 1990-91 girls basketball team that advanced to the state championships for the first time in school history. Athens lost to Markesan in the state semifinal game.
Bill and Jennifer’s sons, Shane and
Seth Coker, were college baseball teammates this year at UW-La Crosse. Shane was a senior first baseman and Seth a freshman infielder. UW-La Crosse played a handful of games early this spring before its season was canceled because of the coronavirus.
There must be something in the water in the Hamburg area, because it keeps producing talented athletes. For example, brothers Nathan and Jared Belisle spent most of their childhood growing up in Hamburg.
The Belisle brothers were powerful lineman and shot put/discuss throwers during their Athens High School careers. Nathan, of course, was also a dominating college football player too. Jared’s college football career was unfortunately cut short due to injury.