Former WolfPack players take walk down memory lane

Joseph Dorschel, Sports Editor

For Madison Area Technical College alumni, the fifth annual Jam the Gym event held at Truax campus was a walk down memory lane. The event, labeled as a friend-raiser by Athletic Director Steve Hauser, is aimed at bringing alumni, student athletes, parents, and family together for fun and sports.

“We try to do these to get people together. People come to support the WolfPack,” Hauser said.

The festivities started early in the day with an alumni basketball game between former student athletes.

While some of the athletes involved were students who played sports at the college last year, there were some that hadn’t been back to the gym in 20 years.

“It’s awesome coming back. It’s almost surreal walking through those doors (to the school),” said Tony Swinger.

Swinger played basketball for the college from ‘90-92. Back then they were called the Trojans.

Although Swinger still plays sports, he hasn’t touched a basketball since his time as an athlete in college.

“I play golf now. With that I don’t have to worry about getting hurt,” Swinger said.

Another basketball player from ‘90-92, Jon Gruenenfelder, was in attendance as well. Since playing for the Trojans, he says his activities have changed from basketball trips and games to chasing his kids around.

“A lot has changed. This is my first time back in 20 years, but when I got to that gym I was ready to lace them up,” Gruenenfelder said.

Alumnus Vicky Hagan, a former student athlete who played basketball, volleyball, and softball, thought the most significant change she noticed were the improvements to the college.

“I’ve seen them improve things like the gym and the concessions. It’s also kid friendly,” Hagan said.

When Hagan attended the college, there was no gym yet in place for the teams.

While many former student athletes showed up for the event, there were several former coaches too.

Kris Mills, a former basketball player and former coach of the women’s basketball team, enjoyed seeing all the alumni together.

She claims that while many of the people haven’t played in a very long time, it is important to bring everyone back together. Mills works at the college now in the athletic department.

“This is a good group. It’s neat to see a different era together,” Mills said.

Following the alumni game there was a get together with food, a raffle, and memories shared. During the day activities were made available in the gym for younger members of families too.

The events of the day led up to a conclusion of sports and fun. The men’s and women’s basketball teams played games in the H. Douglas Redsten gym against Harper College. Although both the home teams lost, the defeats were lost amidst the celebration of family, friends and fun.