Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) The Marauders men’s basketball team at UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield has more opportunities to improve and thrive thanks to support from local sponsors.
The addition of sponsorships in recent years has allowed the program to fund new supplies and equipment, to the benefit of players.
“With our budget being small, we decided we needed a way to help raise some money to keep our program alive and successful,” said Head Coach Jared Ystad, men’s basketball.
As an assistant coach for the 2017-2018 season, Ystad noticed his team was one of the few that did not have warmups to wear.
After stepping in as head coach, he discussed sponsorship with his employer, Hawkins Ash CPAs. The business was more than happy to help cover the cost of warmups so the players could afford them.
“The UWSP at Marshfield campus is a vibrant part of the community and Hawkins Ash, LLP chose to sponsor the Marauders basketball team as a show of support for our local college student athletes,” said Matthew Eckelberg, CPA and Partner. “Also, the head coach Jared Ystad is one of the staff in the Marshfield office and we wanted to give him our full support as well.”
More sponsors came on board and with the funds raised from the 2018-19 season, the team was able to purchase the university’s first ice machine. By being able to ice sooner, athletes can prevent small injuries from developing into greater issues later.
“The ice machine is very beneficial to our athletes because they can now ice after having a few minor aches after practice. We can now have guys get ice bags when we travel, to ice before games,” said Ystad. “It is also beneficial to other teams that they can get ice after games instead of waiting hours on the way home.”
The team’s next goal is to purchase a shoot-a-way machine that would allow players to practice shooting baskets on their own and improve their game.
“In practice, it would allow us as coaches to work individually with players on their form,” said Ystad. “It would allow us to analyze and focus more on the player and what we are looking at without having to stop after each shot to get a ball or make a pass.”
Transportation costs are currently covered through the budget, but Ystad hopes that through the growth of the program funds could be put aside to cover some hotel stays during a weekend of back-to-back games. This would allow players to stay for the night instead of traveling back and forth.
“It really takes a toll on players sitting on buses so long multiple days in a row,” Ystad explained. “It also takes away time from us coaches to watch and study film to prepare for the following day.”
This season’s sponsorship assisted with covering the cost of warmups, basketballs, plaques, summer basketball camp, and a few tournament costs next summer.
Sponsors for the 2019-20 season are Hawkins Ash CPAs, Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union, Marshfield Young Professionals, Quik Print, Bents Chiropractic, Sternweis & Sons, Royal Blue Rentals, and Badger Title.
“The sponsorship of this team allows these student-athletes to participate in team-building activities that allow them to grow as students and adults outside of the classroom,” said David Murphy, VP-Finance & Risk, MMCCU. “We understand these programs take money to operate and our sponsorship goes a long way towards keeping the program running. The student-athletes are doing the hard work by putting in the time and effort to improve themselves and their team, and the least we can do is to support that type of effort.”
Players recently presented plaques to their sponsors for supporting the athletic program. “I just felt it was a great way to show how appreciative we are of our sponsors, while also promoting our program as well,” said Ystad.
By using additional funds to benefit the program, his goal is to give his players a great college basketball experience.
“I want to make sure we have enough to make our program successful and a place where future players want to come play,” he said. “Most importantly, I want to make sure the players health is taken care of and they get the opportunity to enjoy their college experience.”
The Marauders men’s basketball team will play the Fox Cities Cyclones on Jan. 8. Its next home game is against the Fond du Lac Falcons on Wednesday, Jan. 15.
Players for the 2019-20 season are Jack Bezlyk, Roger Zeledon, Colton Wright, Joey Miller, Matthew Roth, Joe Fields, Sawyer Stuttgen, Kade Hanson, Daniel Meza-Limen, Ethan Posteluk, Mathias Munywanyi, and Isaiah Baierl.
For a complete schedule and standings for the men and women’s teams, visit the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference website at www.wccwis.org/.