Legacy Leadership

Executive Board Recipient: Eli Crogan
 
 

Eli Crogan’s illustrious basketball coaching career spanned 42 seasons and included several schools: Soldiers Grove High School (now North Crawford High School), Fennimore High School, Watertown High School, the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and finally Wayland Academy. Altogether, his teams won 562 and lost 320 games. This included 15 conference championships (two of them during his four years as head coach at UW-Whitewater). Thirteen regional championships, two sectional championships, and three trips to the state tournaments. He is a graduate of Gays Mills (now North Crawford HS) and Luther College (Decorah, Iowa).

Coach Crogan is best known and respected for his success he experienced as head coach at Watertown HS. During his 22 years of mentoring, the “Goslings,” won eleven Wisconsin Little Ten Conference Championships, compiling an overall 66 percent winning average. Two of his Watertown teams advanced to the WIAA State Tournament; the 1982-83 team was the Class “A” runner-up. His Wayland Academy “Wolverines” finished runner-up in the final WISSA state tournament in 1999-2000. He received strong support from his family, wife, Karen (married 60 years), sons Craig and Curt, daughter, Cori and his basketball family of players, coaches, managers, cheerleaders and fans.

Coach Crogan served the WBCA in various roles. He was a member of both the All-Star Coach Selection Committee and the All-Star Player Selection Committee. He was named WBCA District “Coach of the Year” four times. He was an assistant coach for the WBCA South Class “A” All-Star team in 1985 and head coach of the 1987 team. He was also head coach of the Wisconsin All-Star team that played the Illinois All-Stars in 1987. He also headed the selection committee for Mr. Basketball and chaired the WBCA Mentor program for new coaches. In 2009 Eli was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Humanitarian and Service Award. It was later renamed the Eli & Karen Crogan Humanitarian and Service Award.

Coach Crogan was a popular clinic and banquet speaker, and was the television color analyst for the WIAA State Tournament for nine years. He directed summer basketball camps for over thirty years, where he was an excellent teacher of basketball fundamentals.

Crogan’s MTIXE “slogan” (Mental Toughness, Intensity, eXtra Effort) is synonymous with Watertown Basketball. His philosophy as a coach was to “teach a positive approach for his players in basketball and in life”. The Watertown Basketball program was highly respected and highly rated in the state. His message to players, “Work hard in the classroom, work hard at practice and be the best you can be. If you do this, what goes on the scoreboard will take care of itself.” The program developed winners on and off the court and a “Tradition of Excellence.”

 
Boys Player Recipient: Logan White
 
 

Logan White was a four-year varsity performer for us at Wausau West. He started every game for us as a Freshman and was set to have a fantastic high school career. The summer of his Freshman year, Logan became very ill and was hospitalized with viral encephalitis. Subsequent blood work identified a mosquito bite as the cause of this encephalitis. He began the slow process of a recovery, but he began to have intermittent episodes where he would sleep for days at a time. The doctors initially thought that because of being laid up so long with the encephalitis and being forced to miss basketball that Logan was suffering from depression. They put him on anti-depressants, and he would have intermittent periods where he would seem like himself and then go a week or two where he would sleep 21-23 hours/day and suffer significant cognitive impairment. The doctors tried various anti-depressant medication but none seemed to work.

Logan played his sophomore season and would intermittently miss a week or two at a time. He played well enough that he did earn Honorable Mention All-Conference honors that season. Frustrated with the continual change in medication and the intermittent periods of excessive sleep, his family applied for Logan to be seen by the Mayo Clinic. A team of doctors reviewed Logan’s medical history and a timeline with these unexplained periods of excessive sleep. After being examined by a team a specialists, they gave him the diagnosis of Klein Levin Syndrome. KLS is an extremely rare sleeping disorder that affects roughly 1 in a million people. While in a KLS episode, not only can a patient sleep in excess of 20 hours a day, they also experience cognitive impairment. Once this diagnosis was given, it became apparent that these episodes were not caused by depression. Due to the rarity of the illness, there has been very little research on the disorder. There are no known cures at this time, it was simply something that Logan had to accept with hope that the episodes would shorten in length and frequency. Logan’s prognosis was good, in that it is believed that all KLS patients eventually outgrow this illness; however, the average 11-year duration of episodes can be daunting for a teenager to deal with and remain positive.

As a Junior. Logan only played in one game and was in and out of episodes all year. Going into his senior year, it seemed as though the episodes were beginning to shorten and become less frequent, but now his body was beginning to have issues because of how much he laid around and slept. He now had multiple displaced discs in his back. He saw multiple chiropractors and a neurosurgeon who finally recommended epidural shots in his back – he has had three epidural shots to date. He was not able to play until the final eight games of his senior year, but immediately started for our team and made an instant impact on the court.

Logan was a kid that would have and could have played college basketball; he would have been a multiple year all conference player and actually has been a three-year captain for our basketball team. This unfortunate circumstance caused his playing career to be cut short and minimized. That never stopped Logan from being a tremendous leader and giving everything he had for our basketball program. Through all of this, he never made excuses or quit. He simply kept doing everything he could to try and get back on the court; he battled through the pain and the rust of not being able to consistently practice and work on his game. He was an inspiration to our team and he is an inspiration to me as a coach with his toughness and selflessness to never make this about him as he continued to do everything he could to help the team and be a tremendous leader and support for his teammates. Logan was not only a leader on the court but he has been a leader in our school as well. Even with all the school missed while he was in episode and the instruction he was not able to get, Logan was able to maintain a 3.98 grade point average. He would often have to stay late after school to make up tests because of the extended absences. He would have to complete all the school work he missed in a condensed period of time.

He has tremendous character and courage to handle all the adversity he has had to face the last three years to continue to work and not give up or quit. His service shows such a dedication to his teammates for being there even when he was unable to play. Logan has handled this situation tremendously and even with all the setbacks, he never gave up or made excuses. He just continued to do whatever he could to help our program. He has established a legacy in our program and it goes far beyond scoring points. His legacy has set a standard for our program and has shown our parents and players what is truly important.

 
Girls Player Recipient: Maty Wilke
 
 

Matyson Wilke started playing basketball in Wisconsin in kindergarten. She played for the YMCA, Positively Hoops, and the Beaver Dam Middle School. She also played AAU basketball for the Wisconsin Lakers, North Tartan Tru, and she finished her last two years of AAU playing in the Elite Youth Basketball League for the North Tartan program. She played basketball at Beaver Dam High School from 2018-2021, reaching many milestones on and off the court to build a storied career. Her legacy over the years will be remembered by her personal and team accomplishments as well as her servant leadership and character.

Matyson was ranked number one in the Wisconsin class of 2021 all four years. She was ranked in the top 100 nationally. In 2019 she led her team to a top ten national ranking, eventually losing to the number one team in the country in a tightly fought championship game in Florida. She was first team WBCA All-State three years in a row. She earned AP All-State first team honors in 2019-2020 and second team honors two other years. She won two Wisconsin State Titles and was in route to try to win another one before the state tournament was cancelled in 2020. She had an unblemished 16-0 career tournament record in high school. In addition, she never lost a state tournament game from 4th grade on in Wisconsin.

Wilke was first team all-conference every year the conference awarded the honors. She was player of the year her junior year. She was 42-0 in conference play with only one loss coming to an in-state team during her high school career. She was Beaver Dam’s All-Time leading scorer, 2nd in assists (high of 14 in a game), 2nd in rebounds, and 2nd in steals. She earned those honors even without being able to play two thirds of her senior year because of an ACL injury. Her senior year, she led the team with 21.8 ppg. Maty received innumerable high major division 1 offers from colleges across the country, starting in 7th grade, but ultimately she chose to commit to the University of Wisconsin. Wilke said, “ I decided to follow my heart and stay home and play for Wisconsin.”

Maty’s legacy is made up of more than the records, wins, or awards she won. She will also be remembered as a high character servant leader. This student/athlete worked hard to earn a 3.9 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was also a player who cleaned up the locker room and always acknowledged the work the janitors did for the team and enjoyed getting to know them on a more personal level. In fact, one of the janitors was one of her biggest supporters after her ACL injury, personally creating and presenting a plaque to her commemorating her high school basketball accomplishments. In games, she was the first one to chase a loose ball and bring it back to the official. She also never complained or made excuses in practices or games. As Beaver Dam head coach Tim Chase said, “She loved the grind of practice and working to get better.” She never wanted anything given to her. Maty wanted to earn respect from her teammates, coaches, rivalries, and officials. She wanted to show the young basketball players in Beaver Dam how important it was to demonstrate good sportsmanship. She played for the name on the front of her jersey, not the back. She was honored and happy to serve her basketball community.

Matyson worked as a volunteer at Special Olympics, helped at Lil Hoopsters, coached a Positively Hoops team, and instructed at summer open gyms. She gave back to countless players in our community and others around the state. She wanted to teach the fundamentals of the game to the next generation and teach them how to love and honor the game that had given her so much joy. She even went to countless youth games to cheer on the younger players. Maty knew the importance of serving others and giving back to her community.

Finally, Matyson was extremely competitive. She had the courage to seek out the best players and teams in the country, wanting to play them, so both herself and her team could get better. She always wanted to raise the bar. However, her courage was put to a bigger test when she suffered a career ending ACL knee injury seven games into her senior year, a year that was supposed to be about redemption and earning one more gold ball before she left to play at Wisconsin. After putting the physical and emotional pain aside, Maty became an assistant coach for the JV team and a player/coach for the varsity team. She ran through fundamental drills with the girls and offered real time advice during the games. It took a lot of courage to put her injury aside and help her teammates. She did not want her injury to define her or her career at Beaver Dam High School.

Maty Wilke’s legacy will be felt throughout our state for years to come. Few players have had the career and success that she has had, but her character and how she treated others is what many people will remember. As her head coach Tim Chase said,“Maty Wilke is a giving individual. Not only is she a great basketball player and a good student, but she is an outstanding person.”

Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association and Midwest Athletes Against Children’s Cancer Legacy Leadership Award

The award was established in 2019 to honor the legacy, leadership, and lives of WBCA Executive Board members John Cary, Jerry Petitgoue, and David Royston in recognition of their leadership qualities, characteristics in interpersonal relationships, and achievement as Board members.

John Cary served as the MACC Fund's director for nearly 37 years until his retirement in 2018. During that time the cure rate for pediatric cancer increased from 20 percent to 80 percent. The MACC Fund, since its inception in 1976, has contributed over $67 million dollars to childhood cancer and related blood disorder research. The WBCA has proudly contributed $2.9 million dollars towards that amount.

Jerry Petitgoue of Cuba City is the winningest coach in Wisconsin high school basketball history. Petitgoue has coached Varsity basketball for 52 years achieving a career record of 938-252 with three state championships through the 2019 season. He is presently in his 25th year as the Executive Director of the WBCA.

David Royston and his wife, Joy, have led Sports Impressions since 1989 and JustAgame Fieldhouse since 2006 in Wisconsin Dells. Their partnership with the WBCA and the MACC Fund has been a catalyst for the growth in membership and donations. JustAGame provides a home for the WBCA Hall of Fame, Fall Coaches Clinic, and the WBCA-MACC Fund All-Star games.

The WBCA-MACC Fund Legacy Award will be given annually to an Executive Board member and senior student who demonstrates the exemplary qualities of Character, Courage, and Service.

A committee established by the Executive Board has been given the honor and privilege to lead the yearly process of selecting an Executive Board member and student recipient. The 2019 recipients were Dan Burreson, Executive Board member from Mineral Point, and MacKenzie Lindow, student-athlete honoree from East Troy High School.

The committee invites your consideration to nominate a student in their senior year who exemplifies the qualities of character, courage and service. Please join us in the journey of honoring the legacy of three exemplary leaders and two outstanding organizations.

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