Will Rossmiller email@example.com
Very few Division III athletes have their competitions aired on national television, but Ben Hansen will get that pleasure twice.
Hansen, a senior, is a part of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Woodland Sports team. Woodland sports involves chopping and sawing wood.
ESPN has aired Hansen’s events more than once on their family of networks. His next event will air over the summer according to the team’s faculty advisor, Paul Doruska.
“Watching the events on television is just something fun to see,” Hansen said. “It doesn’t add any more pressure, just more stress when microphones and cameras get stuck in your face.”
The team’s success isn’t limited to Hansen’s abilities. The team has won the Midwestern Forester’s Conclave event three times in a row, including this season.
“Ever since I have been a Pointer, our Timbersports team has been undefeated,” said senior Anthony Lopez, who transferred to UWSP after his freshman year.
“Our team, especially this year, performed amazing. Even with our lack of practice this spring, due to the crazy snow, our team was still solid,” Lopez said.
Hansen’s event, the STIHL Timbersports Series Collegiate Challenge, is an event where each team sends their best member to compete against each other. Whoever wins gets to represent the Midwest at the National Championship.
Hansen won his event and is proud to represent UWSP on a national stage.
“The best part of representing UWSP is the huge support network I have,” Hansen said. “I have my team members, faculty, alumni and associated businesses all there to support me and our team. The university offers resources that I would otherwise not have available.”
So how did students get involved with this sport in the first place? Most of them have different stories as to how they got on the team.
“I wanted to get involved in a forestry club. That’s how I came about the Society of American Foresters,” Lopez said. “It was through the Society of American Foresters that I found Timbersports, and ever since the first practice I attended, I fell in love with it.”
“My little sister was a member when I started here. She told me to try it out, and I loved it,” said sophomore Spencer Johnson.
“When I visited campus prior to enrolling, I saw the team’s poster in the hallway of the CNR,” said senior Larissa Swanson. “There were girls and guys in the pictures chopping wood, rolling logs and throwing axes, and I thought to myself, I have to be part of this.”
So where does the team practice? Usually the Schmeekle Reserve, but with the weather affecting their practice time, the team had to find other options.