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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Basketball Team Treated To State Clash; Presented With New Book

Thanks to the generosity of Peshtigo High School alumnus, Marty Ochs, the Bulldog boys basketball team was treated to dinner and tickets to the UWGB and Madison men’s game November 16 at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

During the pre-game dinner, Ochs presented the Peshtigo squad with a copy of the new book titled Dodgeville: Capturing Hearts and had one of the players from the 1964 state championship team, Kramer Rock, talk to the Bulldogs.

The book, written by Rick Birk, describes how in 1963, Dodgeville Coach John "Weenie" Wilson was on a mission to both nurture and build a class of champions and further enhance Dodgeville pride. Coach Wilson, a highly-accomplished athlete and motivator in his own right, would take a group of gifted, dedicated, hardworking student-athletes indoctrinated with small-town values and put them on a course that lifted the Dodgeville basketball program to undreamed-of heights, to state and even national prominence. Just how did he go about adding to this legacy that was already such a source of pride? All of this is a phenomenon that is curious, instructive, and, above all, inspiring. This is the Dodgeville Story.

A couple of Wisconsin’s greatest basketball coaches, Bo Ryan and Dick Bennett, offer their insights after reading the book.

“Rick Birk's portrayal of a small American town capturing a gold trophy against immense odds in high school basketball signifies one of the greatest achievements in the state of Wisconsin championship annals. I have had the sincere honor of meeting many of the members of the team and coaching staff over the years and they have all represented the city of Dodgeville in a first-class manner. Dennis Morgan, who played for Coach Wilson and graduated the year before the state championship, served as one of my assistant coaches at UW-Platteville. He told me many, many stories and showed me how much he learned from the Dodgeville coaching staff and his teammates. Long live the memories of this small community's success, when the world of Wisconsin high school basketball was all one class."

-Bo Ryan - head men's basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin and named the 2012-13 Big Ten Coach of the Year

"This book and the many main characters will touch many emotionally, just as many were touched over fifty years ago. Judging from the comments and the lives of so many of those who were there, the message lives on! John "Weenie" Wilson resonated with me then, and remains with me now.

-Dick Bennett - Former UW-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin head men's basketball coach and the recipient of the "National Coach Wooden Keys to Life Award" at the 2013 Final Four.

To order this newly released book, Dodgeville: Capturing Hearts written by Rick Birk, please contact GO-5 Books at www.go5books.com or the Dodgeville Area Scholarship Fund, Inc., at 608-574-0267 or by email at carrie.schroeder@frontier.com.

Find them on Facebook (Dodgeville: Capturing Hearts) and become a friend. Help to remember and revitalize the spirit surrounding this unparalleled story in Wisconsin Sports History.


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