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Sports Team Portrait

We Just Wanted To Play

The We Just Wanted to Play Oral History Collection features interviews with trailblazing women and men who changed the  course of women's athletics in Portage County, as coaches, players, and parents. These interviews highlight the close-knit fabric of our community as well as the tenacity, dedication, and passion of the women who wanted to play.

This oral history project is sponsored by:

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01

From playing kick the can in the Upper Peninsula to being the most sought after softball catcher in the Third Army, Judie Janquart was always a competitor. At UWSP, she played six sports, but didn't receive a letter until 2022. As a coach and a teacher in the Stevens Point Area School District, Judie was an inspiration whose work touched the lives of those around her in powerful ways. She shared a few of her stories with PCHS Executive Director John Harry in 2023.

02

Co-founder of the Stevens Point Area Running Club (SPARC), former UWSP biology professor Kent Hall remembers what it was like to work with some of Portage County's premier athletes in this oral history interview with John Harry, executive director of the Portage County Historical Society.

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03

Nancy Page, trailblazing coach in women's sports at UWSP sits down with her daughter, Andrea Ingvalson, and executive director of the Portage County Historical Society, John Harry, to talk about her long and successful career.

04

Sheila Miech tells about growing up in Wausau, Wisconsin, before going to UWSP for a physical education degree in the 1970s. She reminisces about the challenges of trailblazing and shares her hopes for the future of women's athletics. 

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05

Janel McCarville shares the details of her basketball career, from SPASH to the University of Minnesota, to being a number one pick in the WNBA draft and beyond.

06

Kelly (Blaha) Beadles, former All-American softball player on UWSP's D-III National Championship winning team in 1998, and her father, former Pacelli softball coach Ron Blaha, talk about the history of women's softball in the Stevens Point area. 

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07

Carrie Diamond talks about starting the UWSP Rugby Club in the '90s, and the SPASH Rugby Club in 2017.

08

Mike Olson sits down with PCHS oral history intern, Jarita Bavido, to share insights, stories, and inspiration from his time as girls' running coach at SPASH.

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