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We hope you join us to experience our new feature exhibit, We Just Wanted to Play: The Story of Women's Athletics in Portage County, presented by Sentry Insurance. The exhibit will be on display both the summer of 2023 and summer of 2024 at Heritage Park in Plover.


When Title IX legislation passed in 1972, it signaled that women should no longer be denied the opportunity to compete, learn, and grow through sports. In Portage County, women and girls jumped at the chance to take part in athletic activities. In doing so, they inspired generations of women to strive for greatness.

Portage County now boasts dozens of championship women's teams and athletes as well as committed coaches, officials, and administrators. Many have proudly represented Portage County competing and officiating throughout the country - and the world.

This exhibit celebrates the rich history of Portage County girls' and women’s athletic achievements.

Thank You to Our Supporters!

This exhibit would not have happened without the financial support of our members and donors. Thank you to everyone who made this exhibit a reality. Click here to see a complete list of this exhibit's supporters.

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We Just Wanted to Play Oral History Collection

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.

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.

Share Your Story

The Portage County Historical Society's 2023-2024 feature exhibit, We Just Wanted to Play: The Story of Women's Athletics in Portage County, gives us a glimpse of the struggles and triumphs of female athletes throughout our county's history, but with a focus on the societal transformation brought on by Title IX legislation. While our exhibit covers a great deal of this history, we know that there are stories that we haven't found yet, but should still be included. We also would like to feature family connections. If you'd like to add your story to our exhibit please fill out the form below and, if possible, upload an image to accompany your story.

PLEASE NOTE: By clicking 'Submit' you are giving PCHS the right to use your content in our exhibits and marketing.

Upload File

Thank you for sharing your story with PCHS! We look forward to adding it to our exhibit.

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