Recently I came across an old program at our family’s cottage. My father found it in some of my grandfather’s things and set it aside for me. Reading through the program I came to realize it was 25 years since their first season which also happened to be my last season of playing football. Even though the 8th grade team ran the single wing I’m publishing this more for the nostalgia aspect as opposed to any connection to the single wing. The following text and images are pulled directly from that program.

 The New Menominee “Hornets”

Hornets Logo

A seventh and eighth grade football league has been in the back of Mr. Wayne Ryan’s head for about the last four years. It was always the same, he could not find anyone who was willing to take the chance to get a league formed. That is until the summer of 1983, for that is when he talked to the two men who were instrumental in helping him realize his dream. In August of 1983, Wayne Ryan, Steve Vandenberg, and Vern Lemke got together and laid out the groundwork for forming a league. They chose the name “Menominee Hornets” from the old Menominee semi-pro team of the fifties. Next they had to find out if there was a great deal of interest from the youth of Menominee. They accomplished this by running newspaper ads in the “Menominee Herald Leader” and the “Marinette Eagle Star”. The ads simply stated that they were interested in forming a seventh and eighth grade football league for the boys in Menominee and asked that any boy who was interested in such a league call Wayne Ryan or Vern Lemke. Within the next two weeks these men received calls from 65 boys who were interested in joining this league. With this overwhelming response the next task at hand was to form a Committee.

In October of 1983 the Menominee Hornets committee was formed with Mr. Ryan as President, Mr. Vandenberg as Vice-President, Mr. Lemke as Fundraiser, Mrs. Marge Bramschreiber as Treasurer, and Mr. Gregg Kitkowski as Secretary.

Hornets Executive Committee

Now with the committee formed, the players signed up, we were only short a few items. Those being uniforms and enough money to run the league for its first year. So to help us get off the ground, Mr. Lemke had his first major campaign thrust upon him. A raffle was started and area businesses were to donate prizes. The kick off date was set for the M&M weekend in November of ‘83. The tickets were sold and on February 1, 1984 the drawing took place at the High School cafeteria. It was announced that a total of $4,553.00 was raised due to efforts of the players and friends of the Menominee Hornets.

With about one half of the money needed to start the league, our second fundraiser was brought up. A 6-7-8 grade teen dance. It was held February 18, 1984 at the  Menominee Middle School gym. A total of $200.00 was made after expenses. Our next fundraiser was held on March 18. It was a softball tournament held at Watertower Park and we netted a profit of $443.16. Our following fundraiser was an adult dance held at the VFW Hall in Menominee on April 7th and from this we netted $85.00. Our most recent fundraiser held the last two weekends in July at the Doyle Waterfront Festival, where we had a souvenir stand. We sold shirts, buttons, jackets, etc. and raised an additional $1,0000.00. We thank the committee and fantastic public for their support.

Along with our fundraisers for the money and equipment we needed we received some donations of used equipment from Shawano High, Kaukauna and Ashwaubenon 7-8th grade independent league. A special plaque was sent to these organization for their help.

With the league starting to get into full swing, it was decided that we needed a Board of Directors. The people added were: Mr. Ron Plemel, Mr. Terry “Ed” Champeau, Mr. Roger Swacker, Mr. Richard Husbeck, Mr. Mike Bellisle, Mr. John Plautz, and Mr. Dick Michaels. The original five members are called the Executive Committee.

Hornets Board

On March 15th registration and weigh-in took place. All consent forms were notarized and physical forms were passed out. The next item on the agenda was to get a coaching staff. This was accomplished by running ads in the area newspapers. Applications were received and reviewed by the “Hornets” board. The head coach is Mr. Jeff Bayerl, his coaching staff consists of Mr. Mark Bayerl, Mr. Dan Buyarski, Mr. John Lauzer, and Mr. Steve Everson.

Hornets 7-1

Hornets 8-1

Hornets Coaches

A first aid class was taken by the Board and the entire coaching staff on August 2. The course was taught by Mr. Bernie Lang.

And now on to our FIRST SEASON…A big THANKS to all, from the “HORNETS” board.

Hornets Helmets-1

Hornets 7-2

Hornets 8-2