When the Eau Claire Express take the field Thursday night at Carson Park, manager Dale Varsho will be in search of his 301st career Northwoods League victory. A milestone win that would make Varsho the league's all-time winningest skipper. SportScene 13's Jenn Chapman has more in our Athlete/Coach of the Week.
"It's a monument, it's a big thing but for me, it's all about the players and it's not a real big deal to me right now."
Keeping the focus off himself, Express manager Dale Varsho acknowledges he is just one win away from sole ownership of the Northwoods League record. But for Varsho, the wins tell a story of the
players he serves. Varsho says, "Players are really the key. A lot of times you don't memorize and appreciate games that you win. It's just more or less the people that you meet and the people that you stick aroud with."
"We have over 150 to 200 athletes drafted each and every year from the Northwoods League and played here. And it's exciting to be apart of this league and it's exciting to be a part of this organization we bring to Eau Claire."
In his nine seasons with the Express, Varsho says his growth as a manager has come as a result of his role as a Dad. Dale says, "I think I've just changed for reasons of having a family. I don't take any win or loss really hard any more. It's kind of just a whirlwind of knowing that the kids will have a smile on their face and know that it's just a game."
Jenn Chapman: "It's not every day a father can take his child to work. For Varsho his reward of spending his days at Carson Park is sharing those moments with his three kids."
Varsho says, "You know my kids have kept me going. They've always wanted to keep me doing it and they enjoy being at Carson Park and for me to get them intertwined with the players and just having a good time."
Varsho's son Jake agrees, "Yea it definitely gets us closer. I like being here every day watching baseball. I really enjoy being around the players and stuff. Being a bat boy is fun."
And their family extends to the Express team each and every summer, creating memories for themselves and their fans. Varsho says,
"You know it's always the walk-off home runs that we always hit, the no hitters and of course the championship game."