Meyer, O’Bryan, new facilities, have UW optimistic

first_imgSophomore golfer Thomas O’Bryan had the lowest stroke average on the team last year with 76.58 strokes per round. He has since lowered that average to below 75 through the early stages of this season.[/media-credit]When Michael Burcin began to consider the head coaching position for the Wisconsin men’s golf team in the spring of 2011, he knew that there was a good gig sitting in front of him.Besides the glamour and draw of coaching in an elite conference, however, the Wisconsin golf program was far from dazzling. It had been 12 years since Wisconsin last placed in the top four of the Big Ten. But the lure of his first head coaching position was charming enough for him to jump on board.“I knew the program was not where it needed to be, but that didn’t really concern me,” Burcin said.Entering his second year as the UW head coach, Burcin would be the first to say success hasn’t really been a frequently used word in the program for many years. Regardless of the past, Burcin has Wisconsin ready to improve their vocabulary and add success to the list in 2013.And he knows exactly who he’ll need to help him do so.“Thomas [O’Bryan] and Chris [Meyer], for sure,” Burcin said, lacking all doubt. He’s exactly right, too. In two completely different situations, Wisconsin’s pair of smooth strikers will be looked upon to carry the Badgers throughout the season.Meyer is one of four seniors on the team, but is the No. 1 golfer that Burcin sends out into the fairways.A transfer from Minnesota, Meyer has consistently lowered his scoring average over his years at Wisconsin to the current team-low of 74.45. He is the Wisconsin leader stroke-wise, and while he may not like to forcefully admit it, he is by far the team’s greatest leader vocally.“He’s being modest,” O’Bryan said while sitting next to Meyer, a golfer three years his elder. “I think he definitely is the guy that really pushes everyone and myself. Personally, I really think he has taught me a lot and taken me under his wing since I got here.”And that parent-like relationship has benefitted O’Bryan quite well.The youngster from Aurora, Ill., arrived at Madison like most untapped golfers might. “Skinny and tall” was the description from Burcin, before he bulked up.“Thomas has an opportunity when he’s a senior, if not this year, to be one of the better players in the Big Ten,” Burcin said.The future is rather meaningless to Meyer, though, in the middle of his last season as a Badger. He’s also in the middle of a scoring battle with O’Bryan, whose own scoring average has similarly dipped beneath 75 strokes per round.Together, the two have combined to lower their scoring averages by a total of six strokes in the last 18 months, which Burcin labeled as something that, “just doesn’t happen.”Each of them were a big part in the Badgers strong finish to their fall golf season at the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic in South Carolina as well as their solid showing just last weekend at the Big Ten Match Play event in Bradenton, Fla.Meyer didn’t lose a match in the team’s trip out east, going 1-0-2, but was outdone by his sophomore teammate as O’Bryan dominated fellow Big Ten No. 2 golfers, going undefeated on the weekend with a 3-0 mark.Wisconsin and Burcin will use those pair of events as a springboard throughout the year and disregard much of the past three seasons where Wisconsin has finished 10th, 11th, and 11th in the Big Ten.One reason Wisconsin isn’t looking very far back in program history is that they’d rather sit back and adore what is around them, right at this very moment, which is their new, state-of-the-art facilities introduced at University Ridge this past November.Waiting months for the new indoor facilities to finally be finished, Wisconsin was relocated to Vitense Golfland, a Madison driving range, as well as the basement of the Kohl Center, during the site’s construction. For some players, their locker room came straight out the trunk of their car or in Meyer’s case, his own apartment. Having lived through it all, Meyer is enjoying a final resting place during his last season.“You really can’t put it into words,” Meyer said. “I feel like every team should have a home, a place that is theirs where they can get away and work on what they need to do.”The then-proposed facilities were actually on the short list of things that caught the eye of Burcin when he was weighing his coaching options.“When it comes to facilities, we are top five in the country,” Burcin said. “There aren’t five places that have better facilities than us.“When you combine the golf course, the short game area and [the new] building, I think we are probably number three in the nation.”The facilities paint more than just a pretty picture, however. They also help craft a bunch of ready-for-art golf swings. With that in tow, the Badgers have particularized their goals for the 2013 season.Wisconsin’s goal is to place in the top five teams at each event this spring, a goal that seems rather reasonable. For UW, it’s a simplistic means to their desired end. If they can accomplish that, they’ll be right where coach Burcin wants them to be.“If you finish in the top five every week, you’re going to qualify for regionals and a lot of good things are going to happen.”last_img read more

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The Christmas movie question

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments What is your favorite Christmas movie? It’s a Wonderful Life Elf Polar Express National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation A Christmas Story Some other movie not listed above Bah Humbug. I don’t watch Christmas movies. View Results  Loading …last_img read more

Santa Clarita choir’s voices used in hit show on Fox

first_imgVanacore, as mentioned earlier, is a top-rated television composer and the man behind the music for such successful shows as “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “Joe Millionaire,” “Nanny 911,” “Big Brother,” “The Contender” and “American Chopper.” In fact, Vanacore has been dubbed by television music insiders as “The King of Reality” and he humbly accepts his role in creating this new genre of music. Neumann has traveled the world singing for big bands, presidents (inaugurals for Presidents Reagan and Nixon), the Governor’s Ball at the Emmy Awards, at Disneyland and for movies and television shows. She recorded and released a CD of her own titled, “This is My Lucky Day.” Indeed, that is what Neumann was thinking when she got word Vanacore’s recording of the Blessed Kateri Children’s Choir was the one chosen for the new show. The “Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” song can be heard throughout the broadcast, (look for the credits at the end of the show) and has even received some air time on the radio. Eleven-year-old choir singer Sidney Haefs, a fifth-grader at Mountainview Elementary, was thrilled with the experience and says she wants to pursue singing as a career. “I think we all did a good job, and we thank David and Madeline for the opportunity,” Sidney said. It must be noted here, that while only nine of Neumann’s choir students perform the theme song, the choir, in its entirety performs at many outside events, such as the Westfield Mall, Lombardi Ranch, and the Saugus High School Christmas Boutique. In addition to Haefs, other choir members who recorded the song include, Reilly Anspaugh, Hahna Brubaker, Giulia Faretta, Carley and Krista Fredrickson, Korinna Gee, Angie Meza and Emily Vanacore. The choir’s achievement is particularly meaningful, because it coincides with the commencement of construction on a new 1,000-seat church. Up to now, Mass has been held in a 10-year-old multipurpose room, and the choir has had to rehearse and perform in less than optimum conditions. When the producers of Fox Television’s breakout hit “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” went about casting voices for the show’s theme song, did they choose a) members of the Vienna Boys Choir b) children from the Blessed Kateri Tekawitha Children’s Choir in Santa Clarita or c) Hollywood cartoon voice-over actors who specialize in children’s voices. If you selected b, you may be smarter than a fifth-grader! Here’s what happened. Blessed Kateri’s choir accompanist, David Vanacore, a musician whose repertoire includes a number of television shows, came up with a catchy tune he felt would capture the fun and spirit of a fifth-grader. Step two. He asked longtime cohort and parish choir director, Madeline Vergari Neumann, to help him record the composition. To that end, Neumann gathered up three sixth-graders, five fifth-graders and one fourth-grader for the task. The nine students gathered and sang like songbirds at Vanacore’s recording studio, and three hours later, Vanacore was ready to submit his demo. But he still had to wait a couple of weeks to see if his rendition was chosen, because other composers had submitted music and lyrics as well. Says Neumann, “I told the kids no matter what happens, this is a great experience for them to be in a recording studio and this is something you will always remember. We never thought they would pick us, but they did!” Both Vanacore and Neumann are accomplished musical professionals who give generously of their talents by providing the liturgical accompaniment for the Sunday 9 a.m. Mass. Nevertheless, “It has been so rewarding for me to work with all the children that have come through the choirs in the past eight years,” Neumann said. Adding, “I remember when I was their age, a choir director had such an influence on me that I knew that music and singing was going to be my profession for life. After recording two CDs with our choirs, `Christmas Time Is Here’ and `Walking By Faith,’ and personal appearances with the kids and now this TV show, it has been a wonderful experience that these kids will never forget, whether they decide to make music their life or not. I have had so many talented kids in my choir over the years, that it will be interesting to see what each of them do in their lives.” She also praised Vanacore. “Working with David has been such a pleasure that I feel lucky that he ended up at Blessed Kateri Church. There is such a musical connection that I feel blessed. I also appreciate all the freedom I have been given by the church to create a music program that can grow for you years to come. God has been looking down on us!” Vanacore shares Neumann’s sentiments. “Having this show be such a big success for me is sharing it with the kids in the choir and with Madeline. The theme has been submitted for an Emmy, so keep your fingers crossed…and say your prayers.” And come what may, these talented choir members will never forget the following verse: Are you smarter than a fifth-grader? `Cuz there’s gonna be a test later. Teacher, teacher, now we’re back in school. Are you smarter than you used to be? Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Grab a pencil and a piece of paper. Teacher, teacher, now we’re back in school. Are you smart enough for the fifth grade? Madeline Vergari Neumann is the choir director at Blessed Kateri Takewitha Catholic Church in Valencia. She posted this story May 1 on the Santa Clarita hub on valleynews.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img