UW Health Sports Medicine 

Hey friends!

Happy New Year's y'all! I'm sitting in an Evanston, Illinois, hotel room watching the Randy Moss 30 for 30 documentary, with a big ol' bottle of water. Crazy exciting New Year's Eve right? I know my New Year's Eve isn't typical of a 20-year-old college kid but never the less, I'm still extremely grateful for my quiet evening in Evanston. 2014 was a year that deserves a quiet evening and one last entry.

Personally, this year felt like a lifetime condensed into 365 days. I feel like I learned lessons that some people never get the opportunity to learn.

My AAU teammates and one of my close friends was killed in a car accident on June 3. She was the friend and teammate we all dream about. Our days on this earth are simply not promised and I vowed to never step on the court again without playing for her. However, after my second knee surgery in July and months of still being in pain, I made the decision to step away from the game for a while and focus on getting myself healthy.

If any of y'all know me, you know how hard this decision was for me to make. My mom and a very long conversation at the most hipster coffee shop in Madison, taught me that not even the game I love is worth risking my health for the rest of my life. The amount of pain I push through does not define how much I love my team and this game. In the meantime, I've had to find ways to encourage my team off the court. That, my friends, is a process still in the making but I will say, I am learning every day.

As for the team, this year was one of trials, but more importantly, perseverance.

Our team's record with injuries seems to be a constant theme, but I would argue the more remarkable theme is our relentless fight. Within the last year I have witnessed these players beat teams with a roster of 15 with our seven players. Despite the injuries, we always find a way to fight until the buzzer, and for that I am always proud to be a Badger.

We ended the year beating Michigan at the Kohl Center. Needless to say, the trials were more than worth it. As we head into the Big Ten season and the New Year, we are ready to reap the successes that the trials of 2014 prepared us for. We are a veteran team with a veteran mind set that is stable and unwavering. 2015 is going to be one to not only remember, but one to witness. 

Thanks for the support, the love and the memories Badger fans! We can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for us!

Happy New Year friends!

One final practice and one for the fans



Photo Gallery: One Last Practice

Rain in the Tampa area forced the Badgers inside for their final practice of the season, a spirited and productive session held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. It also kept the team from its scheduled appointment at Clearwater Beach for the annual Outback Bowl Beach Day.

That rain did not keep Badgers fans from turning out to show their support, however, as many in red and white made their way to Channelside to enjoy a performance from the UW band and spirit squad, as well as some words of thanks from seniors Rob Havenstein and Marcus and Michael Trotter.

Badgers take Busch Gardens



- Photo Gallery: Badgers at Busch Gardens

After working through a short practice at the University of Tampa on Monday, the Badgers had the chance for some fun at Busch Gardens. Players from both Wisconsin and Auburn had the opportunity to enjoy the theme park, with a small group getting some inside access to the Falcon's Fury ride and a safari experience that included feeding the giraffes.


Monday Twitter chat recap

Today in Tampa: Hockey and bowling



Splitsville Bowling photo gallery

The week has started a little slowly for the Badgers in the score column. So far, in the two official Outback Bowl competitions, UW has come up short. Luckily the only score that counts is the one from the field on Thursday. Senior WR Kenzel Doe has a theory on that.

Badgers + Packers = everyone wins!

Photos from practice No. 2 in Tampa

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Practice No. 2 photo gallery

Badgers, Tigers hook up for post-practice activities

Hospital visit photo gallery


When practice ended for Wisconsin and Auburn on Saturday, players from the two teams got together to visit patients at nearby Tampa General Hospital. Representing the Badgers were Sam Arneson, Josh Harrison, Rob Havenstein, Warren Herring, Jake Keefer, Leo Musso, Joel Stave, Eric Steffes, Derek Watt and Konrad Zagzebski.

The players spent about an hour at the hospital, posing for pictures, signing autographs and passing out Outback Bowl souvenirs.

Tampa Bay Lightning game photo gallery


About 60 Badgers then headed took the quick walk from the Westin Harbour Island over to Amalie Arena to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Carolina Panthers. Three Badgers, James McGuire, Jack Russell and Derek Straus were selected to participate in an on-ice shooting contest during the second intermission. Despite being decked out in their brand-new hockey-style Wisconsin sweatshirts, the Badger trio fell to their opponents from Auburn.

Sunday, the Badgers were back on the practice field. The rest of the day included watching the Packers take on the Detroit Lions with the NFC Central on the line and another joint team outing with Auburn, this time at Splittsville, a local bowling-themed restaurant with actual bowling alleys. There are rumors of another competition tonight, so hopefully the Badgers can exact some revenge.

For all the insight on the Badgers' bowl week in Tampa, follow @BadgerFootball on Twitter or the BadgerFootball Instagram account.

Also be sure to check out BOWL CENTRAL if you are heading to Florida for the game.

Badgers get to work



Photo Gallery: Outback Bowl Practice

Sunshine and 80-degree temperatures greeted the Badgers on their first full day in Tampa. And what better way to work off the hundreds of pounds of food consumed last night at the Outback Steakhouse Team Dinner than by practicing for 90 minutes in the hot sun.



Following a Saturday morning consisting of breakfast and position meetings, the Badgers made the short drive from the team hotel to the University of Tampa. The 16-period practice started around noon local time and included about a 20-minute scrimmage session.

"It was a good work day," head coach Barry Alvarez said. "I wanted to have a little scrimmage so guys could get their pads set, and get back into the flow of playing physical football after having some time off. I thought we accomplished that and the guys had a lot of energy."

A number of former Badgers who are living in the Tampa area came out to practice, including John Hall, Jason Maniecki, Kenny Stills and Jerry Wunsch. They each addressed the team afterwards, talking about how special it was to be a Badger and how proud they were of the current team's accomplishments.



Following practice, a group of about 10 Badgers, including tackle Rob Havenstein, defensive tackle Warren Herring, quarterback Joel Stave and fullnback Derek Watt were off to Tampa General Hospital to visit some sick kids. Tonight, about 60 members of the team will make the short walk to Amalie Arena to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Carolina Hurricanes. James McGuire, Jack Russell and Derek Straus are tentatively scheduled to take on three members of the Auburn Tigers in a contest during the second intermission. Check back to the blog tonight for video.

For all the insight on the Badgers' bowl week in Tampa, follow @BadgerFootball on Twitter or the BadgerFootball Instagram account.

Also be sure to check out BOWL CENTRAL if you are heading to Florida for the game.

Badgers touch down in Tampa



Travel Day Photo Gallery

It's officially bowl week!

A day that began for the Badgers at 9 a.m. with some light conditioning and a quick lift at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, ended with a terrific Outback Steakhouse Team Dinner in Tampa at around 7 p.m.

Returning from a brief 72-hour break for the Christmas holiday, the Badgers began filing into the locker room at the McClain Center around 7:30 a.m. By the time 9 a.m. rolled around, the players were shaking out the cobwebs with some light running and lifting. At 10:30 a.m., the buses rolled, heading to Dane County Regional Airport.

Despite a little bit of a delay that resulted in some added time in the Madison airport, UW's plane touched down at Tampa International Airport at 5 p.m. As you can see from the photo gallery, some of the upperclassmen were able to ride in style, taking advantage of the many amenities afforded on the Boeing 747-40.


Because of the delay, the Badgers wasted little time, heading right from the airport to the A La Carte Event Pavilion for the Outback Bowl Welcome Dinner. Between the Badgers and their Outback Bowl opponent, the Auburn Tigers, the two teams combined to eat almost 5,000 pounds of Outback Steakhouse food. That included 750 pounds of sirloin steak, 750 pounds of chicken and 900 pounds of ribs. Also consumed were almost 400 pounds of Steakhouse Potatoes, 1,600 coconut shrimp and, of course, 160 bloomin' onions. Needless to say, no one went home hungry.



With dinner ending around 7 p.m., the Badgers were finally able to check in to their hotel, the Westin Harbour Island, at around 7:30 p.m. Saturday will bring the Badgers' first practice, followed by a visit to the children's wing of Tampa General Hospital.

Be sure to follow the Outback Bowl 2015 blog for all the happenings in Tampa. Also be sure to check out BOWL CENTRAL, especially those Badger fans heading to Florida for the game.

ON WISCONSIN