by Kelsie Hoitomt
MENONONIE – The Menomonie Thunderhawks are a semi-pro football team that competes in the Northern Elite Football League (NEFL).
The NEFL has teams that span across the state of Wisconsin into Minnesota from Green Bay, to Lake Superior, down to Rochester and into St. Paul.
The Thunderhawks are a team made up of a wide range of experience, from former college standouts, to recent high school graduates, and those who maybe haven’t played in some time.
Team try-outs begin in January of each year and the season runs from May through August with the home games played at the UW-Stout Williams Stadium in downtown Menomonie.
There are five local players from Boyceville that play for the Thunderhawks; Shawn Goodell, David Knowles, Chris Steinbach, Chad McIntyre, and Dylan Olson. Randy Peterson who lives in Downing also plays and coaches for the Thunderhawks.
The youngest rising star for the Thunderhawks is Shawn Goodell who recently graduated this past year from Boyceville High School.
He enrolled in the Army after graduating so he is taking a year off from college to attend to his duties and also play some football.
“Football is one of my greatest passions and after high school I wasn’t ready to hang up the cleats,” said Goodell.
Goodell debuted as the quarterback for his first year as a Thunderhawk. He was also the punter and field goal holder for the team.
So far this year he has thrown for 37 attempts with 14 completions and 197 yards. He has also had three rushes for a total of 32 yards.
Goodell says he loves playing for the Thunderhawks and he plans to keep trying out for the team and playing as long as his body will allow him.
Chris Steinbach is a 2005 graduate of Boyceville who has tried out the last two years for the Thunderhawks.
Steinbach said that prior to these past couple years, he had to take some time off due to a blown out knee that he suffered while playing for the Chippewa Valley Predators.