By Mitchell A. Skurzewski
For Wausau Pilot & Review
Wisconsin Woodchucks owner Mark Macdonald joked “I thought this was easy” after the Woodchucks defeated the Rafters on Wednesday outside Athletic Park.
In his first season as team owner (2012), the Woodchucks made the playoffs and In 2014, the Woodchucks made the postseason again, but they have yet to be back to the postseason since.
“I worked on Wall Street for 30 years and I am competitive,” he said. “But if I was listing the reasons I own this team, winning wouldn’t be in the top-five. I do want the team to make the postseason, obviously, but it’s not for me, it’s for the players.”
This year’s Woodchucks have seen a wide departure of players down the stretch, but Macdonald praised General Manager Ryan Treu for his ability to find quality players to come in and keeping the Woodchucks competitive right down to the final day of the year.
He also praised Thompson, who has helped guide Wisconsin to tying a franchise record 43 wins on the year. It would be difficult for the Woodchucks to miss the playoffs as they would have lost by one game in each half and finished second in both halves.
“He has done a great job and pushed the right buttons all year,” Macdonald said. “He has really put a program that all of the guys buy into and follow. These guys have an even-keeled personality and bounce back. It really is a strong indicator of what he has instilled and his leadership.”
It will be difficult knowing the team’s playoff hopes are not controlled themselves, but rather decided by the Fond du Lac-Madison game. Fond du Lac wins, the Woodchucks are in. Madison wins, the Woodchucks are out. But, tying and perhaps even breaking the franchise record for wins in a season is a strong season either way.