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I am a HOCKEY fan! * Gardening and Quilting are fun hobbies for me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Scarecrows & Haymakers PART 9

Ann and Judy at Willie C's

Next came the forming of the Haymakers Booster Club. I remember several people gathering at Willie C's Restaurant next to the Expocentre to start the club. George Goldring, Denise Gum, Jason Simonsen, and Karen Heaton and I held office during one season.

Booster Club Board Meeting
Jason, Karen and I attended a booster club convention in Wichita one weekend.

The team owner needed us to set up the “soon to arrive” player’s apartments. He sent us to Target (where I worked at that time) with the team credit card to shop for 20 of each item: sheets, blanket, towels, toasters, pot and pan set, etc. Several carts full. Fun project!

The club conducted meetings on the night of the first Saturday home game of every month and acted as a support group for the players.

The Haymakers provided home-cooked meals after games for the team and for the opponents. Members helped “paint the ice” at the start of the season. We also marched in several parades with the team and mascot Haywire.

Booster Club Members preparing for a parade
Since the Haymakers started in 1998, the number of people involved jumped from eight to 406, making it the largest booster club in the Central Hockey League.

Some fans that were memorable were Bill the face painter; a big Topeka Fireman who loved hockey. Along with his great nightly face paint, he also had a LARGE cowbell made especially for the games.

Wild Bill


Lisa Hill was a neighbor of ours. Her two boys played in the youth hockey league. She was a great booster and fan.

Jason "Bucketman" Simonsen
And of course, (Jason) Bucketman: beating his custom pickle bucket with a mallet made it hard for the opposing team to hear anything their coach might be saying to them. (Jason is still a huge supporter of hockey in Topeka - including the hockey talk radio program)

* The Topeka Scarecrows were a professional ice hockey team located in Topeka, Kansas, playing their home games at Landon Arena. The team was a member of the Central Hockey League from their founding in 1998 until 2001 when they were sold.

A capacity Landon Arena crowd of 7,777 witnessed the ScareCrows' first-ever Central Hockey League game, a 7-3 loss to the Wichita Thunder.

#23 Goalie Rod Branch

Some of our favorite Scarecrow players included goalie Rod Branch. Great personality and great with the fans. I remember that he stayed in Topeka during the summer months and mowed grass in our neighborhood. We would take cold bottled water to him as he mowed.

# 27 Joe Coombs

Joe Coombs was a tough left winger who seemed to really enjoy the game. (He later went on to coach in several leagues)

# 40 Brett Seguin - C

Another was Brett Seguin. He was the team captain. He played in Topeka for 2 years - coming from and returning to the Austin Ice Bats.

# 44 Mike Hiebert - D

Mike Hiebert liked to get the crowd to “raise the roof”!

We also had regular after game family skates with the players. 

Ann once entered a NHL contest writing an essay on “what she would do with the Stanley Cup if she had it for one day” and won a Cup Crazy prize pack.

Ann also carried a NY Rangers lunch pail to Scarecrow games.

It contained hockey cards and of course a book to read.

Ann played roller hockey for a season.

Ann liked Buffalo Sabres
goalie Dominik Hasek.

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