At this time last year Cassie Rochel wasn’t sure if she’d be able to play the game she loved again.The Wisconsin basketball fifth-year senior was in serious pain, at times not able to walk or sit in class, with an inexplicable lower back injury doctors and trainers couldn’t even fully diagnose.“In my mind, I never wanted to redshirt. I thought I’d miss, tops, a couple of games,” Rochel said. “But 10 games in I decided to redshirt.”The coaching staff and the NCAA granted a medical redshirt to Rochel, who said the decision became easier after seeing the success of Taylor Wurtz, a fifth-year senior last season, who had sat out the previous season with a back injury as well.“She was someone who was always there for me when I was out,” Rochel said of Wurtz.However, Wurtz’s injury was operable. Rochel’s bulging lower-disk was not — doctors deemed it too risky. Plus, nobody in their low 20s was having that type of surgery. Instead, she had to deal with injections that only temporarily eased the pain.So the pain lingered, well into the beginning of off-season conditioning, causing Rochel to not be on par with her desired fitness levels.“I gained weight after sitting out,” Rochel said. “I couldn’t do any running in the preseason so it took me longer than the rest of the team to get back into shape.”The 6-foot-4 center has had to change her style of play because of the injury. Her traditional post-up, back-to-the-basket technique is rarely seen anymore due to fear of receiving a defender’s arm bar to the back.“I’m conscious of things that could reaggravate the injury,” Rochel said. “I look to get my points on the move now.”Rochel added that while she is more agile and quicker on her feet, she lost her shot-block timing. Shot-blocking is the area in which Rochel prides herself on, averaging 1.49 blocks per game, which ranks third all-time for UW. Her 142 career blocks is also third all-time. In her junior season, she led the Big Ten in blocks per game (2.67), a mark that was 14th in the entire nation.“Stefanie Arndt, our new trainer, did a great job of coming in after the injury and getting her back on the court,” head coach Bobbie Kelsey said.Whatever rust Rochel had is wearing off, and whatever pain she’s playing with hasn’t inhibited her in the big moment. Against Penn State Jan. 6, she tied her career-high with seven blocks in one game, which also tied the Kohl Center record, a mark she had previously set. In a matchup at Florida, Rochel scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a 51-48 win, while scoring off an offensive rebound with five seconds remaining.Rochel feels that in the time since her injury, her biggest improvements weren’t physical; rather, it was her mentality.“A little over a year ago I was in the worst spot,” Rochel said of her outlook during the injury. “I was really down. I was supposed to be out there leading. I was on the bench and not standing up a lot during practice.”“Mentally, I’ve come a long way.”She attributes her positivity to her teammates and coaches, but especially her mother.“My mom really brought me back,” Rochel said. “There are so many other situations I am thankful to not be in. I’m thankful because of the opportunity to be in basketball.”The time spent on the bench allowed Rochel to learn the game from a different angle. Aside from her newfound knowledge of the x’s and o’s, she developed a new appreciation for the game.“It was nice to be a spectator and sit and watch games. You realize things you don’t see [on the court],” Rochel said. “But I’m very blessed and thankful. I developed a newfound love of the game, because you miss it and you want it.”Sometimes the pain and discomfort comes back. When Kelsey has the team huddled for an extended period of time during practice, Rochel will have to walk away and stretch to keep her back from stiffening up.“Rehab and rest and managing my minutes is really important,” Rochel said. “The coaches are really smart with that, and as much as it sucks to not play during practice sometimes, you have to play for the games.”As the season has progressed, Kelsey no longer emphasizes managing Rochel’s game minutes.“Now it’s up to her to manage when she’s tightening up to step out of the drills,” Kelsey said. “She does a good job of that.”Now, one year removed from cringing pain and the uncertainty of her basketball career, the Lakeville, Minnesota, native has a clear vision for her future. It’s a vision that includes playing more basketball, most likely overseas, hopefully pain-free.“It speaks volumes for her, her competitiveness, her desire and her passion for the game,” Kelsey said when asked about Rochel’s comeback. “I don’t even know what to say about it, for her to be playing as much as she is, and a year ago she could hardly walk.“Credit the trainer. God and the trainer.”For someone who tries not to take things seriously (she describes herself as “goofy”) Rochel wants to leave a legacy of someone who defended the basket and a leader.Defending with her back to the basket, Cassie Rochel is back at it.
by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow â€” The Wellington City Council named Shane Shields city manager at its meeting Tuesday after a 20 minute executive session to talk over details of the contract. Shields has been finance director for many years, and has served as the interim city manager since Roy Eckert was dismissed a few months ago.Shane ShieldsAfter the executive session the four council members in attendance all voted for hiring Shields. Mayor Shelley Hansel only votes if there is a tie. Vince Wetta and Kip Etter were not there.The contract was released to the media after the vote was taken. Shields is to receive $3,698 bi-weekly as compensation, which works out to about $96,000 per year. Eckert was making $108,000.The contract will be renewed on its anniversary date for two years unless either he or the council gives 60 days notice that it does not intend to do so. Sixty days notice is also required for resignation or termination.The contract includes a $500 per month car allowance, and the employee is responsible for all maintenance on the vehicle and will own the vehicle. After six months he will get a performance review and could get a raise, and reviews will be held yearly after that time.The contract also provides for a $100 per month stipend for a cell phone with internet access.According to the agreement the council may vote to terminate him, and the employee may resign if his duties are changed by the council in a way he does not find acceptable.A severance package of six months of base salary is included if he is terminated without cause.Â Health benefits such as insurance will continue for six months. If he were to be terminated for â€œcause,â€ meaning for legal reasons within city policies, the city would not have to give a severance package.The agreement became effective immediately.The council had considered hiring the league of municipalities to run a search for a new city manager, and was set to approve that agreement at its Aug. 2 meeting. Some council members had seemed reluctant to do so, and at least three members voiced support for Shields at previous work sessions. Some wanted to go ahead and do the search anyway, even though almost everyone said they believed Shields would emerge as the top candidate anyway.Council member Vince Wetta surprised council members at the Aug. 2 meeting by making a motion to hire Shields instead of doing the candidate search, and that motion passed by a 4-2 margin.That was the meeting where Kip Etter left abruptly after saying he â€œwas resigning.â€Â Etter came to the meeting Tuesday, but was asked to step down by the Mayor, who said he had resigned. The council took no action on the resignation, but Etter left and the meeting resumed.Hiring a new city manager had been discussed at several work sessions and regular meetings. There was no discussion at the meeting Tuesday.Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter. 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 (4) 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 Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… 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. +7 Vote up Vote down SuCo Pride · 208 weeks ago I don’t disagree with the hiring of Shane Shields at all, but do not believe it was handled properly. Once again, his contract was not part of the agenda for the Tuesday meeting, and the contract was not available for review by the public prior to voting. That’s not transparency in government, and is why so many think these deals are made behind closed doors. It’s an easy fix, and someone should have the courage to do so. The public deserves better. Report Reply 0 replies · active 208 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Jackqualine A · 208 weeks ago City Manager contracts are an Executive Session item. City Manager Evaluation is an Executive Session item. Issues involving non-elected personal are always done in an Executive Session. We never knew about Carl Meyers, Gus Collins or Roy Eckert until after it was discussed in Executive Sessions. Thar is the State of Kansas. . Report Reply 0 replies · active 208 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down SuCo Pride · 208 weeks ago Negotiations of those contracts are items that can, and should be, handled in executive session. The approval of such a contract is not the same. The resolution approving the employment agreement for Roy Eckert was part of the October 21st, 2014 agenda, with supporting documents provided prior to the meeting for review. That wasn’t the case here. Report Reply 1 reply · active 207 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down Agenda Is Mute Now · 207 weeks ago SuCo Pride-Thank you for making an excellent point. Apparently Jackqualine A didn’t look backwards before to see form of standard was established on proper placement of agenda items. It is likely hiring of Carl Meyers, Gus Collins, and Roy Eckert were handled as resolutions on employment agreements listed as agenda items. Seems a mute point to actually follow Roberts Rules of Order pertaining to meetings with new mayor and certain council members. Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! 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