Little Crow Ski Team is 1998 show ski champions

This article submitted by Aaron Ziemer on 8/18/98.

The Little Crow Water Ski Team earned the title of champions of the 1998 Show Ski Nationals Tournament in Hamilton, Ohio on Sunday, Aug. 9 with a score of 2170 points. The Wonder Lake Illinois team came in second with a score of 2101, Mad City Team of Madison, Wis. in third place and the Rock Aqua Jays of Janesville, 1997 champions, in fourth place with 1,968 points.

Fourteen teams competed from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Florida. Statistics showed 2,374 ski rides left the docks in the two-day tournament.

Little Crow presented a show that used its barefooting talent in a varied approach from the home Neer Park shows, which fit the faster moving water and wind from the south. The change resulted in barefooting that scored well using different boat patterns.

The 19-member girlís ballet line put on a dance presentation stepping into their skis and skiing in precision arriving on the beach in one unit. They then performed their ending dance with the crowd clapping enthusiastically! This resulted in their being named the best ballet line in the tournament.

A highlight of the show was the near flawless jumping acts. The jumpers received the trophy for the best jump act in the tournament.

The trios accomplished their sliding dock start, only performed by Little Crow, and used rollups and rolldowns that amazed the crowd along with a reverse turn with smiles and a wave. The doubles, strap doubles, star doubles, and swivel skiers performed with costumes shimmering in the sun. The wakeboarding, shoe skiing, and barefooting, spraying water as they performed, added to the action.

Spectators were entertained with Little Crowís humorous caretaker, David Hanson, in his skiing fantasy, eating chocolate brownies with the outhouse blowing up. They enjoyed the antics of skiers and counselors at ďCamp Little CrowĒ the theme that everyone could relate to. Mike Schroeder, the voice of Little Crow, presented his interpretation in his easy style and clever interpretation of the acts on the water. Mikeís skier introductions resulted in the highest scoring club act in the tournament. The sound crew backed up all the acts with music and sound affects.

The final act brought the 34-person human pyramid off the dock, pulled by Dave Rudningen captain of tow 1, with the double 225 hp engines. This was an awesome sight with three four-high pyramids moving across the show course. At the closing of the show, the Little Crow skiers walked into the crowds shaking hands with the people and thanking them for watching the show. This folksy, small town approach capped off a show that the audience loved!

Little Crow resulted in winning the majority of the boxscores with best dock and equipment, best towboat driving, best pick-up boat crew, best announcing, best showmanship, and high individual club act. The best girlís ballet line and best jump act also went to Little Crow.

A side story found some of the girls ballet line purchasing a stuffed crow at a yard sale on Saturday and putting the yellow team Pepsi/Q102 shirt on it. The crow suddenly was the team mascot at the preshow team meeting on Saturday night and was in the show staging area for good luck. The Little Crow was flying steady with the team!

Little Crow had many people working in the background in getting the team to Hamilton and back. A crane was used to load the semi truck carrying the pontoons, set and a pickup boat. In Hamilton, a marine dealer helped in the unloading who remembered watching Tiger Hanson race boats in Florida. Little Crow fans helped fill sandbags for weighting the set. Fans of the year came from Alexandria, New Ulm, and New London and many grandparents came to watch their grandchildren. Pro shop shirts, caps and sweatshirts were sold from tubs to teams who wanted something that had Little Crow on it. Everyone wanted to know how to get a yellow t-shirt.

A celebration was held at the team hotel with 300 people enjoying pizza, speeches, dancing and singing ďWe Are the Champions!Ē Several members of the second place Wonder Lake Team attended, adding to Little Crowís victory. On the trip home, cars were decorated with white shoe polish signs that said, ďWhat time is it?Ē With the car behind reading, ďItís Crowtime!Ē

Videotapes of the Little Crow championship show are available in the pro shop and can be mailed. The ESPN TV shows will be held on Aug. 29 and Sept. 10. The times will be announced later.

The 1999 National Show Ski Tournament will be in Janesville, Wis. celebrating the 25th year of National Tournaments. Little Crow will ski the last show on Sunday as the reigning champions.

The Little Crow Ski Shows continue at Neer Park with remaining shows starting at 7 p.m. Groups wanting to reserve seats can call 320-796-6586 for the $5 seats. The grand finale show will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29.

The team appreciates the fans and sponsors in their support of the team with their attendance at the shows, e-mail messages, phone calls, letters and cards. The web site for the team at encourages you to sign the guest book.

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