The annual IWSA Awards Banquet was held on November 3rd, 2018 at the White River Yacht Club on White River in Indianapolis. The Hall of Fame inductee was Bill Roach who has a colorful history with water skiing and IWSA. Bill was honored by a full house in attendance including family members many of whom came from out of state for the ceremony. Not lacking in humor, Bill's acceptance speech drew applause and laughter from all.
2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Roach
Bill Roach’s history with the Indiana water ski community started in June 1991 when Bill spotted a sign directing skiers to a water ski tournament in Plainfield. He followed the sign to Lake Me-Ski. There he met John Kniesly who happened to be skiing with Lynn & Dr. Steve Olvey.
With a reference from John, Roach contacted the Fairland Water Ski Club, and he and his family became members in Sept. of 1991. Bill says the club didn’t want him as a member for his slalom or jump prowess (ask him about his jump history). No, the guys at Fairland needed Bill’s dues to pay for a new jump surface!
Bill’s first Ski Tournament was at Fairland shortly after he joined that club. He skied thru the gate and fell around one ball…… and still won 1st place! - he was the only one in his age-group! Maybe that is why Bill Roach always has a smile on his face when at the lake.
Fairland hosted several ski tournaments the summer of 1992. We should all thank the tournament official who gave Bill a microphone and told him to announce. He announced at every ski tournament he attended for 25 years.
In the fall of 1992, Bill attended a AWSA Safety Director’s Clinic in Anderson hosted by Don & Peggy Bucher. The summer of 1993 he became the Safety Director and Announcer for all Fairland Ski Tournaments, special events and clinic’s. Over the years he completed his Regional and National Safety Director’s Certification and served a Safety Director for more than 80 local and state tournaments as well as the World Police & Fire Games, the US Disabled Nationals, and the combined Pan-Am and US Disabled Nationals.
Serving on the IWSA Board from 1996 – 2014, he was President for 3 years, and Membership Chair (twice) totaling 4 years. As Awards Chair, Bill organized, developed, and MC’d eleven IWSA Fall Awards Banquet’s.
As IWSA President, he organized and wrote 3 issues of the Fall Newsletter, designed new IWSA decals and banners, initiated the trick clinic and commissioned the board, with Terri Branson as Chair, to accumulate, organize, and publish the IWSA Operations Handbook.
For almost 20 years, Bill annually conducted Safety Director Certifications Classes, and volunteered at the RHI Sports disabled water ski clinics. He often invited disabled water skiers Raquel Rooney and Dan Reed out to Fairland for extra water time and some friendly coaching. He also could be found driving or coaching at many of the Monday Night Ski Clinic’s.
In 2005 Bill was named recipient of the “Rollie William’s Award”, recognizing his outstanding sportsmanship and leadership during his service to organized water skiing in Indiana.
For the past 5 years, Bill has been working for US Masters Swimming as the National Safety Compliance/Coordinator for open water swimming. Using the AWSA Safety Director’s Manual as a model, Roach helped develop an Open Water Safety Directors certification program for all US Masters open water swims. Within the first year of the program, he certified 83 new Open Water Safety Directors across the country.
Junior Development Clinic Organizer of the Year - Kent Hoops
Father of two young skiers himself, Kent has spent the last few years encouraging Indiana juniors to become tournament skiers because he loves the sport so much.
Organizational duties include:
· Arranging for a location that has standard and mini slalom courses,
· Recruiting drivers and 3-event ski instructors who are also great mentors,
· Securing event sponsors who support the program with both funds and ski gear,
· And providing for a tasty lunch and really cool TEAM INDIANA T-shirts.
Jr. Development skiers enjoy other activities while awaiting their time on the water. Who did win the fishing contest this year, and what kind of fish did the winner land?
On behalf of skiers, their parents, and the IWSA…..THANK YOU, KENT!
Come Back Skier of the Year - Steve Cecil
After a 30 year hiatus, Steve came back into Trick Ski competition. He followed a 3 Step Process:
· #1. Get into physical shape, losing some 100 lbs in the effort.
· #2 Buy a boat. Better yet, buy Sam Schmitt’s Mastercraft.
· #3. Look up water ski friends on social media and re-connect.
Memorial Day weekend Steve drove to Kokomo to ski. Prissy, Sam, Kirby, Ronda and others gave him a quick tutorial on changes to trick ski rules and suggestions on partners with whom he could practice.
He fast-tracked to an assistant judge credential. By the end of the 2018 season his tournament trick scores had doubled to 2810. He placed 5th in Regionals and 6th in Nationals.
Steve is the IWSA’s COME BACKSKIER OF THE YEAR!
Comeback Adaptive Skier of the Year - Dan Reed
Dan Reed came to the 2017 IWSA Spring Fling at Brewski Lake for his first, and his last, slalom set of the season. Diagnosed with a serious skin infection, Dan was ordered to stay out of the water for over a year.
Once cleared to ski again Dan trained with Indy Skiers on White River and at Brewski Lake in Indianapolis. He set a goal to compete in the US Disabled Water Ski Nationals in Paducah, Kentucky in September, and did just that.
Before leaving for Nationals Dan slalomed his personal best at Brewski Lake with Jerry Hodges as driver and witness. “Personal Best” doesn’t adequately describe an achievement that he had been dreaming of and working toward for over a dozen years – a perfect score of both gates and six buoys on the full regulation “outer” slalom course
New Tournament Family Skiers of the Year - Tom Schmitt Family
Tom and Jody Schmitt joined the Kokomo Ski Club when daughter, Taylor, was a baby. Fast forward, and now Tom, Jody, AND Taylor are competing in IWSA tournaments. The Schmitt’s have skied the Timberlake tournaments and the State for the past 2 summers and this year Taylor attended the Jr Development Clinic.
Tom, Jody, and Taylor have made water skiing a “family project” and are having a blast!
Junior Boys Skier of the Year - Kolten Hoops
Kolten Hoops ended his 2018 ski year a long way from where he started! In the 2017 State meet Kolten put up a slalom score of 4 buoys, so it was natural for him to enter the GRASSROOTS division at his first tournament this year. By late July he had multiplied his score EIGHTFOLD - scoring a “PB” of 33 buoys in the 2018 State Water Ski Championships at Hawthorn Lake.
Over the same period Kolten multiplied his trick score from 2017 to 2018 by over 4 times. These Indiana State Tournament Scores earned Kolten a first place in Slalom, Trick, and Overall.
Kolten, if you keep up that performance curve you can support Mom and Dad through a long, comfortable, and EARLY RETIREMENT!
Most Improved Adult Skier of the Year - Tom Sims
Tom skied a lot of IWSA tournaments this year, but one really stands out: At the Champion Lake tournament the boat crew pulled him out of the water with his ski rope shortened to 38’ off for the first time, ever! Tom scored a tournament best 1.5’ @ 38 off and qualified for the US Nationals.. Tom finished 2nd at the Indiana State Tournament and following that meet he competed in his first Midwest Regional and US National tournaments.
Congratulations, Tom Sims, IWSA’s MOST IMPROVED WATER SKIER OF THE YEAR
Co-Junior Female Skiers of the Year - Julie Mishler & Alexis Mishler
Julie Misher, age 11 and a student at Wawasee Middle School, skis at Camelot Lake in northern Indiana. She currently holds all G1 Midwest Region records. In 2018 she aged into the Girls 2 division and broke the Indiana State Tournament Girls 2 Slalom Record with 1@32 off, also setting an Overall record.
At Regionals Julie placed 2nd in slalom, 1st, in trick 3rd in jump and 1st in overall. At Nationals, she placed 4th in slalom, 3rd in trick with 2,760 points (a 2,000 point increase from the year before), 13th in jump and 5th in overall. Julie ended her fall season SLALOM skiing into 1@35’off in multiple tournaments and is currently ranked 3rd in the National Girls 2 Slalom rankings.
Alexis Mishler, age 13, is also a student at Wawasee Middle School. She’s a Camelot skier, too. AND HOW! At the 2018 Midwest Regionals, Alexis placed 1st in slalom, 2nd in trick, 2nd in jump, and 2nd in overall in Girls 2.
At the US Nationals she placed 3rd in slalom, 9th in trick, 11th in jump, and 8th overall. Alexis was one of 6 members of the 2018 Midwest Region Junior All-Star team that topped all others for the second time in a row at Nationals.
Once the pressure of the US Nationals was over Alexis promptly skied into 38’ off, setting a new Girls 2 Midwest Region (Class C or higher) record of 2@38’ off in Canal Fulton, OH. Not yet done making waves, Alexis set a Midwest Region Class R (“Record Tournaments”) SLALOM record at Sawmill Lake skiing 4@35’off in less than ideal conditions.
Alexis is currently the #1 ranked Girls 2 slalom skier in the country.
Both Julie and Alexis join IWSA teammate Samantha Hoops on the five member Midwest Girls 2 Elite Junior Development Team.
Male Slalom Skier of the Year - Casey Contos
Slalom Skiing in Mens 2 for the last season, Casey placed first in IN State, Midwest Regional, and US National events. Ho hum!!!
Two weeks after nationals, this newbie to Men 3 and 34 MPH decided to compete in the Nautique Big Dawg series. With just 3 practice sets at 34 MPH under his belt Casey traveled to Colorado for the final Big Dawg stop. In preliminary sets Casey skied to the number 11 seed for head to head eliminations, eventually getting beat by the event runner up. His performance, though, got him an invite to the Big Dawg World Tour Finals in Michigan in September. In Michigan, Casey was the number 14 seed skiing a PB of 5 at 39.5 off in his head to head round, but not enough to advance in this bunch. No paycheck, darn it! But he earned a lot of attention as the “new kid” to watch out for next year.
IWSA Male Skier of the Year - Cody Sharkey
Cody Sharkey, 38, was born and raised in Mishawaka….. God’s Country! He wandered off for a few years, then 2 years ago returned to the St. Joe River and has been skiing with family members in the area. Former ski partner DeeDee Tucker, at Hawthorne Lake, misses Cody, but DAD, Randy, is glad to have him close.
Cody placed 1st in tricks in every round of every tournament in which he skied this past season, and he tricked a new personal best of 3470 points. Cody was the Indiana State Men3 Trick Champion and the Midwest Regional Men 3 Tricks Champion for 2018.
Topping off a great season, Cody was 1st in Men 3 tricks at the USA Water Ski National Championships
The IWSA Honors YOU as its MALE SKIER OF THE YEAR!!
Megan Lambert/Neal Clark - Monday Night Ski League – Megan and Neal
Operated 3 Monday Night Ski Leagues this past summer. Every evening was “booked” until dark and introduced new skiers to a great sport!
Bucher Family – The Bucher Clan participated in State, Regionals, Nationals. Cindonway Shores Ski Team also won the state award for most points IN STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM SCORE WINNERS. Parents, children, grandchildren all attended and participated in regionals and nationals.
Jared Sharkey---once again Jared broke his previous Men 2 Midwest Skier Record— every one which was set in a Record, or “R” level, Tournament - This latest record a 7050 point tricks run made last fall. Jared was also the Midwest Open Men’s trick ranking champion for 2018.
Blake Miller - was/is the recipient ofthe Barb Miller Scholarship award. Blake is at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
Chris Perry- Newcomer Skier participated in Monday Night Ski Leagues and participated in first official tournament at Silent Shores. Chris is a senior at Carmel High School.
Dillon Newton – Newcomer Skier participated in Monday Night Ski Leagues and participated in first official tournament at Silent Shores.
Mark Schmitt Family –parents, children, son-in- law, grandchildren all attended and participated in regionals and nationals.
Lambert Family – parents and daughter all attended regionals and all skied in Nationals.
All the volunteers, judges, drivers, safety officials, water ski lakes who hosted tournaments this past summer.
The Harrison Family- for arranging/providing arrangements for the IWSA Banquet.
IWSA News Blog
We will continue to bring you updated information and news as the 2018 season continues!